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Monthly Archives: August 2013

China has always been found to be one of the top countries across the globe. Home to 1.35 billion people, China is the most populous nation not only in Asia but also in the world. It has the fastest economic growth, the second largest economy in the world, and even managed to overtake Japan in the year 2011. After the turbulent times for two years, China’s economic rating is rising again and more and more investors now are concerned of learning and gaining information about how to live and how to invest in China.

Economists view that the economy of China will continue to increase between 7 per capita and 9 per capita for the midterm. In the previous year, on the contrary, the UK economy did not experience any growth.

A decade ago, China’s manufacturing was its major contribution to the global economy as it used to rely on export for its growth. However with the migration of its rural citizens to cities and towns, its increased consumerism and increasing middle class, the economy of the country makes continued progress owing to its own citizens’ spending power.

In terms of consumption per capita, China today outperforms other emerging economies by a great margin. What’s more is that the Chinese consumer is still able to support many markets in the international arena. It has contributed a great deal to the revival of the luxury goods market in Europe, the mining sector of Australia and the worldwide car manufacturers in which over one million cars were brought into the country last year, a huge increase compared with the 42, 000 imported cars in 2000. Two thirds of the cars were in the category of luxury motoring brands.

Very different from the Western nations, the national purse of China is in the black, having huge foreign exchange reserves. Not to mention China’s key position in terms of gold buying, with its jewelry and investment demand of up to 255.2 tons in the previous year, an increase by 10 per capita on last year’s levels.

For the past two years the stock market in China was difficult but today the market is picking up again, experiencing a steady profit since June of the previous year. Aside from its rising stock market, its new leadership by Xi Jinping is predicted to result in having a parliament that would significantly be more radical compared to the last. Not only that but also the country’s middle classes learn more regarding the truth about their government online. In addition to this, a considerable number of business executives have degrees in the West which means having a generation with less tolerance towards repression and corruption. This situation will eventually create an impact on the prospects of investments for the country. The changes made to China’s labor laws in the year 2008 have brought about a significant pay increase to the Chinese workers annually. Although some factories owned by the Americans have been repatriated because of the escalating costs, it has only brought moderate impact taking into consideration the country’s trade figures revealing its surging exports and decreasing imports. In spite of its plans of moving towards a more locally focused economy, China is still seen today with more exports to the United States of America (USA) compared to the last 4 years.

The funds of the country have been one of those that performed the best in the previous 6 months after the election as well as improved the confidence of the investors. The wealth of China is growing and its internal consumption is increasing where most of its imports go. This shows China is becoming a country that is considered to be self-sufficient. The value that is contributed to its export partners is not the question now but it is the value that is contributed to its domestic consumption of which every smart investor understands.

Although the country’s export growth dropped to 2%, there is still an increase in the growth curve. What the drop actually reveals is that there is a diversion of more of the country’s products to native Chinese markets to cater to domestic consumption as it rises. In terms of machinery and electronics, there is a drop in the rate of manufacturing to cater for exports. However, there is still a rise in the actual production and the Chinese consumers are taking part in it.

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A report about Myanmar was made by the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit), known as a reliable business intelligence covering the whole world and through its examination of every industry, country and market, helps business leaders see opportunities. In such report the EIU mentioned regarding Myanmar’s liberalizing gestures, accompanied with a certain level of uncertainty surrounding the true purpose, trajectory and pace of the reforms that have brought inquiries related to the search for business opportunity in Myanmar whether it is about time or not yet.

The liberalizing gestures have raised hopes for the seriousness of its political reforms. After Myanmar’s national elections in November 2010, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi,   and its 2012 by-elections, many observers tend to conclude that Myanmar is eventually directed towards real democratization. Aung San Suu Kyi is one of those who have been optimistic over the succeeding changes in the nation, not to mention the release of a considerable number of political prisoners that heightened the pro-democracy icon’s confidence. As the country’s ties with governments from the West slowly thaw, the lift on restrictions and sanctions on investment and trade is highly probable in the coming year and thus foreigners who plan to invest in the days and months ahead prepare for the importance of opportunities in setting up companies, partnerships, etc.

