How Can Importers Save Cost During Their Business Trips To China?

The present economic downturn affects many facets of business including manufacturers in China and their overseas customers.

To completely stop importing is not an option because business must go on but perhaps on a smaller scale.

On the other side, factories in China are hungry for orders right now and starting an import business at these times is actually not a bad idea.

Cost saving is an important option to keep your business afloat even during difficult times.

Here is a summary of very effective methods of cost savings during business trips, that you may want to consider for yourself.

  • Book a standard hotel room instead of staying at the executive floor. If you book a standard room you can save a substantial amount of money and can still enjoy a good night’s sleep.
  • Negotiate room rates. Presently hotels are experiencing much lower occupancy rates and it is worth to bargain for a better rate especially if you plan to become one of their long-term customers.
  • Fly Economy Class. If you book an economy class flight with one of the airlines famous for good in-flight service, you will also end up with a decent meal, better than average leg space, reasonably comfortable seats, and can still save a lot of money.
  • Use public transport. Cities like Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai have an excellent public transport system that offers you a much cheaper and mostly faster alternative to taxis. Many hotels and fair operators offer free of charge shuttles buses to the exhibitions that you could use. You can save substantial money by staying further away from the exhibition centers in a comfortable hotel at a much lower room rate.
  • Online Registration. Use the online registration services of the fair operators and receive your free of charge entrance badge in advance and avoid queueing at the entrance.
  • Save on your meals. Why not try the much cheaper local food and reduce your dining expenses. A local noodle soup costs only a few bucks and tastes delicious. Instead of having breakfast at your hotel, you could visit one of the numerous coffee shops around your hotel area and get even a free coffee or tea refill.
  • Shorten your trip or reduce number of trips per year. If visiting fairs in China is a must for you, perhaps you should consider to focus on the most important ones. In many cases there is a spring and autumn version of the same fair and you may want to skip the spring version because it may not have the same importance than the autumn version.
  • Don’t miss out on anything by hiring a local Consultant. The American president is a very busy man and does not have the time to read all newspapers by himself. There are experts that do the clipping of vital articles for him and allow him to receive the necessary information. The same is true for importers. You cannot cover everything during your trip and you cannot visit every factory as it should be the case. In these difficult times you need the help of experts that are already on the spot. They can take over part of your duties even if you have decided not to travel to China. Their decades long experience with Chinese factories will help you to maintain your import activities and at the same time reduce your cost during importing substantially.
Posted November 4th, 2009 in China Business Trips.

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