Going Global: Exploring Business Growth With A Family Friend
In the past decade, many enterprises are experiencing a transition from domestic growth to global growth, while introducing their products worldwide. For this piece, I had the honour of chatting to a successful Chinese entrepreneur and personal friend, Edwee Lin, CEO of Long Tent Packaging, who is attempting just that. Here are a few of his thoughts.
Hi Edwee! Tell us a little bit about your business
Our business is named Long Teng Packaging Co, LTD which mainly includes packaging decoration, printing, paperboard composite processing, carton processing, and other relevant services. We have over 30 years of history across many cities in China and have recently started our cooperation with the businesses worldwide!
We kept innovating our products and services, and decades later—here we are.
How did you get started?
Back in 1980s China was establishing the “Reform and Opening-Up” policy that encourages all types of industries to work and make new services. During that time, the packaging businesses were quite rare because they didn’t have proper market demand. Therefore, I was inspired by this gap in the market and started my sunrise company with a few of my friends. We kept innovating our products and services, and decades later—here we are.
What’s the company culture like?
We aim to treat every employee as part of our family. We invented different bonus activities or gift activities to reward the elders that stay for a required number of years. We manage to help every employee to the best of our ability, for example by providing healthy food and discussing problems with them no matter what position they are in. Everyone’s opinions of the company are taken into consideration, from the top down. I believe a collaborative company environment is necessary for positive developments. We want our employees to feel comfortable and make more effective communications.
We believe trust and quality are the two significant elements to promote a positive and ethical brand for our business
What gives you a competitive edge on a global scale?
One of our biggest advantages is our pricing strategies. We believe trust and quality are the two significant elements to promote a positive and ethical brand for our business. We always decide on the most reasonable price according to the market. Our products have different advantages, for example the material we use will be 1-1.5cm thicker than the other similar products. We also have many partnerships that help us to retain a sustainable production line. It’s all about studying the market to stay ahead of the curve.
Have you ever faced any challenges to your growth? How do you overcome them?
One of the challenges we faced early on was the lack of efficiency among our employees. As we try to expand the business, we found that the current management structure was too simple and relaxing to set up effective management between employees and leaders. It hinders us from achieving higher growth because we do not qualify for the professional requirements to request bigger productions.
We realized the solution to this was to open the company up so each department are sharing ideas and success stories. We then rearranged the employees and officers to different departments—each department has its own connection with one or more other departments. Throughout the year, they must have done at least five group presentations per month to share their analysis of the current progress, and to provide ideas for improvements. I will say the entire company operation is more professional than before.
Everyone’s opinions of the company are taken into consideration, from the top down
Is there a secret to having a consistent company growth?
First the company needs to be very clear about its value propositions and target customers. For us, we have a very clear direction and know which customers we are reaching. I believe another key component should be making evaluations and monthly reflections. For our company to grow in the future global market, we need to identify our weaknesses and strengths, understand what potential opportunities we may have, who our main competitors are, and what we have improved and can continue to improve upon.
What are the immediate actions you’ll take to promote higher business growth?
I think in the short term we will need to do some internal and external risk analysis to make sure everything is on the right track. We will also want to increase our department efficiency through more specified meetings on our target goals and design appropriate plans based on the outcomes of these meetings.
For our company to grow in the future global market, we need to identify our weaknesses and strengths
How do medium or small-sized businesses take their business global?
- Have a clear vision and concrete plans before making any movement.
- Always make a balance between the company’s revenue and cost channels, and keep your ear to the ground for new opportunities and investors.
- Know which type of customer will be the best for your products or services.
These points are essential if you want to make a success of your business and grow it on a global scale.
There’s plenty of roads to global business success. Explore even more of them in our 2022 alumni annual. Go get inspired!