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Any idea what is the cheapest country with the best quality to order printed products?

I'm looking to commission the printing of a calendar, agenda style of book.   read more

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I use a company in China who are very good and great value. wishpacking.com. My contact is Mr Woodwei.
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Any idea what is the cheapest country with the best quality to order printed products?

I'm looking to commission the printing of a calendar, agenda style of book.   read more

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Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
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Importing goods from Alibaba China. What's the shipping process, and what's the cost involved?

Importing goods from China via alibaba.com. Could anyone please advise? read more

Victor LiuOwner at Keepro International
If you are buying at FOB Term. You only need to pay for Shipping cost, customs clearance+Import duty/GST and delivery.
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What should one know about doing business with Chinese companies?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Greg VekarBDM/Design consultant at Vekar Design
The main issue with doing business in Asia is the lack of "Rule of Law". It's a bit wild west. There are of course exceptions to this, but short term gain is the main focus. It is seasonal thinking. This was a shock to me at first, as business academics like Hofstede propose long term thinking as dominant in Asian cultures. My observations and discussions with other operators is that this is the opposite, that many will sacrifice long term gain for a quick buck. To do business one needs a trusted agent based on location. China is big. To check that the shipment is the right quality. They have a range of quality levels. One really needs due diligence at all times. Contracts are only effective against the foreigner, they mean little to Chinese and Vietnamese. Relationships, or more importantly consequences of bad behaviour are more important. Without a fair judiciary system, the law is not really an option.Of course there are so many opportunities in Asia and China. As Western Countries have been crippled by austerity measures, reducing consumer spending it's really the best place for business. It's exciting too. Just the other day I met the Viet Kieu mention by Obama in his speech. He has sold his business in Silicon Valley to start one in Vietnam. Most markets are immature and crave a more sophisticated approach. Currently the trend is to move manufacturing out of China to Vietnam, due to costs. Samsung just build their largest factory, Microsoft is doing the same. With all the trade agreements (FTA-EU, TPP, AEC) and growth of the middle class, the ASEAN area shows more promise.For Australians, no one knows business in China more than Justin Richardson (https://cn.linkedin.com/in/justinrichardsonchina). He has been there for 18 years and speaks fluent Mandarin. Someone I have know since the 90s. I also follow Winston as he have some honest videos on living in Shenzhen. Like this one https://youtu.be/FXXQnyWRSSgI am based in Northern Vietnam and regularly visit China.
Heather ChaiHead of Communications at Asialink Business
Hi Yee, great question! And certainly one that we get asked a lot at Asialink Business. In fact, we’ve written an entire comprehensive guide to help Australian businesses looking to do business with China (which you can find at https://asialinkbusiness.com.au/research-resources/china-country-starter-pack).China is a very complex market and building strong relationships and trust is crucial for successfully engaging with Chinese businesses. The Chinese are influenced by Confucianism, so respect for education, authority and age are big priorities for them. Within the Chinese culture value system, Confucianism’s core value of etiquette and politeness is a key foundation of business dealings in the country.Social etiquette and behavioural norms are important because they help to preserve a harmonious environment in which a person’s miànzi (面子)– face – along with their social standing and reputation can be upheld. One of the best ways to manage miànzi is not to demand ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers in business meetings, but to accept the need for slow, consensual decision-making and relationship-building. Contradicting someone openly or criticising them in front of others will result in loss of face, and are sure ways to lose business and employees.Always be mindful of maintaining face and harmony with Chinese people through sincere compliments, showing respect, or other actions that tend to raise the self-esteem of others. You should particularly show respect to older people and to those in more senior positions than you.Expect to spend plenty of time at meetings and banquets with your potential business partners. Often these will be done out of business hours with karaoke (KTV) being a favourite option for developing relationships!Like other East Asian cultures, the Chinese like to develop a personal connection first. So expect to be asked, and to ask questions, about family. Try to find a connection with your Chinese counterpart and make a note to remember it.Business etiquette tips - Greetings and titles: When meeting Chinese business people, it is useful to know some Mandarin. Simple phrases can go a long way.Business cards: When presenting your card, do so with both hands holding the card in between your thumb and index finger at the top of the card with the Chinese face of the card up.Dress code: Conservative, unpretentious and modest clothing should be worn in China, particularly in the business environment. Guanxi: Often translated as “connections”, “relationships” or “networks”, none of these terms do justice to the fundamental and complex concept of guanxi and its central role in Chinese culture. Hope this answers your question. Get in touch with us at http://www.asialinkbusiness.com.au if you were looking for further resources.
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Import and Export

Largest ever trade delegation to seek out opportunities for Australian startups in China

