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Starting a Business in China: 10 Profitable Opportunities

Are you interested in doing business in China? Do you want to start a business in China? If yes, then below are the top 10+ best small business opportunities in China.

Now before I proceed with the list of business ideas; I feel you might want to know why China is the next best place to open a business. China has carved a niche for itself in the recent years with respect to national and economic issues; that is why entrepreneurs and managers worldwide are roaring to have their businesses there.

Almost every Fortune 500 company is well established in China; from Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and Google, to Nokia, HP and Facebook. With a population of over one billion and a fast growing economy; China is definitely the next best place to situate and open a business.

China is a unique country that has loads of positives that support businesses in all stages of growth. China is the country that has the largest population in the world; with a population that is in excess of 1.35 Billion people. China is located in the Eastern part of the Asian continent and with Beijing as its capital city and seat of power. Other key municipalities in China are Shanghai (the largest city in China), Tianjin and Chongqing and China also oversees Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. In as much as China is the most populous country in the world, China is also the world’s third largest country in terms of land area.

The economy of China is rated as the second largest and the fastest growing in the world, as well as also the largest exporter and importer of goods globally. Some of the positives you may get in China are; cheap and reliable technology, cheap and highly productive workforce, fertile land and good weather, etc. China is also the country that as the second highest purchasing power parity when compared to the rest of the world.

China’s economy is a diverse one in the sense that all key sectors in the economy is truly in a thriving one. The Agric sector, the manufacturing sector, the technology sector, the oil and gas sector, the automobile industry, the tourism sector, the pharmaceutical industry, just name it, are not push over when compared to that of top countries in the world. No doubt China is considered as one of the best countries in the world to establish your business, and little wonder almost all the Fortune 500 companies have their presence in China.

Now if you are wondering how China has been lifting its position in the world economy, then you should consider studying the small businesses that are being promoted in the country. Not normally placed on the headlines, these businesses enjoy a low profile while generating enormous income. So if you are in China or you intend traveling to China to start your own business, then you should consider some of the business opportunities that are thriving in China.

Top 10+ Small Business Investment Opportunities in China

1. Sell industrial automation control products

In the recent research done by Forbes China, its results have shown that Shenzhen Inovance Technology Co. Ltd is the number one small business in the country. The company, which was only established in 2003, already enjoys its top position in all domestic companies and has an astounding number of patents in its stem. So if you are pondering on engaging in a small business, then marketing industrial automation control wares will definitely be an easy sell.

2. Provide supplementary education

The next big thing when it comes to small businesses ideas in China has to do with education. Yes, after-school private tutoring service is a good business opportunity in China. Aside from the usual handling of small classes, most businesses also offer online lessons which are of course, convenient and accessible to more people, therefore making it an in-demand opportunity for business.

3. Supply health products

Times and environmental situations have made people more health-conscious than their past counterparts and this is probably because of the emergence of new diseases and illnesses, which are indeed very alarming. Venturing into a small health products business is a good way to go in China.

Moreover, you should not just stop with herbal goods or supplements when engaged in the health product retail business, you should also be willing to expand into skin care products; as this has also become a wide trend, not only in China but worldwide.

4. Ecological environment construction

Though a business in the construction of ecological environment engineering may sound like a big-scale company, it is nonetheless categorized as a small scale business. This type of business involves garden landscape engineering, afforestation projects, seedling of plants and technology research on ecology, to name a few. Not only is this a wise, practical choice for a business, it is also eco-friendly.

5. Go for import and export trading

Small businesses that involve trading usually generate successful results and the reason is that it creates more business opportunities not just in the domestic setting but also across the global. The fact that China is considered as the largest exporter and importer of goods globally makes it easier to build a profitable importing and exporting business. If you have not made up your mind on the kind of business to do, then you should consider starting your own importing and exporting business.

6. Start a pharmaceutical company

The pharmaceutical industry is another key and highly profitable industry in China. Although you would be required to go through some rigors to acquire your license before you can be permitted to establish your own pharmaceuticals production company, but the truth is that it is indeed a money spinner simply because you would have access to cheap raw materials and cheap labor.

Although it is undeniable that most pharmaceutical companies are on a large scale, there are still businesses which prefer to keep it on a minimum scale. Forbes China, in fact, has included Hunan Er-Kang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd as one of the top 10 small businesses in China in its 2012 list, making the chemicals industry a good option when starting a small business.

7. Skincare companies are soaring high

In China alone, there are already tons of small scale businesses health and beauty industry; not to mention those that are specialized for the health and beauty of women alone. To undertake a skincare business is a good choice for prospective businessmen as people have become more conscious of their appearance. So what better way to take advantage of this opportunity than to set up a skincare business that will cater to their superficial needs?

8. Small-scale food production

Food production business is a safety business; not only in China but all around the world. The food industry has always been a safe choice when considering how to start your own business. Everyone loves and needs food; and studies have already established the fact that people are less likely to regret spending money when they shell it out on food. Such facts lead to the truth that food business, even small scale ones; is still a good investment.

9. Start an internet business

Not everyone has internet access in China but almost everyone has to have such access. This is the reason why going for a small-scale internet business is a clever choice because it’s an easy and successful source of income.

10. Direct marketing

It is informal and only requires good communication skills and connections. Direct marketing is one of the top small business opportunities in China because it is easy and reliable. However, in this business, the result depends on your efforts and determination to succeed.

