Hong Kong has long been a land of opportunity for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Now, it is becoming a haven for start-up companies, because the government is keen to lend its support. With incubator loans, relatively low corporate taxes, and special marketing funds for smaller ventures; there is no better time to launch an enterprise in Southeast Asia.
Many of the difficulties traditionally associated with international expansion can be soothed with the use of flexible office solutions. It means that young companies no longer have to fear big decisions like a move into a brand new market. Visit www.servcorp.com.hk/en/serviced-offices/ to find out more about the virtual workspaces available in Hong Kong.
This guide to setting up your first business is going to explain why Hong Kong is a perfect choice and what you can do to get started quickly.
Consider Using a Serviced Office
These fully equipped corporate workspaces are ideal for expanding companies. One of the biggest challenges when entering a new market is balancing action and downtime. You have to focus resources on setting up, but this takes time away from money making opportunities.
With a serviced office, you can move right in. Everything is provided as part of a comprehensive package (heating, lighting, internet, telephone lines, etc.). So, it is only a matter of assembling the team and getting them settled in their new environment.
Pay Attention to Cultural Differences
It is a mistake, particularly in a country like Hong Kong, to disregard cultural differences. People behave very differently here than they do in the west and it is easy to cause offence. Take care during business meetings; things like sarcasm are not understood in the same way and can come across as insults.
If you rent an office in a facility with co-working spaces, be friendly and positive. Don’t let your emotions show too much in public because people are very reserved in Asia. If they are experiencing a bad day, they do not like to show it to other people. So, be calm, personable, and polite. Also, remember to greet the most senior figure first during corporate meetings.
Take Advantage of Local Talent
As already discussed, the Hong Kong government is very supportive of foreign owners. However, you are encouraged to search the local talent pool when recruiting, rather than bringing over a full team of foreigners. It is cheaper, gives you a better window on your new market, and it shows that you want to be a part of Hong Kong.
Besides, the talent and graduate pool here is strong. The technology industry is particularly fertile. Many people speak English well and have no trouble fitting into an international team. The only thing to be aware of is that tendency to be reserved; take the time to directly ask for opinions, feelings, and judgements, because they may not be given voluntarily.
Don’t Be Afraid to Network
Even if you are not operating out of a full co-working space (virtual office), you can still take advantage of opportunities to network. Most serviced facilities include some shared areas, where tenants come to take a break or benefit from a change in environments. They are great places to meet fellow business owners and chat about your particular skills.
You never know when a chance encounter could lead to the biggest introduction of your career, so don’t underestimate the power of a chat. If you can, suggest skills exchanges with other tenants. You help them with something (website development or marketing, for example) and they return the favour by giving you a service or advice. It is a casual, valuable way to make long lasting connections.