It’s a fact that a lot of Western companies have huge troubles succeeding in Japan’s thriving market. Simply put, Japan is a unique country with a strong work ethic and a business model in which hard work and absolute dedication is the backbone. Then again, those Western companies that do manage to succeed are in for an incredible journey during which profit will be pouring in. So naturally, as a business owner, you might have your reservations about moving your business to Japan. You can clearly see how it could be one of the best decisions you ever made. But you can also see how it could turn into a complete disaster. Let’s try to get to the root of things and find out whether the potential benefits outweigh the risks, shall we?
Japan’s markets in numbers
You have probably already heard that Japan is a force to be reckoned with. That is why you are even thinking about relocating your business to this Asian country. But what you may not be familiar with are all the factors that make Japan into what it is today – one of the world’s strongest economies.
- Japan has the world’s third-largest GDP.
- This country makes up as much as 10% of the world’s economy.
- As much as 30% of all cars are made by Japanese brands.
- One quarter or 25% of high-tech products and gadgets are made in Japan.
- When it comes to profit and cash revenues, Japan’s smartphone games sector wins the first spot by a landslide.
Clearly, chances are great that your business will reach new heights in Japan. However, there are some aspects that make Japan a tough market to break into.
Why businesses have a hard time succeeding in Japan
For starters, just take a look at your country. No matter which part of the world you are reading this article from, you can bet it’s a place that has almost no similarities to Japan. And that’s not unique for your state – every place in the world is quite different than Japan.
If you want to succeed after moving your business to this unique country, you’ll have to adapt to their business culture. It really doesn’t matter whether you will be running a small business or an entire corporation – you’ll probably have to get used to a lot of overtime work. In Japan, patience, integrity, hard work, and the utmost dedication to the job are a part of every job description. Getting used to this regimen can turn out to be too difficult for some people, especially if they aren’t used to working long hours.
Although, when you think about it, isn’t having hard-working and dedicated employees a huge plus? Sure, you’ll have to act the part as well, but that’s something you just have to do as a business owner, no matter your location.
Moreover, Japan’s markets are pretty saturated at the moment. Precisely because this country is as wealthy and stable as it is, there is a high concentration of both foreign and domestic competitors. Not so rarely, they all stumble upon a common and very unexpected problem – the exoticness that Japanese people associate with Western brands. However, if you are a Western brand, this is a marvelous piece of news for you!
The many advantages of moving your business to Japan
And now for the good part. They say that if you make it in Japan, you can make it anywhere! It’s mostly due to the fact that the Japanese are a tough crowd to please. So if you manage to live up to their standards, you’ll pretty much be able to find your way into anyone’s heart. But that’s hardly the reason why you might wake up one day and make the decision to relocate your business to Japan.
Did you know that establishing a business entity in Japan is possible in just 14 days? And that time can even be cut down further! That means you’ll be able to set up a business in less than 10 days. Not only can you start a business quickly, but you can also do it easily. Thanks to Japan’s developed infrastructure, and its five international airports, as well as 20 ports, circulating to and from Japan has never been easier. All the subways, railroads, ports, and warehouses in Japan make the distribution of goods and services a completely stress-free experience.
Simply put, everything in Japan is organized and efficient. That means you will significantly be upgrading your workplace by relocating it to Japan. With the maximum efficiency of your employees, you will soon start reaping the good results.
Finally, Japan is a country that’s known for the refined taste of its consumers. They are drawn to premium products and they certainly have the income to support their lavish taste. That’s the reason why Japanese companies are also willing to put in the money in the form of investments into any business they assess is capable of satisfying the taste and preferences of the people here. The business that is on the receiving end of so many investments might as well be yours!
It all comes down to your confidence
The question is – are you confident enough about your managerial skills and the quality of your products/services? If you are positive you have what it takes to make it in the competitive market in Japan, then go ahead. Feel free to relocate your business to Japan. On the other hand, if you have your doubts, then it’s recommendable to rethink this decision. No one is saying don’t do it! But you should definitely not approach the process of moving your business to Japan so lightly. Experts believe that moving or starting a business is this country is a great idea! When you look at the factual state of the matter, there’s certainly evidence to back up this conclusion.
Angela Finn works as a part-time writer for www.jrs.tokyo and as a full-time market analysis specialist. She has eight years of combined experience and currently leaves in Japan. Born and raised in Florida, she moved to Japan two years ago.