Much has been published about building successful businesses. A key factor is that planning is all-important. The economic world is riddled with businesses that have failed because they were launched without adequate provision being made for every eventuality. In the case of Asian businesses, there are certain other aspects that have to be taken into account.
The importance of planning cannot be overstressed. Prior to launching any business, it is imperative to be looking at a long-term view. Anyone seeing their business as a quick route to financial rewards is only setting themselves up for disappointment. The business plan itself should be broken down into logical milestones. For instance, you should try and project where you aim to be periodically, at least on a quarterly basis. These objectives can continue once your business is up and running and reviewed at regular intervals.
In Asia, business relationships are heavily reliant on building trust and respect. It is fair to say that actions speak much louder than words. When dealing with potential customers, politeness must be observed at all times.
Another valuable lesson to learn is that you cannot ever assume you have all the answers at your disposal. Always be prepared to listen and be responsive to other people's suggestions, even if they appear to be critical. Constructive criticism is an excellent tool for business enhancement.
With the advent of new technologies and the evolution in international travel, your markets will be global. Where many sectors of Asia and the western world were once separated by fairly divisive cultural issues, these divisions have become increasingly blurred. The clients you deal with may well be proficient in your own language. For your part, you should always be aware of the nuances of dealing with people from different nationalities. Behaviour that is accepted as the social norm in say, Korea, might not be the case in Singapore.
Another crucial aspect of business in Asia is the fact that there are so many different markets. While it is tempting to think of China as one major market, in actual fact it consists of several hundred separate and distinct markets. The same is true of Vietnam, Japan or indeed any other Asian trading nation.