Businesses give China 1-1s top marks again

10 July 2019


Already, close to 50 businesses have sharpened their strategies for China as a result of receiving “1-1” consulting sessions from Chamber International.

The most recent round of clinics offered were fully booked out, and the feedback received was excellent once again.  These intensive 2-hour consulting sessions take place at the client’s own premises, with Chamber International’s China specialist, Matthew Grandage (pictured right), meeting with company owners, directors and senior managers to answer their questions about doing business in China. 

Topics included: the pros and cons of the different business registration options available, payment issues, social media marketing, and business culture dilemmas.  Matthew also conducted live online research in Chinese to uncover valuable information relating to potential distributors, competitors, trade shows, compliance issues, and more.  Business from a wide range of sectors have benefited including, most recently, producers of lab equipment, confectionary, medical devices, and an international marketing agency.

One commercial manager from the healthcare sector, who prefers to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of his company’s business development plans, said: “Your insight really opened up our eyes to the opportunity, and we completely feel that it is achievable now. The content of the session was invaluable”.

Another business that has benefited from a China 1-1 is scientific instruments developer Ossila Ltd.  Founded in Sheffield in 2009 by organic electronics research scientists, Ossila provides components, equipment, and materials to enable intelligent and efficient scientific research and discovery. One decade on, they now supply over 1000 different institutions in over 80 countries globally, and want to extend their market base in China.  In 2017, Ossila received the Institute of Physics’ Innovation Award, and followed it up with a Queens Award for Enterprise in 2018. 

Rosie Morgan (pictured below), Ossila’s customer service manager, says she and her colleagues were “extremely satisfied” with the China 1-1 on every count, and that the session exceeded expectations. 

 Rosie Morgan, Customer Service Manager at Ossila

“The whole session was so interesting, and Chamber International are so knowledgeable on strategies for China – even for a niche company like we are” said Ms. Morgan, “We got some good ideas from the session and were given some excellent advice we hadn’t thought of before.  It will definitely help in our venture!”

Recently there were surprises for other business too: for instance, one firm who import goods from China hadn’t realised that the Chinese factory test certificate they had been sent by their supplier actually came from an entirely different company! That information only came to light during, and because of, the China 1-1.

The China 1-1 “formula” is a powerful one, bringing together the client company’s product and marketing knowledge with Matthew’s specialist linguistic and research expertise, and extensive professional network, to deliver answers to the client’s questions.

Matthew, who spent 15 years living and working in China, says: “In many cases I’m asked to mine information from Chinese websites which the clients had never had access to before. This enables the client to gather lots of new data about their competitors’ activities, market expectations, and how their own products appear to potential customers in China.  Others ask for advice about specific problems they are encountering with Chinese suppliers and distributors. 

“The fact that we come to the client’s own premises means they can address sensitive marketing and strategy questions which they might not feel comfortable raising at a more typical training event.” 

Matthew adds: “Brexit is challenging British businesses to widen their customer base and engage with global markets.  At the same time budgets are tight, and few are willing to invest in travelling to events where there is no guarantee that their needs will be met.

“In the China 1-1’s, we’ve found a model that businesses appreciate. They can bring in top managers and a range of staff without expensive away-from-desk time, knowing that their specific questions about China will be addressed immediately and confidentially.”  


By Matthew Grandage, China specialist at Chamber International.

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Chamber International - Matthew Grandage, Associate for China Affairs