Doing business in Japan information
by Venture Japan
For a multitude of reasons, a foreign company's Japanese business can stall or otherwise fail to produce consistent or desired revenues, profits and market share.
At the 'irritating' end of the spectrum, your Japanese distributor may fail to produce expected results although you hear that your competitors are having substantial successes in Japan (the usual reason being that the distributor lost interest in promoting your product for some reason). Such a situation may not be causing you immediately quantifiable losses, but it is at the very least irritating, at the worst embarrassing and frustrating and in any event a substantial lost opportunity!
At the 'nightmare' end of the spectrum, your Japanese subsidiary company or office goes into a tail-spin as costs soar while revenues stagnate or, even worse, start to plunge. This situation can have horrific results, especially for a smaller foreign company, as the Japanese operation begins to consume huge amounts of cash and management resources yet seems incapable of achieving desired results. As the subsidiary's results continue to deteriorate, communication problems between head-office executives and the Japanese team become exacerbated by cultural differences and expectations and pretty soon the tail-spin deteriorates into a nose-dive. The local Japanese executives blame the head-office for 'failing to invest enough' or 'expecting profits too quickly' and the head-office executives accuse the local Japanese team of 'failing to implement processes that are successful elsewhere' or of simply 'not trying hard enough'.
Faced with either situation, many foreign companies find that other than the all too often subjective advice offered by many Japanese executive search firms and head hunters, or the legalistic advice offered by many Japanese law offices, no-one seems able to offer any real insight into the root causes of the failure to offer any viable alternative strategy.
Except of course Venture Japan.
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