Australia’s largest-ever trade delegation has landed in China, with 1000 business leaders largely...read more

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Import and Export

Choosing the Right Freight Forwarder

New to import or export and looking to ship products overseas? International freight can be complex... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
This isn't a topic I knew much about (as I'm not currently in a position to need such a service), but reading the article was educational for me. Thank you.
Import and Export

It Pays to Shop Around in a Volatile International Freight Market

Did you know that 2015 has seen unprecedented volatility for international freight with some... read more

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Good article, getting SME's thinking beyond Australia has to good for economy
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Thanks for this Ian. Would be great to have an overview of the market, who's in it and such. :)
Import and Export

Packaging for Export

When shipping products overseas it is important, particularly for smaller shipments (LCL) that your... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I'm not currently exporting anything, but this is interesting information. Thanks for sharing.
Import and Export

Business Success in the US - One nation or is it?

Having worked in the US market for over 12 years and dealt with hundreds of Australian companies... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Another great resource that you can slice and dice to find what you are looking for http://www.zoomprospector.com/
Ian SmithOwner at CargoHound
A good resource is www.unitedstatesconnect.com
Import and Export

Export - What is a Certificate of Origin?

If you an Australian company looking to take advantage of the newly negotiated Free Trade... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Great info, this stuff can seem a bit daunting at times!
Import and Export

Incoterms Explained

For companies new to import or export many of the terms and acronyms used in international freight... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Great info! as someone who is unfamiliar with the topic I feel like I can better understand how it works.
Import and Export

Understanding Import and Export Tariffs

Before you can think about importing or exporting a product, you need to understand how it is... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Great article - it's nice to know that there are comprehensive resources for this, it's seems quite mind-boggling at times!
Import and Export

Innovative tools for SMEs: broaden your horizons

The situation facing a business wanting to export or import can be hard to navigate. Even the basic... read more

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Import and Export

Where to for the Aussie dollar in 2016?

LAST YEAR saw the Aussie Dollar fall by around 10% from about 0.8160 at the start of the year to... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Very interesting article!
Questions

What are the differences between Toll, FedEx, DHL, TNT or AusPost?

Question is self-explanatory. What are the differences between the 5? Which do you recommend/prefer? read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
For local deliveries they are all much the same with slightly different pricing schedules.In our experience FedEx seems to be the most professional premium service for international deliveries.For sending local when the fastest delivery times isn't essential then sendle.com is worth a try.
Ananda Raj PandeyCTO at SavvySME
1. FedEx /DHL/TNT are courier service (door to door service) . They will take care of all customs and will do custom clearance for you. They can come to your place to collect your items. They are express service, normally they ship within a day or within limited time based on service you have purchased. 2. Toll : this is similar to FedEX / DHL , but they are more cheaper as they mostly transport goods by land ( car /var/ truck) So for larger items its will be cheaper but will not be faster - might take couple of days to transfer. 3.AusPost: Combination of above two, since its government, its cheap in many case but you may have to go to post office to collect your item. Summary,For small and important item use courier service, for larger item use Cargo service ( like Toll), as it will be cheaper and also door to door service. For small and general item use AusPost as you can wait, and go to post office to collect it.
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How important is it for Australians to actually physically travel to Asia to get a sense of developments there?

What do you miss out on if you don't go? read more

Asked by:
Greg VekarBDM/Design consultant at Vekar Design
Visiting Asia is a start, but to make the most of this growth area one needs to live here. Having lived in Vietnam and regularly visiting neighbouring countries, it takes time and effort to reach in below the surface. To prepare myself for this step my academic focus was Asian centric. The academics got most of it wrong. For instance a casual observation would suggest Asia is a long term orientated culture. It could not be further from the truth. Asia is in the now, buildings last about 10 years, street scape are constantly evolving. The markets here are heavily protected compared the laissez-faire attitude of Australian governments. Your strategy needs to out smart local companies that have access to growing pool of venture funding. Most successful businesses need to be deeply connected to a strong clan. There is no legal protection in these countries, so don't expect the "rule of law". Just today news of a foreigner was published that she had three days eviction from a landlord that liked her business so much, to pull the rug from under her. Landlords are constantly taken over the businesses of their tenants. Video production has gained a major boost in quality with Hollywood filming here. A few times a year a photography/video studio is sold by a once ambitious foreigner. The locals can under cut any foreigner, especially as respect in creative crafts is diminishing.
Jason Lim at Asia Recon
Hi Lisa! I would say it is critical for Australians to physically visit Asia to truly understand it. Although Asia is very mufti-cultural with many ethnic Asians here, things are still very different in Asia and things vary a lot from country to country. Like learning a language, the more you immerse yourself in a foreign environment, the easier it is to pick up the language. You don't even have to try as hard because, you lean by just being there. No amount of reading, watching videos or even talking to people about Asia but still in Australia, will be as good as seeing things first hand. That's why I believe in taking Australian entrepreneurs to Asia with Asia Recon to experience how locals live, what they do, what they use etc. Going to Asia will help prove or disprove your assumptions about Asia. I've come across people in Australia who think a certain way because they heard about it and they take it as fact, but actually they are completely wrong. For example, I was at a start-up event and one Australian entrepreneur thought social media doesn't exist in China, when in fact it's probably being used more there, than in Australia.
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What were your experiences with wholesale buying from India or China?

