Setting up in Japan ‘how-to’ for first-timers.
Business in Japan is a wide-ranging subject and the free business in Japan information on this site has grown surprisingly quickly both in size and popularity. Several people mentioned that due to the number of business in Japan subjects now covered here, it is becoming challenge to navigate through the site and find the specific business in Japan information they want.
To help people find information, I integrated Gigablast’s search technology into the site via the search form immediately below the kanji image on the right of each page. If you search for ‘business in Japan’ (for example) using that form then all pages in this site containing that term will be returned.
For most people just starting business in Japan, the search function may not be very useful because they probably don’t yet know what information they are looking for. The two “fast track” routes provide those business in Japan ‘first-timers’ with two recommended paths through the site.
Each of the pages in the fast-tracks is a slightly edited version of the equivalent page in the main site. The pages are arranged in a readable order and you are recommended to go through the series sequentially. If you need additional information then please use the “search this site” form on any page.
Excerpt – Starting business in Japan is not difficult and neither does it need to be expensive. If you have a unique and good quality product or service then by carefully controlling your starting costs you will be profitable in your first year in the Japanese market. It’s that simple. The trick is understanding Japanese business and the mentality of Japanese businesspeople well enough to be able to control your costs.
Excerpt – Being ‘properly prepared’ to start doing business in Japan does not necessarily mean (unless you are in a capital intensive industry) having huge cash reserves. One US company I worked with in the mid 1990s did not have enough cash in the bank to make payroll in January 1996 yet IPO’d in the US on October 16 the same year after some very successful deals with Japanese companies!
- Direct sales or Japanese distributor?
Excerpt – Many executives of foreign companies starting business in Japan come here for one or two weeks, sign an agreement with a Japanese distributor and then return home with no idea of the Japanese market value of their product. For those executives it was a foregone conclusion that they would start doing business in Japan using one of the numerous distributors or trading companies.
- Direct sales in Japan
Excerpt – If you really want to do successful business in Japan and maximize your Japanese brand value, revenues, profits and Japanese market share, then you need to have direct presence in the Japanese market from day 1. Even the best of Japan’s numerous distributors will not do as well for you as you will do for yourself.
- Starting a Japanese sales office
Excerpt – Many companies start business in Japan with a distributor simply because they do not understand the costs of establishing a Japanese subsidiary. In fact by using good local hires and carefully optimized performance-linked compensation packages, you can operate an effective and aggressive 4 – 5 person Japanese office in central Tokyo for an inclusive base cost less than $400k per year.
- A free office in Tokyo
Excerpt – The Japan External Trade Organization ‘JETRO’ (a government funded agency) can provide a booth with a desk in its Invest Japan Business Support Center on the 2nd Floor of the Akasaka Twin Tower building and other than telephone and copier fees it is free for up to 3 months. JETRO has Japanese bilingual staff on hand to assist you, although some of those services will be at extra charge.