My strong interest in everything Chinese (business, language, food, history) was sparked during the time that I lived there. I’m also interested in learning about the amazing things that startups are doing here, in Canada, so naturally, when I heard that MaRS was hosting an event focusing on how Ontario startups are making their way into China, I was excited to sign up.
Living in China from 2009 to 2012 was the adventure of a lifetime and one of the best learning experiences I have ever encountered. It was in China that I realized how much potential a good idea has, but it is very much dependent on how motivated the person behind the idea is. Something that I really envy about the people that I met there, is how determined they are to succeed and they aren’t afraid to take risks. This is a quality that both inspires and motivates me.
Business is booming in China and it seems like a smart choice for Ontario startups to try their luck in the Chinese market. Here are some things I was able to take away from the Chinese Market Opportunities for Ontario Startups – MaRS Market Insights event.
1. Have a Business Plan
Before you start the paperwork, make sure that you have a solid business plan ready. Ensure that you have covered all aspects of your business in your plan. Being over prepared is an asset, especially if you aren’t sure what to expect. Make sure to have a good marketing and sales strategy in place.
2. Seek Legal Guidance
Taking your business to another country is definitely going to be a time consuming task. It may be a good idea to seek legal help to assist you in the process. There are lawyers who specialize in helping business professionals take their business into new markets. It could help make the transition less of a burden and save you time and money in the long run.
3. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Legal council would be able to guide you in what steps to take to protect your IP. It would be beneficial to educate yourself on the steps you can take to make sure you are protecting yourself and your business. If you find that your IP has been compromised never feel discouraged. There are people to help you fix the problem.
4. Choose a Good Partner
If you choose to have a Chinese partner, make sure to do your research. Find out if the person has partnered with others before and if so, was it a successful working relationship? Research to see how successful these other companies were. You may find out that you are better off running the business on your own.
5. Seek Government Help
There are a number of government outlets that would be able to assist you with taking your business into China. If you were looking for advice on the steps to take to move your business to China, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is a great place to start. Export Development Canada is a beneficial source to educate you on the exporting process and help get you started. There is always help available for businesses looking to expand.
Here are some other events in the Going Global Series – China that are coming up in the near future.