Note from Shlomo: This is a Guest post from Nick Ramil from The Elevator Life . Nick and Tim are amazing guys who specialize in manufacturing goods and wine Import & Export in China. They also teach other entrepreneurs how to build such a business in China which I greatly appreciate.
In Addition these guys have launched several KickStarter campaigns building awesome products and pre-selling in hundreds thousands of dollars. I like what they do and just like I’ve been wanting to help Tech startups reach and succeed in China they do a similar thing with The Elevator Life for Import/Export starters (Which I know nothing about…)
Two weeks ago I finally met Nick after being in touch for a long time as he was coming for a wine show in Beijing. Nick Interviewed me to their show. We were trying to intro the Beijing tech scene in less than 10 minutes. Challenging!
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. You can watch it here. Don’t forget to like and leave your comment.
Last thing, they’ve just re-opened their entrepreneurs community Enter China. So, check that out!
Nick take it from here…
There is no question China is one of the most opportunistic markets in the world. This is a gift and a curse for newcomers to China.
Year after year, we see countless people come to China full of ambition and wide-eyed based off all the news about China’s exploding economy. After a few months, they return to their home countries, defeated and convinced there is no way to be successful in China.
When my business partners and I first started our company in China, we jumped from business to business like it was going out of style. Some of these potential businesses include:
1. A hangover drink line (developed a recipe + started to work with a factory)
2. Floating Mannequins (visited 3 factories and made sample orders)
3. Tablet cases (purchased MOQ and set up e-commerce shop)
4. Night club (consulted top club designers in Las Vegas)
5. A restaurant (raised more than 6 figures USD of investment)
I don’t know about you, but I see no connection or correlation between any of these! Let’s see why this happened.
We suffered from Entrepreneur ADD-The inability to focus on just one prospective business.
The biggest mistake people make when they come to China is to try to do too much.
This was our biggest problem when we started and what we see plague newcomers to China time and time again. We jumped from opportunity to opportunity whenever a new, “better” one would approach us. We didn’t gave a single business enough time to grow or thrive before we’d put it aside when the next, shiny opportunity would pop up.
This happens on a much more frequent basis here in China where everything continues to develop and change at a breakneck pace.
What was the end result? We made a bit of progress on every business until we spread ourselves too thin and eventually they all lost momentum overtime.
I remember two years ago I asked a person (now a good friend) I met at a networking event what he does, and he said “I have a real estate company, a modeling agency, a sourcing company and events company.”
When he told me this I thought “Damn! This guy is doing everything.”
Fast forward to today, all of these businesses no longer exist and now he works for a large real estate company.
At the time, I was so impressed because he ran so many different businesses. The reality was none of them really operated as a business and he never had the time or resources to appropriately run them.
It’s all too common for people to arrive in China with an idea and a vision; the next week they’re onto a whole new business plan in a completely unrelated field where they have no experience, e.g. a contact of ours come to China to source a product and the next week wanted to open a frozen yogurt chain.
They, as we did, let the big projected numbers get to their heads and chased the money instead of the knowledge or passion.
We developed Enter China for this exact reason; to truly help beginners in China find their most expedited path to success and stay on track. There is no better resource than to be surrounded by those who have done what you want to do.
If you’re planning to start your entrepreneurial journey, please be prepared to turn off “the next best opportunity” mentality. You need to focus on what you believe in most and drive it home! Our biggest mistake/fault was our Entrepreneur ADD; it delayed us from finding real success in China much sooner than we did and I hope this doesn’t happen to you!
Image credit by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig