TMBA265: Visiting China – Why Entrepreneurs Travel to the Canton Fair

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The Canton Fair is taking place this October, so I was really happy to run into my old friend Matt Kowolak from Matt has been living as an entrepreneur in China for ten years, and he is the person I go to whenever I have a question about the country. We chat it up about the history of the fair, what it feels like to attend such a historic trade show and what kind of opportunities exist there. He also shares a broad overview of what living in China as an expatriate is like and how to take advantage of their entrepreneurial culture.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • The history of the Canton fair and how it became the world’s biggest trade show.
  • Why some entrepreneurs treat the Canton fair like an annual pilgrimage.
  • Trips for beginners who are traveling to the fair.
  • Why having a successful show might mean that you have to stay for a month.
  • What to look out for when starting a relationship with a Chinese factory supplier.
  • How to build legitimate trusted relationships with suppliers.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

Matt’s 12 Point Supplier Checklist (questions to ask):

  1. Factory address and website
  2. Trading Company vs Mfg
  3. Number of years in business
  4. Main products lines
  5. Main export markets
  6. Top 3 clients
  7. Factory audit experience
  8. Product Safety testing experience
  9. Number of workers per department
  10. Type and number of machines
  11. Production capacity and current utilization
  12. Order MOQs and Production leadtimes

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian