Why You Need a Consultant When Doing Business in Japan


Doing business in Japan is no easy feat. With its unique customs, language, and cultural norms, it can be difficult to know where to start. But don’t worry – that’s where consultants come in!

In this blog post, I’ll explain why a consultant can be your greatest asset when you’re doing business in Japan:


Doing business in a foreign country can be a daunting task for many organizations. It is extremely important to make sure that you are informed about the culture and customs before entering any new market. When considering a business venture in Japan, it is highly beneficial to seek professional advice from an experienced consultant who has practical knowledge and an understanding of the Japanese market.

A Japanese consultant will be able to identify the potential opportunities and challenges that you may encounter while doing business in Japan. They can also provide invaluable insights into:

  • Managing relationships with stakeholders
  • Understanding cultural considerations
  • Gaining access to specialized markets
  • Navigating the local regulatory landscape
  • Other important topics related to entering the Japanese market.

By enlisting the service of a knowledgeable consultant, companies can gain more confidence as they set out on their journey into Japan’s thriving economy.

Understanding Japanese Business Culture

When doing business in Japan, understanding the local business culture is essential for success. Prior to commencing any dealings with Japanese organizations, it is important to gain an appreciation of the framework in which Japanese businesses operate. By having a good understanding of Japanese business customs and cultural expectations, you are more likely to build strong relationships and increase your chances of success when conducting business in Japan.

The importance of developing relationships is deeply embedded within Japanese culture – as such, negotiations will generally take longer than usual and decisions will be made after assessing both short-term and long-term consequences. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you show patience and dedication when it comes to formulating agreements with Japanese companies. Additionally, developing a personal relationship with your counterparts often goes beyond mere business objectives – it is common for meetings or dinner engagements to also include sightseeing or recreational activities as part of the proceedings.

In addition, particular emphasis should also be placed on developing appropriate communication skills. In Japan there are certain strict protocols when it comes to expressing ideas or forming agreements and failure to observe them could result in alienated prospects or customers that do not view your proposal favorably. This can be especially challenging if English is not the primary language spoken in the organization you are dealing with – hiring a consultant who can guide you through all stages of the process can help mitigate some of these risks by ensuring that all messages get across accurately and without hindrance.

It is also important not to underestimate how much small acts of thoughtfulness can transport into positive outcomes when interacting with Japanese parties – simple courtesies like offering gifts or thanking people at every stage throughout a dialogue serve as expressions of mutual respect which often lead to greater consideration being given to your initiative.

The Benefits of Hiring a Consultant

Hiring a consultant when doing business in Japan is hugely beneficial for any organization, regardless of industry or size. From cultural guidance to strategic direction, having a consultant on board ensures that your project runs smoothly and successfully. Here are some of the biggest benefits of hiring a consultant when entering the Japanese market:

  1. Cultural Guidance: With any international business venture, culture shock can lead to communication or relationship issues. A good consultant will be able to provide invaluable insight into cultural nuances and regulations that you may otherwise not be aware of, increasing your chance of success.
  2. Market Knowledge: A skilled Japanese consultant will have extensive knowledge about the local market and its intricacies, allowing you to make well-informed decisions about your investment strategies for expansion in Japan.
  3. Strategic Direction: Having overall guidance on how best to enter the Japanese market is essential when attempting something new such as setting up an office in another country. An experienced consultant is able to outline effective and optimal paths towards achieving your goals while mitigating risks associated with unfamiliarity with local rules or practice.
  4. Technical Assistance: Many aspects of running a business involves complex applications or processes which vary from country to country—it can be difficult even for experienced business professionals from other countries who have ventured into Japan before understanding local regulations and customs correctly. Hiring a technical expert can relieve the burden of navigating these uncharted waters by providing valuable advice as well as assistance when required in areas such as setting up bank accounts, registering trademarks, locating office space etc..

Identifying the Right Consultant

When choosing a business consultant in Japan, it is important to consider their qualifications and experience. Consulting firms that specialize in providing advice for foreign investors often have both native-speaking consultants and translators, who can provide valuable insight into the local market and culture. It is also a good idea to look for firms that have experience working with local authorities, as they can be very helpful when dealing with Japanese regulations and bureaucracy.

Before engaging a consultant, it is important to make sure that they understand your business model, objectives and expectations. Discussing their past successes will also be useful in making an informed decision on whether they are the right person or firm to help you achieve your goals in Japan. Understanding the depth of their understanding of the Japanese market will give you confidence that you are hiring someone with an intimate knowledge of the country’s economy, laws, customs and language.

