2022.10.26 Column

What does it take to expand overseas? ~ Expanding overseas is tough, but rewarding!

Source: Video interview
Speaker: Mr. Kataura Kataura, account team, Bigbeat (Provide marketing support for domestic companies expanding into Southeast Asia.)

There are many challenges to succeed your business if your services and products are chosen by consumers in your home country, but if you are looking to expand overseas, there are many things you need to learn about the laws, regulations, business customs, and market environment of the countries you are entering.
For that reason, it would be very rewarding and gratifying when you get to see the smiles on the faces of consumers with your services/products.

Is it hard and tough to enter international markets from your home country?!

We are well aware of our own culture, business customs, and legal regulations, but...

It is not difficult to gather information and understand the culture, business customs, markets, and market conditions of own country. In some cases, there are regional differences within the country, but in such cases, it is not too difficult to respond to them.
In addition, as we continue to do business, we meet several business partners, understand their areas of expertise, and build great partnerships. This partnership would be very helpful to the success of your business.

However, when you leave your home country, there are many things that you do not understand about the market, business customs, culture, and personality of that country. Even if the language is the same, these challenges are equally present.

We faced the same challenge when we started providing B2B marketing support for domestic company’s outbound business at our company. Mr. Kataura said the following;

When I started for the first-time outbound business in Southeast Asia, I did not know anything. Upon business, it is very difficult to see how the market is moving. And knowing and understanding this will help us develop a strategy. I have over 15 years of experience and knowledge in marketing B2B business for both domestic and foreign‐affiliated companies in the Japanese market. That may or may not be useful overseas.
Therefore, I realize the importance of finding business partners and building relationships in the countries where you do business.

Importance of finding business partners and building partnerships in the countries where you do business

Local business partners are important, when doing business abroad. They are well versed in local culture, business customs, and business laws and regulations that you do not know or do not fully understand. By discussing with them and asking for their advice, you can develop and promote your own unique business in a way that is appropriate for the country.

Mr. Kataura talked that he would like to be a bridge for B2B business between Japan and other countries.

I think it makes more better both country's people life. For me, now I am in charge of Oversee outbound projects, we're on the road for making especially in Southeast Asia project better.

The Japanese market is hugely attractive, but difficult to enter?

In the Japanese market, foreign‐affiliated Tech and IT companies have been successful in developing great businesses. We feel a sense of familiarity to various services which provided such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Zoom, ARM, Synopsys, Oracle, Hubspot, Uber, AirBnB etc.

On the other hand, we hear that it is difficult to expand into Japan because few people in Japan are familiar with business English. In many cases, services/products need to be localized for the Japanese language.
Therefore, it may often be lower the priority of a company as a destination for overseas expansion.

Among other things, different business practices and laws and regulations would be a major challenge. For example, while the ride-sharing market has expanded rapidly in the United States and Southeast Asia, but the market itself does not exist in Japan yet. This is because the law, in principle, prohibits the use of private vehicles for paid passenger transportation. In fact, when people think of Uber in Japan, they are far more likely to associate it with Uber Eats.

Bigbeat will support your business entering and expansion from abroad to Japan. We suggest for your business success with our experience and knowledge of B2B marketing with Japanese customs and regulations, culture etc.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any plan to do B2B marketing and advertising activities.


- Introduction of Mr. Kataura Kataura -
He has been involved in B2B marketing for over 15 years. He is now in charge of marketing support for domestic companies entering Southeast Asia, with a focus on Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. He said that when he started working outbound business service at Bigbeat, there was nothing, no partners and clients. So, he started to find out the business partners on his first time trip to Vietnam. Luckily, he has one partner that he can rely on. And the from there, he spread the business out to the Thailand, Indonesia, other countries as well.
In the near future, he plans to increase the number of days he spend in Vietnam to provide deeper support for Japanese companies' outbound business and take on the challenge of building strong partnerships with local partners in Southeast Asia. We believe that if he can be stationed there, albeit irregularly, we will be able to provide strong support to companies expanding from Japan.