After a week spent in this special administrative region of China, we have stopped counting the number of times that the simplicity of doing business in Hong Kong has been praised to us.
Without necessarily seeking to question the entirety of this discourse, our education has taught us to question this kind of assertion to find where the nuance lies.
And the fact is that, if all the elements are indeed in place to promote business, Hong Kong is not an easy market. It would be more honest to say that everything is simple to attack a difficult market.
Indeed, if 80% of companies launched in Hong Kong are by foreigners, they will have to learn to deal with local particularities and adapt to market constraints.
But if the problem had to be summed up in one element: in view of its very small surface area, Hong Kong real estate has nothing to be ashamed of in the face of Parisian prices. The cost of living may therefore be low on all other lines, the budget that you will have to put in office and housing implies an essential obligation: your business will have to generate cash, and it will have to generate it quickly.
I started doing sales work for the first time, rather than recounting my life again, I rather want to describe funny things to you: The most important thing in Asia for doing business is your business card, but just having a business card is not enough.
When you give your business card, you have to give it with both hands showing it to your interlocutor, and when he gives you his card, you also have to take it with both hands and inspect it, you remember the catalog of Toys R Us, well it's the same.
Doing Business in Asia, not impossible
In addition, after having examined it well, it is relatively advisable to place it next to your belongings like your whitewash when you were very young, never very far away.
You should also never get upset, even if the guy makes you understand that your business is rotten and that he will die in 5 days, you still have to save face and wish him the best blalbla. In short, lower your pants is the French translation of what I just said.
That's all for today, tomorrow I finally get my own scooter (which means that in a few days I'm going to take a bus from the front, goodbye). I hope to be able to go and take pictures when the sun goes down but the day promises to be just as busy, it's a shame because at the moment they are working quite a lot in the rice fields and I already have a few spots to take pictures!
Hong Kong may therefore appear to you as an entrepreneurial paradise on one condition: that of agreeing to work hard.
So after 8 days in Hong Kong, around 30 meetings and around 50 encounters, here is our checklist of the 10 things to think about before launching your business from Hong Kong:
1Does Hong Kong have a competitive advantage for your particular industry?
Not all businesses are equal in luck and some businesses are more likely to succeed in HK. Three major scenarios:
Being close to your production unit: this is the first good reason to open an office in Hong Kong. If you offer a product manufactured in China (whether it is a technological product or not for that matter), you will have great advantages by choosing a base in Hong Kong. This is the case for Native Union, which produces its accessories in Shenzhen and runs its business from HK. 30 minutes from their production unit, they benefit from better responsiveness to market a product more quickly, without sacrificing quality (when you are far away, you end up accepting small defects because another return trip would be too long).
Being in the wine business: the former chief executive being a great wine lover, he eliminated import and sales taxes. Hong Kong therefore presents itself as one of the places where wine is the cheapest, attracting many traders for an Asian population that is increasingly fond of French wines in particular.
Wanting to target the Asian market: it is the very objective of the Think Asia Think Hong Kong campaign to want to present HK as the window to Asia (and in particular China). If the expansion of your business must go through China, it is better to settle in Hong Kong where the laws are Western (remains of the colonial heritage) and where business is encouraged by many initiatives.
If you don't produce anything in China, you're not in the wine business (or luxury in general) and you're not targeting the Asian market... do you really have good reasons to go to Hong Kong? Only you have the answer.