Q: When a Consumer Type Asia-based Tech Company is entering the US market remotely, what is the best way to identify local business partners and negotiate for making it happen?
Is Google the only approach to source potential business partners? I mean we don’t have any staff or rep in US to do ground work yet.
A: First and foremost, JUST DO IT.
Of course, there are different ways to approach it.
- Start with what you already have. Instead of starting completely from the scratch, first review your existing network of contacts. For instance, friends, classmates, colleagues, business associates, accountants, lawyers and other professional service providers, neighbors, people from the same hometown (lao xiang), suppliers, manufacturers, and etc. They can all provide useful introductions.
- Local chamber of commerce and economical promotional agencies are great resources, and it’s their job to make the connection.
- If you don’t naturally have the network, then best to get professional advice, either from professional service firms or from experienced individuals. Sometimes, it actually works better this way.
- Look for connections on other professional networks, LinkedIn, Xberts for example.
- Last but not least, the ultimate search machine – Google – as your first or last resort.
Yet, and most importantly,
- BE SELECTIVE. Be smart about who are the ones can connect you to valuable business partners, and who are the ones claiming to have connection but actually don’t. The quality of your contacts matter more than the number of the people you know.
- It takes time and effort to build and maintain relationships, especially when you are working remotely with each other. Build trust first.
- Be ready at service to other people. The help you have given to other people would potentially help gain you instant and swift access to their respective network.