In addition to identifying knowledgeable consultants for your project in Japan, researching other international experiences can also be beneficial. Globalization has made operating abroad easier than ever before however; each country still presents unique challenges which require well thought-out strategies from experienced professionals. By seeking out consultants who have:

  • Worked across countries
  • Have experience consulting into multiple markets or industries (for example biotech and retail businesses)

you can ensure the advice you receive is tailored specifically for your company’s needs.

Establishing a Relationship with Your Consultant

When starting a business in Japan, selecting the right consultant is a key factor in ensuring success. Once you have selected an appropriate consultant, the next step is to establish an effective working relationship. To discern whether you have chosen the right partner you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your consultant provide specialized expertise carefully tailored to meet your needs?
  • How did they explain their terms of engagement?
  • Are they offering practical advice and support rather than just talking theory?

Apart from confirming expertise and availability, it’s also important that you develop a good rapport with them. Your consultant should understand your goals and clearly explain how their services can help you achieve better results. A genuine consultative relationship will ensure that trust is built on both sides; this is essential for seamless collaboration in any partnership. It’s equally important for both parties to seek clarity around roles and responsibilities to avoid any misunderstanding during the business process.

You must also identify areas where clients and consultants can push each other towards success through continuous improvement. It’s very essential for consults to remain receptive to new ideas or feedback from clients as well as make sure that these issues are resolved promptly and promptly dealt with whenever required. Only when all of these basic considerations are fulfilled can a successful working relationship be established between business owners and consultants – one which will lead to profitable results in Japan.

Working with Your Consultant

It can be difficult to navigate the intricacies of operating a business in Japan without having local support. In order to be successful, you need to have a good relationship with the people you are doing business with and having an experienced consultant on your side gives you access to the necessary skills and expertise.

Your consultant can help guide you through various aspects of doing business. This could include understanding Japanese behaviors, gaining insights into local culture and learning about laws, regulations, or guidelines that might apply to your operations in Japan. Your consultant can also advise on market trends, provide strategic guidance for problem solving and help to optimize operations for long-term success.

Partnering with an experienced consultant gives you access to a wealth of industry knowledge that helps drive better decision making and more effective strategic planning, both of which are essential elements when doing business in Japan. Having frequent communication with your consultant lets them understand how your company is run and how best they can keep it running smoothly while achieving objectives quickly and efficiently.

By working closely together, both parties build strong trust based on mutual respect – this helps foster positive working relationships even when decisions must be made quickly or efficiently. With the right support by your side, you can focus on managing day-to-day operations without needing to worry as much about potential engagement issues while also giving yourself more time to focus on higher level goals such as product innovation or market expansion efforts. Whether it’s finding new partners or creating new opportunities for growth, having a qualified consultant by your side will make any international venture run smoother and more successfully in the long-term.

Navigating the Regulatory Environment

When doing business in Japan, navigating the regulatory environment is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face. There are several different government agencies and regulations that must be dealt with and understanding these can be overwhelming for companies unfamiliar with the process. A consultant with experience in Japan’s regulatory environment can help guide you through this process to ensure that your business is compliant with local laws.

The Japanese law system has elements from both Western Common Law and East Asian Legal Systems, so it can be difficult to decipher. A consultant with an understanding of both Western and Eastern legal systems can explain what must be done to successfully navigate this complex system. Furthermore, they will understand the individual quirks of regional governments and how different rules may apply depending on where you are doing business in Japan.

Additionally, there a number of examples relating to taxes and employment laws that must be taken into consideration when setting up or running a business in Japan. Consultants often have exclusive access to special advisers or support networks that are needed in order navigate these regulations. A consultant will be able to provide experienced advice which can often mean the difference between staying compliant or getting into costly legal trouble down the road.


In conclusion, when conducting business in Japan it is highly beneficial to hire a consultant. The Japanese business landscape is unique and requires an understanding of the language and cultural norms. There are many consultants that can provide insight, guidance and expertise that can help your business succeed in Japan.

As a result, hiring a consultant can provide the support necessary to navigate any potential obstacles that your organization may encounter during their expansion into Japan. Furthermore, with the help of a consultant’s expertise, you can be confident in making decisions based on reliable data and local experience – two key components for creating long-term success for your company. In short, if you are looking to expand into Japan then it is strongly recommended that you engage a local consultant who can help you understand the needs of the market and ensure your company’s success in this country.