Nils just interviewed someone who owns a factory in China. He revealed tons of valuable insights and you don’t want to miss it. Go to EasyPeasySourcing.com and subscribe via email to get a reminder when this episode is live.
Today’s question: As a location-independent business owner who’s launching five products at the same time, does it make sense to move to China for a few months to get everything underway, especially if the English language is not very common there?
(01:30) It makes perfect sense to move to China. That is a life-changing decision and is a great place to be to grow faster. You’ll get a deep insight of the culture, how to deal with Chinese people. You’ll get an insight into the language and find out how people behave.
When you’re in China, sample shipments don’t cost very much. If you tell a company you’re living in China, they know you have an understanding of how things run. You’ll get better quotes and be treated differently. You can visit factories yourself, do your own quality control, go to sales shows, and visit fairs. Explore everything China has to offer.
(02:35) The process is much faster when you live in China. You can go back and forth with a factory in their time zone.
Even after being in China for a decade, Nils still has a cultural shock. It’s a drastic change in the food, language, and living. Not everyone speaks English, especially in the factory areas. In the beginning, get an assistant where you are moving.
(04:00) Choose where you want to live. Go online, visit expat blogs and find nice areas to live. Also, try to locate a place near several factories. Shenzhen, Guangzhou Shanghai, and Ningbo are great choices. Nils prefers Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou. Everything he needs is within a two-hour drive.
The online apartment listings in China are all fake. They use the same picture for every listing. Expect high prices. Shenzhen is very expensive. Expect to find dirty apartments. Take your time looking for a house.
(05:00) Get a hotel first on TripAdvisor or Booking.com. Get an assistant and walk around to see what’s near and to find a suitable place to live.
(05:30) Always find like-minded people. Before you move, go to expat blogs to find people living in China who have been through the same thing, can help you, and provide support. You can catch up very quickly and get to know other people. People have a certain mindset when coming to China which shifts after the first few months.
Get used to a certain degree of limitations. Googling or Facebook isn’t as natural and easy as in your country. Avoid internet problems and get a SIM card in Hong Kong that you can also use in mainland China. Any website you connect to via 4G LTE should go through Hong Kong to have more choices and go around China’s Great Firewall.
(06:50) In China, you’re always being watched. If you’re riding in a taxi, pictures are made of you automatically. Any electronic communications are recorded and anyone who wants to can read it. Filters are in place to keep people safe unless you play against the rules. People are very strict and you can get in big trouble. Follow the rules, connect with your supplier and with great people.
Many foreigners who have business in China have a great work ethic that will suck you in. It’s a great place to do business, make connections, and learn from others who are doing the same thing.
To wrap this up, go to expat blogs and don’t miss your chance to come. Come in October or April to visit the Canton fairs and Hong Kong fairs. If you’re interested in hearing more about the fairs, check out episode 1 of this podcast. We’ll make a case study in October where we go to the Canton Fair, choose a product, launch it, and take you through the process of developing, launching, and make money in China.
If you have a question, go to EasyPeasySourcing.com/ask and send a voice message or email through the contact form. Thank you for listening. We would appreciate an iTunes review from you. Let us know what you liked and didn’t like in the comments below. We have a Facebook Group where we help each other as well.
In the next episode, Nils will explain what micro-quantity orders are and how you can get them. Have a great day and bye!