A Guide to Entering the Hong Kong Business Market
Hong Kong is a premier business destination for financiers and consultants. It is home to a flourishing tech industry. It offers ambitious entrepreneurs no end of opportunities to find success among the bright lights and busy streets. The good news is that it’s also a very easy place to invest and set up a company.
While the language barrier is enough to intimidate some, there are plenty of US, European, Australian, and British ventures which have made Hong Kong their home. Many expand into the region by utilising flexible workspaces like the Hong Kong Virtual Office solutions from Servcorp. They offer negotiable terms and fully equipped ‘ready to go’ workspaces.
This guide to making a business work in Hong Kong will explain why this lively corner of the world is where you need to be.
Making New Friends
It can be difficult for westerners to infiltrate Hong Kong business circles. This is not because the people are unfriendly, but you should be aware that the corporate culture is built on personal connections, family ties, and old friendships. Therefore, the best way to make your mark is to start meeting new people right away. Find a co-working space and start a conversation. Virtual offices are great for informal networking because they tend to bring businesses of the same size together.
Location Is Everything
It also helps if you have a reasonably eminent corporate address. For instance, the Two International Finance Centre is genuinely one of the most famous buildings on the planet. Get yourself an office here – even if it’s a flexible lease – and investors will assume that you’re an established, trustworthy company. The good news is that virtual and served office solutions allow you to claim prestigious addresses like this one, without having to pay extortionate fees.
Showing Your Manners
They take social etiquette and manners extremely seriously in Hong Kong. In fact, many a business has failed because an executive hasn’t been careful enough with their gestures and habits. Even if it feels strange to you as a foreigner, stick to the status quo. This means showing the utmost respect to senior figures. Stand up when they enter the room, handle their business cards gently, and talk directly to them (not at a translator).
Don’t Lose Face
In Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, people are very concerned with ‘losing face’ or looking weak in public. You should take every care not to embarrass anybody, even accidentally; the sort of affectionate ribbing which is typical of westerners can leave a Hong Kong businessmen feeling rather embarrassed. Also, don’t give a harsh or firm ‘no’ to anything. It is considered perfectly acceptable (and more polite) to say ‘We will see’ or ‘That could be difficult.’
Catch Problems Quickly
If you are planning to take on any employees from Hong Kong, remember that losing face is a big deal. It is not uncommon for junior workers to worry so much about giving bad news that they avoid doing it at all. This can be frustrating, but you have the opportunity to create a workplace culture which encourages open discussion. To begin with, it is safer to talk to employees on a regular basis. Ask them explicitly about tasks, jobs, duties, and deadlines to make sure that everything is as it should be.
Why Virtual Offices Could Give You the Perfect Start
Relocating is hard, whether you’re moving across town or into a brand new country. If you are making a home overseas, however, you’ve got a lot more to think about – learning the language, researching business regulations, understanding office leases, etc. The benefit of virtual office solutions is that they provide plenty of breathing room. You can move into a fully equipped workspace and start making money within days.