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Starting your own consulting firm in HK

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Sai Kung
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    Starting your own consulting firm in HK

    As some of you may have done it before, I am thinking of starting my own business consulting practice/firm in HK. My background is in international trade, supply chain, customs etc., which involves advising companies on import duties, reducing their tax cost, indirect tax (customs, VAT/GST etc.) planning, sourcing and sale options from Asia to US/EU etc. (BREXIT, Tradewar, TPP/CPTPP etc. etc.).

    Over the years, I've covered most of Asian countries for my clients involved in manufacturing, supply chain, factory setup etc. Those were multi-nationals which came to the accounting/consulting firm brands. There's no growth in my current role, and I've thought about moving to either Vietnam or South Korea with another firm. I have previous experience working in Vietnam which did not go well due to infighting between the local seniors, me being an 'outsider' couldn't do much about it. As bad and frustrating as it was, I did manage to bring in considerable work, but ultimately decided to leave. The same firm has reached out again asking me to reconsider.

    I am thinking if I should start my own practice instead. I know it will be tough. MNCs would be out of reach for me, and SME sector could be a bit unstructured to work with. I can cover for my expenses so would not be dipping into the savings. I have always thought of starting my own practice and create jobs, instead of working for someone else, retire, and then think about what to do next. Customs/indirect taxes etc. are not very common topics in HK (on the surface of it), so I am thinking if I should continue with the employment. If I have to build my own clientele, I would start with reaching out to different chambers of commerce, consulates, HKTDC etc. for presentations etc. on how their member companies can invest in growing Asian economies etc., and how I can help them with that (have contacts in Corporate Tax, Legal etc. in APAC who I can work with to deliver a project).

    Is it too far-fetched? I know it's subjective, but just checking if the plan makes any generic sense.

    Thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    1,972

    The first step is overcoming your fear of failure. No need to impress us or persuade us. We won't change the outcome at all. You need to give yourself approval to go for it IMO.

    fullmetaljacket and alexdown like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMDNC:
    The first step is overcoming your fear of failure. No need to impress us or persuade us. We won't change the outcome at all. You need to give yourself approval to go for it IMO.
    Thanks! I am aware that I need to make the decision. Just looking for what others might have done in slightly similar circumstances, which I know varies.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    The hardest part is getting clients, especially in this environment. Every cold lead is cancelling meetings left right and centre at the moment. Maybe that's why I am wasting so much time on Geoexp right now.

    It's best to check with your connections whether they need your services so you can hit the ground running if possible otherwise it could be months before you get your first client. Now is also possibly not a good time as budgets are starting to run out for companies who run their year Jan - Jan and then there is the Christmas slowdown coming up, depending on who your target is.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Sai Kung
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    279
    Quote Originally Posted by aw451:
    The hardest part is getting clients, especially in this environment. Every cold lead is cancelling meetings left right and centre at the moment. Maybe that's why I am wasting so much time on Geoexp right now.

    It's best to check with your connections whether they need your services so you can hit the ground running if possible otherwise it could be months before you get your first client. Now is also possibly not a good time as budgets are starting to run out for companies who run their year Jan - Jan and then there is the Christmas slowdown coming up, depending on who your target is.
    Yes, I am also worried about the actual client work, which could be tough under the current situation. Most of my work involves divesting/restructuring operations in SE Asia, so the business development initiatives at different chambers/consulates etc. could take a while to convert. I am in the fact-finding/evaluation phase for now, and will take a few months before starting (assuming there's enough work to get started with).