From expanding your business to the UAE to opening a field office in Russia, you need the right tools and contacts to win in emerging markets in Asian countries. Let’s look at 12 rules to pay attention to if you plan to do business in Asia successfully.
How to Win Emerging Markets in Asia?
Asia is home to many up and coming countries that focus on everything from manufacturing to technology to agriculture and more. Countries in Asia include: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
While some of these countries are well-established, they are still open to foreign investment. And the emerging markets have the right conditions for foreign businesses. So, how can your company do business in Asia successfully? Here are 12 rules to be aware of and follow.
1. Establish Virtual Offices & Enter the Local Market
Establish virtual offices in target markets by subscribing to an international call forwarding service like Global Call Forwarding. You can create a virtual local office in any location and it is a simulated presence. Incoming calls are forwarded seamlessly across borders to your headquarters, call centers, mobile phones, or computers using VoIP technology.
And you can use toll free numbers or local numbers so callers have no long-distance fees to pay when they connect with your business. In this manner, callers think your office is local and are less reluctant to do business with you.
2. Get International Toll Free Numbers & Local Numbers
When you choose to do business in Asia, you need to have strong and reliable communication channels. This means that you need to make your business available to locals in target Asian countries.
Global Call Forwarding provides the largest selection of local phone numbers and toll free numbers worldwide. Its international call forwarding service covers over 160 countries, including cities, states, and regions around the world. You can get Asia virtual business numbers such as toll free or local numbers for countries you want to expand to.
Then, offer locals a free or local calling rate when they call your business. This can help your business attract more customers from different parts of the world and build strong customer relations.
3. Stay Reachable with Virtual Communication Tools
Virtual communication tools or virtual call center software can help your business stay connected and reachable no matter where your business or teams are located. Here are some ways virtual communication tools can support international business:
- Call forwarding — route calls to your headquarters, satellite offices, remote workers, BPOs, home office, smartphone, and more, as needed.
- Call routing — forward calls to any location based on time, location of the caller, or skills needed.
- Call recording — record all incoming and outgoing calls to review in the future.
- Cloud IVR — an automated voice response that assists callers with menu options to resolve their call.
- Voicemail, Fax, and SMS to email — send voicemails, fax, and text messages to an email inbox.
- Local ringback tones — make your business “local” using local ringback tones that are heard by customers when they call your business.
4. Conduct Market Research: Understand Your Demographic
Before taking any business to a new market, it is important to conduct market research and test your product. Doing so can help you understand your demographic and prepare for success. Use market research to find underdeveloped or under-served market areas. Find new opportunities in market segments that your competitors do not serve well. And, further identify customer needs in those areas and take steps to satisfy those needs.
5. Learn from Product Testing
Planning and forecasting are necessary, but they may not predict the market impact of product or service changes. Rely on testing, either in-house or in the marketplace, to get insight into the market. Testing allows you to make changes as needed before full market release. You may even conduct pre-service surveys of potential leads and customers to get an idea of what they expect from a business like yours and your products.
6. Study Your Competitors
This is an important part of doing business in any new market: survey and study your competitors. Try to get a complete understanding of the actions, strategies, and tactics used by successful competitors. Buy competitor products to learn their mechanisms, strengths, and weaknesses. Try to visualize how competitors will respond to your business strategies. This will give you insights into what needs to be done to best serve your customers and boost your business.
7. Put Emphasis on Customer Feedback
To know how exactly your business is doing, you need to hear from your customers. Customer feedback will let you know if you are fulfilling your customers’ needs and what their preferences and expectations are. Additionally, outsiders who are familiar with your business can provide valuable advice on market desires. Listening to outsiders can help you become a stronger competitor.
8. Hire Local & Skilled Talent
You can boost your virtual presence by hiring local, remote employees to conduct sales and customer support. Additionally, hiring skilled talent will ensure that your employees are prepared and fit for the job and bring in more customers.
To do this, it is important to consider competitive salaries, benefits and perks, company culture, and opportunities for career growth. Engage prospective employees by looking at career hubs like LinkedIn or Facebook. Advertise openings on your websites. When you make an offer, be willing to negotiate.
9. Pay Attention to Employee Experience (EX)
Besides hiring talented employees, you also want to retain good and valuable employees. For this reason, pay attention to your company’s EX rates. Ensure employees have good working conditions, growth opportunities within the company, and other incentives to stay put. EX determines how your employees treat your business and your customers. Happy employees lead to happy customers, and overall greater business success.
10. Keep Up With Local Trends
As with any market, to do business in Asia successfully, you need to be aware of current trends and expectations. Don’t get buried only within your own business. Follow industry developments, regulatory changes, market trends, and competitors’ new product announcements.
Your business needs to keep evolving so that it can continue to stay relevant and ahead of the competition. When you repeat certain behaviors and patterns, your competition can begin to anticipate your actions. Be less predictable by changing your operational methods. You may find that different approaches can accelerate growth opportunities.
11. Compete on Experience Instead of Price
While the prices for products and services do play a big role in customers choosing a business to invest in, customers are often willing to pay more for high-quality and reputable products and services. Strive to provide unrivaled products and customer service by doing the following:
- Make it easy to do business with your company
- Make your business customer-centric
- Humanize your brand through effective marketing and communications
- Provide customer support even when sales are not pending
12. Exercise Care When Cost-Cutting
Lastly, do not allow cost-cutting-steps to degrade your products and services. When that happens, your competition will take advantage of and possibly steal business from you.
Ready to Do Business in Asia?
Tap into emerging Asian markets by being prepared and ready to take on whatever comes your way. With the right business plan, advanced technology, and resourceful employees, sit back and watch as your business grows and expands across the world!