Steps To Start Your Chinese E-Commerce Business with Frank Lavin

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

frank lavin exportnow

Episode 58, yes! This number is getting bigger and more serious, loving it! So the book, hong Kong business supercharged has been amazing first week, I haven’t pushed it too much besides the podcast and an email but I am so excited not just buying it – but enjoying it and sending me feedback and saying that it has helped them – Mike “the greek” is a good friend I met in Shanghai and he has told me how amazing the podcast has been and the book is already helping him so much, and that is what is most important to me…it really motivates me to keep podcasting, keep blogging, keep writing – so thanks Mike the Greek and everyone else!

review! up to 10 now, thanks guys for going into iTunes and figuring out how to leave a review, I know it takes some effort so much appreciated – here is the latest:

– Mike has tons of connections and resources in and around Hong Kong and it’s awesome that he takes the time to share their knowledge with us through this podcast – Larz from USA

Also – it has been an insane couple weeks for me, I just finalized a acquisition for my Hong Kong startup – social agent limited, but I don’t want to cram that into this intro, I’ll give some more details in the show’s recap so stay tuned.

Ok, I feel that my weekly updates are getting longer and longer, so instead of cramming it all in here, I am working on a nice newsletter each week, news relevant to Hong Kong, updates, questions for you guys, and also a fun photo of the week, so if you’re not on it already signup via

Ok, now for this week’s show – we have Frank Lavin, who is founder, CEO of Export Now, a company helping western brands get into Chinese e-commerce, and shares with us the thought process and steps you need to take so let’s listen in

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Frank Lavin introduction
  • Explain what Export Now is and the developments it has been through since it started 5 years ago
  • What size companies are you typically helping, SME, MNC?
  • It is really hard to help small brands, are there cases of these succeeding?
  • Do you use one-shop or flagship shops for these clients
  • If they aren’t a brand but are a trader, any chances?
  • Most common challenges Western brands have that you have seen
  • Tips on dealing with Customs, and importing of new products
  • Marketing in a Chinese marketplace such as Tmall and Taobao
  • Insights on an ideal office Location for ecommerce in China, Shanghai?
  • Getting B2B sales too and retail stores?
  • How does Payment work, you send USD to their US (or other country) bank account?
  • Should they open a Chinese company at some point, or a HK company to make it easier to work with you?
  • Can you share some costs for your Export Now service
  • I read your book, also called Export Now like your service, can you share a bit about the book and give listeners an idea about it
  • What is one thing a listener today should do if they have yet started to import into China and have a product / brand?
  • How to reach out to Frank, websites, contact information

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 37:22

That was fun – thanks Frank for sharing so openly about your business and the developments over the years. For me it is comforting to know even business experts like Frank it takes many years to find the right model, he is listening to the market, his clients and finding the right product market fit. Hope some listeners support Frank with his book and or his services. He is a legit guy who has helped give me good feedback while writing my book as well as gave me an autographed copy of his book which is on the shelf next to me as I record this thanks again Frank

Ok, so now the update on my startup – Social Agent Limited – some listeners may have heard me mention I have been hustling with some consulting projects over the past couple months, one of them has been Unchained Apps (also known as Gigabud Limited) they are a Hong Kong company based in Shenzhen, like me – and have an amazing team of mobile app programmers and project management. Social Agent, which helps connect companies to local sales reps – has really gotten more an more mobile focused and I have been talking to Unchained Apps about a closer cooperation. I’m wrote a blog post a bout it which talks about how to start the conversation and what to consider when selling a company. I’m excited and will continue to develop Social Agent as well as a pretty awesome portfolio of apps under the Unchained Apps brand. Any questions on that or anything else – shoot me a note at mike @ – peace!

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Tags: china, e-commerce

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