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Nine Advices for Hong Kong Startup Owners in the Incubation Stage

Advice 1: You may head into developing a product that isn’t going to be easily scalable to the entire Hong Kong or Taiwan public. It may work. But you will have a hard time scaling up your company in any time soon. The solution to this is when you are able to slightly adjust your business model or product characteristics. You may get a life line to quickly scale up your business growth. The bottom line is that being able to scale up quickly will be reflected to your business financial growth.

Advice 2: You may want to avoid developing an app that requires users paying a fee before they can download to use it. Most users would have given up before making a payment. The better version to do this is to provide a free version with limited features. This is a good way for your product marketing. You will be able to invite potential buyers to try out the app. When they are happy with your product, you can ask them to provide you with product reviews. Through the good use of these positive looking reviews, you will be able to make a noise and create an exposure of your app to more users (who will want to try out your app before making a payment to the full version).

Advice 3: When you stick with a hard to scale product, you may well convert your business model into a consultation service. With a professional consultation service, you may well charge more money from per customer. When you work in close proximity with your end customers in your local community in Hong Kong, you may well be able to provide a better service.

Advice 4: Complete your company registry in Hong Kong at an early stage. This enables your business to be eligible for funding of investors, and other relevant government funding schemes.

Advice 5: As the founder and the main product guy, you must be able to tell in a few sentences what your company and products are all about. Investors and Hong Kong customers do not have a lot of spare time to pay attention to things that are too complicated and are longwinded.

Advice 6: When the success of your app relies a lot on user interactions, you should better hire a professional designer and/or a user experience guy to handle the development.

Advice 7: You must not rely solely on advertising to make your product successful. Your app must be a successful product from within itself, and it must be highly acceptable by your potential customers.

Advice 8: Make use of the power of the Internet and the mobile internet (even you are marketing mostly to local Hong Kong users). The use of mobile and internet may be for marketing, and it may be for product development.

Advice 9: When setting up a new HK business, do not jump right into an industry that you are unfamiliar with. It takes time, sometimes a good few years to understand the things in an industry. Working in a rather unfamiliar industry as your startup projects would only ruin your chance of success.

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