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The Japanese Narrative

Doing business in Japan

Japan is the World’s third-largest economy and justifiably a highly attractive market! Cutting to the chase: there are a number of very real obstacles keeping your business from realizing its full potential in Japan. Issues include cultural differences, language, legalities, time-zones and physical distance. Issues vary by industry but nevertheless need to be assessed properly. You make the decisions – we navigate!

  • Language and business culture differences need to be overcome and properly navigated.
  • Establishing relationships and getting to square one when doing business in Japan takes time as you need to establish a relationship before you can start building business
  • Timezones work against doing business with Japan.
  • Certification, compliance and the legal system are key parts in doing business. These issues are not harmonized with Europe.
  • The physical distance affects many aspects, including service level, accountability and risk. Time-zones push meetings into very early or very late hours and very little “common work time”, slowing down communication and projects…
  • There are no Yellow Pages and much in Japan is anything but transparent.

We make sure you reach your business objectives and properly navigate your enterprise in the most effective way. Each company is different meaning that we always help you with what you need, not trying to fit your needs into a square hole. Together, we devise the best possible way forward, making the most business sense for your strategies and the most effective results from your investment.

Opening Doors
Doing business with the right people in the right organizations makes your enterprise so much more profitable than doing business with random partners.

There are no simple ways to find the best companies and people to fit your needs. There are no useful directories readily available and neither Linkedin nor “cold-calling” are useful in Japan. Japanese business professionals are only rarely found on any social platforms. The only way to meet the people you need is the old-fashioned way of actually getting out there and physically get involved in networking. This spells out trade shows, symposiums, lectures, various organizations, via Universities, Alumni, trade commissions etc. COVID-19 putting a big obstacle in the way…

We, at Manifestum, invest heavily in networking. This means we have the shortest routes possible to the Japanese industry and the organizations and people that you need to meet.

We open exactly the right doors to optimize your enterprise’s success in Japan.

Language barriers
With us on your side, language is no longer a barrier to your expansion plans. We have access to the best translators and interpreters for your needs and specific industry. Be it legal documents or technical white papers. We also know the best business lawyers, accountants and other critical service providers that bring the English language to your Japanese table.

Business culture barriers
We make sure you know how to bow, what to expect and understand what’s going on. You will never be lost in translation or unprepared in Japan ever again. To navigate the pitfalls of Japanese Business Culture requires a full set of skills, time and experience from conducting business in Japan. We make sure you pass all tests and assist you in all your dealings.

Establishing relationships
The route to business in Japan goes via establishing relationships. We help you get through that phase in the most effective way possible. Establishing a business relationship in Japan requires time, sometimes even a couple of years. This means that several meetings need to take place. You can make this process effective with us physically taking your meetings in Japan while you participate over the phone (Skype, Zoom, Google Meetings, MS Teams etc). This means we know what’s happening in the process and can read the room during your meetings. You can focus on other things as you don’t need to jump timezones and can spend your time well.

Establishing a business relationship takes the time it takes. It is rarely a full-time engagement. That’s why it makes sense to utilize our services: We’re here and charge you only when you need us.

Let your Japanese customers communicate with us instead! In Japan it’s customary to always be prepared to always meet your customers’ needs immediately. The timezones make communications slow as Europe and Japan don’t share simultaneous office hours. This can be rather frustrating for your Japanese partners (also)!

Physical Distance
The physical distance means that it’s difficult for your Japanese partners to feel that they have someone to hold accountable for the business you are conducting. They expect a representative to be able to visit them immediately in case there is an acute situation. Having us in place mitigates the accountability hurdle effectively. It effectively mitigates risk from the Japanese side of doing business with you.

Due Diligence
There are famous examples of established business relationships that go sour. There are business relationships that have been on-going for over 10 years with almost no or actually no business at all generated. We help make sure your business partners are the best for you and that they remain fertile and fruitful.

Let’s continue the dialogue!

Contact us to see how we can be of service to you. We are straightforward and uncomplicated to work with.

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