On the contrary, some still share a cautious approach toward these reforms and think the optimism about the country’s change in its political order is too early. The country definitely is right about its recent development which has encouraged great hopes, however they may be viewed in an overestimated level since the fundamental power structure of the country has undergone only a little change.

With its vast untapped land and natural resources and home to about 60 million people, Myanmar possesses huge potential. As one of the members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and WTO (World Trade Organization) for many years and formerly called Burma, Myanmar having trade agreements with big trading partners has the possibility of evolving into a robust economic region in the future decade.   Myanmar has a well-positioned location in the globe with the coastline on the south, with India on the west, and China on the north. If the present administration resolves to adhere to its economic and political reforms, and gains the support of multilateral financial institutions and foreign governments, it is possible for Myanmar to emerge as the next frontier of Southeast Asia.

Although Myanmar’s rule shifted to the nominal civilian rule more than a year ago, the present leadership’s final objectives still remain unclear as well as those coordinating the recent changes. Most even perceive that the democratic rule is set only as a facade. The recent changes such as allowing Aung San Suu Kyi as well as her party, the NLD (National League of Democracy, wider political space, have made people optimistic towards the country’s gradual transition into a real democracy. This however could be too early as the present government might just be starting to focus on getting rid of its pariah status as well as the sanctions even without real democratization.

How the West will respond depends on two factors.  Assuming it is the government’s strategy for it to garner some ease in terms of sanctions and international recognition without really disrupting its former military-dominated system, it poses a dilemma on the foreign governments as to how they are going to respond. Whereas, the government’s new overtures are geared towards the right path that deserve recognition. Incremental reforms even though half hearted are encouraged. However, western governments know that quickly rewarding processes that start with fraudulent elections and with no assurance of them eventually changing into genuine democracy is somewhat counter-productive.

Foreign governments thus have taken a more open approach towards the reformed civilian government. Even though the European Union did not approve of the 2010 polls which were “not free, fair or inclusive,” it was positive to add that a reformed government as well as institutional structures “could create the potential for peaceful change and greater pluralism.”  In practice, the response of the West is probably to track Aung San Suu Kyi’s views very closely, taking into consideration her international and local stature. However, considering the release of many political prisoners recently as well as the West’s response of meeting an action also with action, the engagement of the reformed government with the West is likely to intensify.   

Singapore is home to its local residents that comprise the talented workforce along with foreigners from the UK, the USA, Asia, etc. who have private companies or trading businesses in the country.  Foreigners who plan to set up legal companies in Singapore should follow certain requirements such as submitting their CV, business plan, etc. for their incorporation company registration. The registration of a business in Singapore is easy and granting that the business is already approved by the designated section of the government, the sole business owner or along with his partner, manager, shareholders or directors must try to make sure every business activity is performed well and this includes making the right decisions for the company in order to keep it running. Market research aids in company decision making and every business owner, manager or directors should employ this all the days and years of its operation.

Business decision making is accompanied with uncertainties and risks. Market research generally helps reduce the uncertainties.  It gives the management the idea on how to make decisions in order to increase the probability of attaining the marketing objectives of the organizations.  Market research refers to the process of collecting, interpreting and analyzing information regarding a market and a service or product to introduce for sale in such market, and regarding the potential, present and past customers for the service or product; the research on the needs, location, spending habits and characteristics of the target market of the business, the industry, and the competitors of a company.

Market research plays an important role in maintaining competitiveness over the company’s competitors. It provides relevant information to especially identify as well as analyze every market size, market need and competition. It includes social as well as opinion research and the systematic gathering as well as interpretation of information regarding organizations, and individuals with the use of analytical and statistical techniques and processes of the so-called applied social sciences for gaining or supporting decision making.

Market research basically deals with people as well as their constantly changing behaviors and feelings that are influenced by a considerable number of factors. It discovers how people act and what they need, believe and want. Market research should be conducted by gathering opinions and facts in an objective and orderly way to find out what the customers want to purchase and not merely what you wish to sell to them.

The company will not obtain a profit from selling services or products that customers are not interested in. It is through market research that the corporate owner discovers what interests the customers and learns how to feature the services or products. Market research organizes market information. This information is considered as timely and helps entrepreneurs to formulate plans of action, determine sales opportunities, recognize present and impending problems in the market at present and decrease business risks.

