We have the unique pleasure to have a bird's-eye view of numerous clients' businesses in Korea. At this stage of our experience in Korea we are, typically, able to determine which companies will succeed and which companies will fail.
Companies that succeed in Korea, normally, do/have the following 7 Things:
1. Comprehensive Understanding of the Korean Market by a Neutral Local Consultant
This understanding, normally, comes from one of the few business consultants, in Korea, that are
of providing a decent market overview with a detailed list of potential
targets and contacts within these targets. We work with a handful of
consultants, since many don't have the skills necessary, but still sell
market research reports that seemed to be, only, obtained through a
2. Great Initial Representative Director for the Korean Venture
first representative director doesn't, necessarily, need to be a
permanent hire. Often, when a company is, initially, growing a six
month specialist to open an office is necessary, then, the specialist
may bring in a permanent representative director. This is the same for
winding-up a company.
3. Good Cultural Understanding of Korea
see too many companies handle matters in a way similar to the way they
handle matters in Japan and China. Japanese and Chinese are different
nuts to crack, than, Koreans. Maybe Japanese and Chinese look similar
to Koreans, but they definetly don't think or act in a similar manner to
Koreans, thus, don't rely on other Asian experience as a guide for
doing work in Korea.
4. Risk Assessment Tailored to Korea
business in China and Japan have different risks and compliance
requirements than you will have in Korea. Thus, your in house lawyer or
outside counsel should not be utilizing the same agreements, compliance
system etc. as what was used in other Asian companies.
5. Full Commitment to Korea
is an opportunity, but don't even think about coming into Korea if you
are looking to enter on the cheap. If you don't have the resources,
time, personnel and patience you will find the "opportunity" a fast
closing door. Also, the home office should be fully behind the effort
and should be willing to place a home office guy or local expat hire on
the ground in Korea. Too many people think that opening an office and
hiring a sales manager is enough-----it is not enough.
6. Comprehensive Cost Assessment
Do you know how much it will cost to hire, run an office and manage your staff in Korea? Marketing budget? Consultant budget? Contingency budget?
7. Make a Concerted Effort to Avoid the: Top 10 Mistakes of Companies Doing Business in Korea
IPG is engaged in projects for companies and entrepreneurs doing business in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam and the U.S. www.ipglegal.com