Small Business Investment Opportunities in China

11. Manufacturing of Household Commodities

China is the number one destination when it comes to the mass production of commodities. The production industry in China enjoys lots of positives and that is the reason why goods that are produced in China are cheap and can compete with same goods produced in other parts of the world. So if you intend starting a business in China, then you should consider starting your own household commodities manufacturing company. If your commodities are of good qualities, then you can be rest assured to enjoy a good market share not just in China but globally.

12. Online Shop or trading platform

China remains one of the countries in the world that has advanced technology and enabling environment for online stores to thrive. If you live in China and are internet savvy, then you should consider starting your own online shop or trading platform. The good thing about online shop or trading platform is that you don’t need to have all the products listed in your online shop on ground in your warehouse. You can go into agreement with manufacturers and they can list their goods or services in your online shop as long as you both agree on all terms and conditions.

13. Mobile Phones and Accessories Business

Just wondering what the world of mobile phones and accessories would have been, if not for a country like China that has helped to crash the prices of mobile phones in the market. It is obvious that you can get cheaper mobile phones and accessories in China. This is one highly profitable venture that anyone can start in China.

All you need to do to make it big in this type of business is to look for partners outside the shores of China that you can be supplying mobile phones and accessories to. The global demands, for batteries, chargers, USB cords, memory cards, battery banks, phone casing, et al are high and it is only from China that you can get these items at a cheaper rate.

14. English Language School

English is un-officially the official language in the world and since loads of business men head to China to do business, it would only be wise as a business person in China to understand English language. If you are fluent in English language, then you should consider starting your own evening English Classes for business people. It only requires small capital to start and run this kind of business.

15. Haulage Business

If you are interested in the transport sector, then you should consider starting your own haulage business. China remains one the countries with the highest volume of goods transported from one spot to another. You can be rest assured to make good profits if you start this kind of business in China.

16. Bags and Shoes Production

Another highly profitable business you can establish in China is the production of Bags and Shoes. The market for China made Bags and Shoes is indeed a large one especially in developing countries. If you have the capital required, then you should consider starting your own Bags and Shoes Production Company.

17. Electronics and Gadgets Shop

China is notable for the production of Electronics and Gadgets and anyone that is in this line of business is sure of making profits as long as you understand the market dynamics. If you start your own Electronic and Gadgets Shop in China, you are certain of getting cheaper products directly from the manufacturer.

18. Jewelry Production

Jewelry production is yet another profitable venture that you may want to start in China especially the production of gold or silver platted jewelry. So, if you have the required capital, and are interested in Jewelry production, then you should consider starting your Jewelry production company.

No doubt there are loads of businesses that you can establish in China, but the truth is that you must endeavor to continue to be in the good books of the Government of China if indeed you want your business to grow in China.

4 Challenges of Doing Business in China

  • Language difference
  • Cultural difference
  • Finding Manufacturers that are technically capable of producing your quality standard
  • Timing and loyalty

How to overcome the challenges of doing business in China

  • Be Prepared: – Read books about the Chinese, their business culture and attitudes. This will help you understand your Chinese partners/associates.
  • Have credible Chinese partners to help with your operations.
  • Get an interpreter if possible
  • Assess your suppliers or manufacturing outfit and be sure that they meet your standard
  • Don’t put your trust on product samples. Have an inspector standing by to oversee your production process.
How to Do Business in China – Understanding the Chinese Culture

Before stepping your foot in China to do business, it’s advisable you know and understand how the Chinese culture works. By being knowledgeable of the environment, as well as the values of the people in it, you will have a greater chance of achieving success in business. China, just like any other country, has its own norms and religion and though these two may not be as essential to other nationalities, it is actually significant, if not crucial, in the everyday lives of the Chinese so you must always take note of this as it can actually make or break your business.

It is a no-brainer that not only should you learn the traditions and customs in China; you must also study how business works in China. There are different business settings around the world and while some countries adhere to firm and plain practices, Chinese businesses prefer to be adaptable and flexible and these characters are found to be very effective. Furthermore, studying the ways on how to do business in China also mean actually being there; and being friends with people there. Not only will you have to do away with complete foreign business principles but you must also avoid planning on solely handling the business; as a local influence will always be an essential factor.

You should also consider looking for a Chinese partner, who will not just be able to boast his nationality, but also his experience in both business and management. Also, it is not enough that you get yourself a Chinese business partner, you must also have local employees so that they may somehow contribute to the economy; and it will surely look good in the company’s profile.

How to Do Business in China – Dealing with the Government

An important factor to consider when doing business in China is to strive to be on the good books of the government. The Chinese government has a very essential role in the business industry and foreign investments; and that is why having the necessary paperwork and the important authorization must always be prioritized to avoid the hustle bustle. When it comes to these things, businessmen are always expected to know that in China, no monkey business is tolerated; none at all.

And while there are other countries that are always booming when it comes to their business industries, you should not always expect the same case in this beautiful Asian country. Though China is building its strong reputation for being the “next big thing” when it comes to economy, it does not however guarantee fast money. As with almost every business endeavor in this world, it takes time. Patience and resourcefulness will be the most ideal traits you must possess when considering starting a business in China.

However, you should not be discouraged by this because though it will take time, doing business in China will nonetheless be both fulfilling and fruitful. So why wait now that you have known how to do business in China? How about actually engaging in that business?

In conclusion, the list above is the top 10 small business opportunities in China but bear it in mind that more opportunities exist with explosive profit potential.


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