Effective market research involves gathering information regarding the prices of various commodities in the present market, and the supply and demand. Pricing is a very important marketing element in every business, whether small or large, and market research provides accurate information to help in pricing decisions.

Effective market research primarily gives an idea about the market trends. This basically tackles issues on the downward or upward movement of a market for some duration of time. This involves gathering data about the market size including the number of potential customers.

Effective market research provides information regarding the products. The emergence of new special offers or product lines in the market is mainly due to careful market research through which customer wants and needs are determined, thus resulting in the right decisions of making the appropriate services and products which are definitely right for the customers. It is also market research that is used in determining the impact of discount offers and special sales as well as in introducing a new product before the company decides on going full force with its expenses.

Effective market research writes an analysis related to the SWOT or otherwise known as the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the business entities. This is especially employed during the starting stage of the business but is also possible throughout the complete operations of the business. This written analysis helps in developing the marketing as well as product mixes.

Effective market research helps in determining the effectiveness of advertising. It especially introduces strategies for determining whether the advertising employed by the business owner is effective or not. Business owners are quite concerned with the advertising and promotion of their business that they always ask about its effectiveness and this can always be determined through various types of formal as well as informal research techniques.

Singapore is a region where foreigners and expats set up their international companies for several reasons that are mostly favorable to them such as Singapore’s talented workforce, the ease that is associated with starting a legal business in the country, diverse-cultured residents, tax incentives, etc. However, as an expat who is planning to start a business in Singapore, one of the ways for your company to be approved by the government of Singapore and to be registered in ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) is for your company to be able to have a business plan since before you apply for the registration of company Singapore, the business plan for the company is one of the necessary requirements.

Business planning is very significant in terms of setting up business entities and the beauty of it is that once its applications are done right, your business will achieve a certain rating that will soon attract and earn the trust of your partner, manager, staff, directors, suppliers, distributors and investors. However, once you have done it incorrectly, your business will have to face a certain liability, a lot of risks and problems to the point of collapsing.

Before discussing the reasons why you need a business plan to follow for all the days and years your company is in operation, let’s discuss what a business plan is.

  • A business plan refers to a set of documents stating in detail the reasons and manner how your business is going to be run which includes everything as to how it is going to be promoted, how it is planned to be funded and to whom you will address your service or product to.
  • A business plan includes the forecast of its financial activity for the business which explains the amount of money the business can possibly make and how this is going to be done by an accountant. Also, included is the amount of money that is needed and reserved to finance your business, but that is not only limited to that since the plan on the how the funds are to be raised and the number of funding that you think will be needed are also a part of the business plan.
  • A business plan includes your market research in detail showing the size of your market and who comprises your customers. You will categorize your market according to your customers’ personal information which includes their spending habits, socio-economic groups, earning power, interests and age.
  • A business plan may also include information explaining the number of people your company will employ, when they will be recruited and the number of those that will be recruited. This will be very helpful in making your financial forecasts and in convincing investors that you have thoroughly thought about your business ideas.
  • A business plan is updated regularly taking into consideration the economic climate as well as those that are taking place in the industry to give you an assurance of having a clear knowledge as to which direction you will take your business.

 

Why is a business plan needed?

  • By setting out a correct plan you will be able to determine if your business ideas work or not. By making sales, cash flow and financial forecasts as well as looking at the kind of target market your business will have, you can be able to figure out if your ideas work for the business and how conveniently you will gain profit from it.
    • Since it exactly lays out the strategies you have and the ways you are running your business, a business plan that is written well enough which has the incorporation of relevant figures can help you in convincing investors about the reliability of your business proposition.
    • A business plan that is researched well, containing the realistic forecasts and the accurate figures will provide potential investors with the reassurance that your business promises sensible investment opportunities.
    • Even though you may not be planning on raising money, through having a business plan you will be able to plan in detail what the outcome of your business will be. This will result in having a comprehensive study about the way you handle various scenarios.
    • The business plan has enough room for you to list your specific business objectives and goals which help you to decide clearly about how you are going to reach these goals as well as the time when you are going to achieve them, and strongly encouraging you to follow that certain plan.
    • Since detailed market and financial forecasts are included in the business plan, it will help in managing cash flow as it shows you in detail your expectations of your outgoings and incomings within the stated periods of time.