Fenetre Partners is a leading consulting firm for market entry into Japan and business development in Japan. We provide our clients with market research, distributor & partner search, B2B business matching, marketing & sales rep and trade support.

Typical failure when doing business in Japan

 Before you start business with Japanese companies, it is important to know in advance what are typical failures of foreign companies when they are doing business in Japanese industrial market.

1. Non-persistent technical support
Japanese customers would ask you so many questions in detail about your products compared to your customers in other countries. So at the beginning, you would answer to them quickly. However?in 1 year after starting business, some foreign companies would be late to answer to them, or in the worst case, they would neglect your customers’ questions. It is because they are tired of answering to them. Therefore when you do business with Japanese companies, it is essential to be persistent to do it.

2. Understanding of product quality
Generally, Japanese customers’ quality requirement is higher than any other countries. Even if your products are made in US or Germany and your customers in these countries are happy with quality, Japanese customers would sometimes easily reject to accept these if there are some scratches on products. Please understand that your products are totally ok in term of its function,?Japanese customers would not accept these products if they are not happy with appearance of it. Japanese quality person often say “Appearance is also quality.”

3. Slow actions
Especially in automotive industry or electronics industry in Japan, foreign companies are so slow to take actions. For example, if your customer’s engineer ask you one technical question today, it is normal in Japan to answer within today or at the latest tomorrow. However, in case of business with foreign companies, they often claim about the actions of foreign companies, and therefore they have to delay their projects. So?if you are not capable of taking action quickly to Japanese customers’ questions or requests, it would be difficult to do business with Japanese companies.

 The above problems are just examples. And?the root cause of the above problems is that foreign companies think Japan is far away countries. So they often think that it would be ok to leave their questions for several days. However, if you think so, you will easily lose business in Japanese market.