Doing business with Japan

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Doing Business with Japan in March, April and May

Good sales people know their prospective clients' budgetary cycle. In Japan, it is somewhat easy to plan when not to make your pitch. It is important to know when the fiscal year ends in Japan. Almost 100% of the companies in Japan end their fiscal year in March. People are extremely busy for closing their books in March. Consequently, in general it is not a good idea to start/continue business discussions in March.

Then, April comes...It often brings re-organization and re-structuring. Contacts you were dealing with may be transferred and completely new person(s) may be assigned. Usually, in the first 2 weeks in April, people spend time to get to know new organizations, including their new boss and report(s). Again, this period may not be ideal to push your business discussions.

As the dust settles and things get clearer towards the end of April, now "Golden Week" starts on April 29th, which was the birthday of the former Emperor. Now it is renamed to "Green Day". Before, May 3rd (Constitution Day) and 5th (Kids Day) were the only holidays. Recently, May 4th became a holiday. In addition, many people take May 1st and May 2nd off. So it is safe to assume that your business talk with Japan do not go anywhere from April 29th to May 5th. Adding Sat/Sun, this year, some people are off from April 29 to May 7th.

Many business people may postpone business decisions until "after Golden Week". When you cannot make things move or receive any answer around this time of the year, you know why..........

Of course, there are always some exceptions to this rule. But this is somewhat similar to trying to do serious business after December 15th in the US.


Post a Comment

<< Home