In cross-cultural business, there is one key to your venture’s success which you can collect in 3 simple steps.

China is the world’s largest economy with a middle class greater than the entire population of the United States, yet nearly half of foreign business in China fail within two years and many of those that do survive fail to thrive. Three simple steps could change all that.

China is not just another market, it’s another kind of market. So Western businesses tend to be paralysed into inaction; or they delegate “China” to a junior manager or third party; or they assume that the differences have been exaggerated and plough on regardless. The results are not encouraging!

Thankfully, beneath the technical complexities of business success with China lies a very simple key: a shift of attitude. Don’t expect the Chinese to come to you; you go to them to form a partnership. Be personable, be dependable and be a friend.

Whether your China venture thrives or fails will depend not on the collective capabilities of the partners but on how effectively they work together. Focus on the strength of relationship and the rest will follow.