Hi Savvies, I wanted to know if any of you have bought from China or India wholesale, and what... read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
One of our long term clients buys from China on a frequent basis and in relatively small orders. They have built an excellent long term relationship with an independent local buying agent who places orders, supervises quality and shipping (usually by mail) and advises on new products emerging. This is both cost effective and efficient
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
One of our long term clients buys from China on a frequent basis and in relatively small orders. They have built an excellent long term relationship with an independent local buying agent who places orders, supervises quality and shipping (usually by mail) and advises on new products emerging. This is both cost effective and efficient
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Import and Export

If you’re not high value-adding, you’re adding nothing

We are all looking for high value-added products even if we don’t want to admit it. I’m not... read more

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Steve Bryant Industry leadership at QMI Solutions
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Steve BryantIndustry leadership at QMI Solutions
Thanks Phil and Ling. It is the important perennial question for any business owner - "how can you add value for your customer?" I think history has shown how low-cost competitors, such as; Japan, Taiwan, India and China (to name only a few) have passed the mantle over time onto the next low-cost competitor. When a country's wealth increases, so does the desire of the population to have higher living standards meaning It is essentially unsustainable in the long-term to remain a low-cost competitor. Listening to customers and prospective customers about what they need, is a fundamental first step to understanding how your business can create value. Continue to do this to outsmart the low-cost competitors and you're well on your way.
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Thanks for the great article Steve! Makes me think about weighing up the benefits of value adding and non value adding manufacturing processes.
Import and Export

Offshoring, near-shoring, re-shoring: ip security in offshore manufacturing (an australian perspective)

In recent years Near-shoring and Re-shoring have become popular buzz words in the manufacturing... read more

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Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Wow! Thanks for the really detailed article!
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Is the growing trend of offshore manufacturing good or bad for Australian SMEs?

A survey of SME Association of Australia members shows 17% cite offshore manufacturing as a key... read more

Asked by:
Ilga Horvat Operations Manager at Hornet Import and Export Group Pty Ltd
Steve BryantIndustry leadership at QMI Solutions
Hi Ilga. My company specialises in helping manufacturers adopt new technologies and practices to be more competitive. We've seen successes and failures in off-shoring manufacturing. The successful manufacturers are those that are familiar with the market as they know the intrinsic value of proximity to market and/or of the value of innovation in the supply chain. Manufacturing in low-cost locations just because it is cheap is fraught with danger and risk. Manufacturing in locations that are close to market or offering an innovative supply chain is less so. According to a new BCG report, there has even been a drift away from China as a global manufacturing heavyweight now towards Mexico, which offers low-cost and proximity to the US market. Unfortunately, Australia is the least cost competitive manufacturer across the 25 top manufacturers, but the area for opportunity is consumer electronics and precision medical manufacture.
Brian MallyonOwner at Luckypole Limited
Hi Ilga, For all the people that say off shore manufacturing is bad and that it would be better to bring it back, you never actually hear of anyone who would be prepared to ditch their current job and salary for a chance of working on a factory production line. Manufacturing is not where the money is made. Take any product and look at each component of getting it from the factory to the end consumer. Factory makes a small amount and the much larger slice of the pie goes to the logistics company, the company that advertises the product, the brand owner and the retailer. All theses are effectively service industries and that's where the higher incomes are. It's only in relatively recent history that small Australian businesses have started venturing overseas themselves to buy their products. Previously they just bought from local wholesalers who offered limited stock in limited colours at sometimes considerably marked up prices. If you are a small business with limited capacity for a three+ month turnaround of products and quantities are only small, it may still be better for you to buy locally. But I think any business needs to be constantly looking at their model for supply of products, and looking at the options available, even to just see what are the best options for the business on an individual basis. It's also not that long ago that buying offshore meant buying large quantities. That is not always the case now and there is more scope to buy in smaller lots, but whether you have the expertise and ability,and whether it will be worthwhile will still depend on individual circumstances.            
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