Japanese business strategy

 

Making the most from business in Japan

Doing business in Japan to add 30% or more to your global profits in 3 years or less is achievable - unless your Japanese business strategy is based on false assumptions regarding the Japanese market opportunities for your products and services, the potential Japanese market value of your products and services, the costs of doing business in Japan or your local Japanese team's ability to integrate into your corporate culture and produce results etc., in which event you will find it difficult to get your Japanese business to contribute much more than 5% - 10% (if that!) to your global bottom line.

In an ideal world, every company starting business in Japan would develop a bulletproof Japanese business strategy, determine the perfect product and brand positioning for the Japanese market, hire a dream Japan subsidiary team on aggressively performance related pay packages and negotiate win-win agreements with tier 1 partners, all from day 1! Unfortunately this is an imperfect world and some foreign companies find that their Japanese operations do not perform consistently or fail to deliver anticipated or sustained growth, revenues, market share and profits.

While a 30% contribution to your global bottom line is an achievable and desirable objective, you probably need a team with the unusual experience, commitment and aggression of Venture Japan to get you there. Not all teams have that edge and as a general indicator, if your Japanese business is not generating around 20% of your global revenues after 3 years, or if your Japanese business is consistently producing less profits than comparable territories (for example Germany, the UK etc.) then the fundamental assumptions upon which your business in Japan strategy was built are likely flawed.

Venture Japan can work with you to revaluate your Japanese business strategy using a unique but simple approach based on asking fundamental questions about your Japanese business, for example:

  • how do your products and services fit with the Japanese culture?
  • based on real customer and partner evaluations, what (if anything) do you need to do to your products and services to make them immediately attractive to Japanese consumers (whether corporate or individual)?
  • how are your Japanese market competitors performing and why (i.e. what are they doing differently?)?
  • again based on real customer and partner feedback, what is the realistic Japanese Yen value of your products and services?
  • what is the best Japanese brand identity required to achieve your full potential in the Japanese market?
  • do you have the right balance between direct and distributor sales for your products and services in the Japanese market?
  • by comparison with your competitors and market trends, what should be your ideal growth rate in the Japanese market and how does that translate into projected revenues for the next 3 - 5 years of your business in Japan?
  • is your existing structure the most tax efficient and administratively cost-effective structure to channel your Japanese market revenues back to your head-office?
  • is the profile of your existing Japanese team suited to your Japanese business strategy (for example people hired from large Japanese corporations rarely succeed in smaller subsidiaries and while many people with direct sales experience often become excellent distribution channel managers, many excellent distribution channel managers find it very difficult to make the move into direct sales)?
  • is your Japanese team being cost-effectively rewarded and motivated with performance related pay and benefits packages?
  • is your office location cost-effective and well positioned for the type of business you are doing?

Just as with our Japanese market entry services (which are of course based on much the same methodology), our advice is not limited to simply telling you that there 'is' or 'may be' a better way for you to do business in Japan. We will proactively work with you and your local team to sensitively implement the revamped strategy and quickly achieve the desired results.

Once again our fees are aggressively performance related and will repay you with substantially increased profits, significantly reduced risk, a tightly controlled Japanese operation and dramatically improved Japanese business value.

If you would like us to transform your Japanese sales, revenue, profits, market share and brand value and help you get to the point where your Japanese business is consistently generating 30% of your global profits, please contact us.

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Japanese business strategy

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