Importers – rounding up your energies for the Year of the Horse
Most people in China take an extended break at the Chinese or lunar new year – just as we do over the Christmas/new year period. You’ll hopefully be back in work mode, so we’ve come up with seven things you can crack on with while the manufacturers are relaxing with their families.
With some factories taking between two and four weeks off over the lunar new year, its the perfect time to reflect on the way you work and where your business is going.
Start by thinking about what you did well last year as well as the things you could improve on. Getting these things sorted out in your mind and then nutting out a solution on paper will improve your business practice for the coming year.
Did you have a clear communication process that included detailed specification sheets and tracking schedules? These are easily plotted in a Word table or in an Excel spreadsheet.
Did you plan ahead by plotting your desired timelines and include leeway in the schedule for problems? We recommendsmartsheet as an effective project management tool.
Did you implement contracts? Go back through the contracts you have with suppliers and make a checklist of issues you’d like to improve on.
Were you satisfied with the service providers that support your logistics, air freight, design work and telecommunications? If not, then now’s the time to look around for better ones. Jot down the points you weren’t satisfied with and raise them with potential new suppliers.
Your computer is the data bank of your business so it’s important to keep it in order. Make folders to contain orders, invoices, inspections et cetera. Save individual files with dates in their titles in the year/month/day format. For example, 140116 Supplier Invoice; the computer will collate all those in 2014, 2015 et cetera together. That way they’re easier to locate. If you use the day/month/year format, the computer will collate them according to the day – much harder to find!
If your business is getting bigger, then it’s time to work harder at and invest more in protecting your intellectual property. It’s your income and that’s worth protecting. China Blueprint offers specific advice on how to go about this, so please don’t hestitate to get in touch.Giddy up!
Take the time to prepare for the new lunar year or get out and celebrate. It’s the Year of the Horse in the 12-year cycle that is the Chinese lunar calendar, which starts anew on January 31, 2014. The cycle is also governed by the five elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood – and this one is a wood horse.
There’s a good explanation of what all this starry stuff might mean to you here. If you’re in Sydney, check out the City of Sydney celebrations.
From all of us here at China Blueprint, have a happy and prosperous Year of the Horse!