The Ultimate Guide to Expanding Your Business to Japan

Has your business been looking to take its operations to one of the world’s most forward-thinking and robust economies in Asia? In this article, we’ll cover what it takes to expand your business presence to Japan, as well as offer an alternative method that can save you significant amounts of time and resources — something any business owner can appreciate.

Why Choose Japanese Markets for Your Business?

Japan has a reputation for being difficult for foreign investors to approach, with its unique formalities and attention-to-detail. These traits have made the tiny island nation of Japan a world economic power. However, with this fastidiousness comes great power — after all, when one conjures up images of Japan, the country’s temples, incredible food, high-speed trains, a well-educated and hardworking populace, and the nation’s mindset of futurism come to mind.

Considering Japan boasts the world’s 5th-largest economy (according to the World Bank) and has a per-capita income of $44k per citizen, businesses choose Japan as a place to engage its citizens and rub elbows with Japan’s many robust industries, including automobiles, biotech, retail, and ecology.

Getting into this excellent economy, however, is not easy. For a complete list of steps and regulations that you’ll need to adhere to, you can read more in Japan’s External Trade Organization’s online guide to setting up a business as a foreign national. This is further complicated by the fact that many of Japan’s top companies recruit high-performing employees and talent, leaving foreign entities to have to interface with those who purposely tailor their services towards foreign commerce. Lastly, setting up a physical presence in Japan is difficult due to it being a relatively small island with concentrated financial hubs in Tokyo and Kyoto.

So, if you’re looking to expand your business to Japan, you’ll have significant barriers to deal with before even testing out the market to see whether your business will gain traction in Japanese markets. By now you’re probably wondering: Is there another way? Yes, with virtual phone numbers!

An Easier Way to Expand to Japan: Virtual Phone Numbers

Virtual phone numbers are a simple concept with nearly unlimited potential for business expansion.

First, it’s crucial to understand how virtual phone numbers work. When a virtual phone number is dialed, that call is instantly routed to another phone number (known as the destination phone number). Thanks to cloud computing, the destination phone number can be located anywhere in the world. That means that if you purchase a Japanese virtual phone number, you can have those calls routed to your already-established customer service reps and salesforce in your headquarters or branch offices.

There a number of advantages that come with virtual phone numbers that work especially well with Japanese markets. First, virtual phone numbers are indistinguishable from local numbers — something that Japanese customers appreciate when they seek to retain their unique culture and way of doing business.

Secondly, virtual phone numbers are cost-effective. As we’ve discussed, it can take significant resources and time to establish a physical business presence in Japan. By using a virtual phone number service provider, like Global Call Forwarding, your business can significantly reduce the amount needed to establish a business in Japan; instead, you can tap into the Japanese markets by leveraging a virtual presence in Japan. This is important for small businesses and startups, where resources may be limited and capital may be better leveraged for other uses.

Third, virtual phone numbers come in many different varieties that your organization can adapt to its needs. For example, using ITFS numbers (International Toll Free Service numbers) — which are toll free numbers that work internationally — you can reach Japanese customers and clients that aren’t charged for calling your business. On the same note, not all Japanese citizens may be able to call internationally due to restrictions by their service provider or just by personal preference. For those customers, Japan toll free phone numbers bridge the gap and ensure obstacle-free access to your business.

Author: Tom Senkus

Tom Senkus is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience in providing business clients with solutions to their expansion efforts. For more information and his list of services, visit tomsenkuswriter.com

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