How Increased Costs Stand to Affect Hong Kong’s Business Landscape

Zann Lee

For many years, Hong Kong has been ranked as one of the most expensive places on the planet to live and set up a business. It is a testament to the strengths of the market here that plenty of entrepreneurs are still keen to build their brand in the country. Nevertheless, making it in Hong Kong has never been easy, and it is about to get even tougher.

With water growing scarce on the island, the government has decided to hike prices by 30%. It will also introduce a new carbon tax in 2019. Diesel rates are rising, and so is the price of commercial real estate. There are fears that this raft of changes will damage its reputation as a great place for tech start-ups, but our people at Servcorp have a few words of advice.

We love Hong Kong, and we think that it is a wonderful place to do business. For most, the high prices are worthwhile. This is both because the region is highly prosperous and because there are plenty of clever ways to get around them. Keep reading to learn more.

No More Rampant Office Rates

There is a radical way to beat rising rent costs in Hong Kong. If you are a small company (a 1-10 person team, perhaps) why not eliminate the expense altogether? While it might not work for bigger operations, flexible start-up ventures have the option to exist ‘virtually.’ This means that there is no suitable or dedicated office space.

Instead, you and your employees get to work from wherever feels comfortable. It might be your home, your favourite café, or one of our virtual office spaces in central Hong Kong. The best part is that, if you register with our virtual facility, you get an official address for mail, a receptionist to answer company calls, and access to a range of corporate resources.    

Outsourcing the Little Jobs

Moreover, the team at our virtual offices can connect to a broad network of contractors and professionals. We also have a roster of onsite staff and IT technicians who can provide assistance with specific tasks. The advantage of this is that you might not have to hire a full-time employee. Outsourcing administrative and ‘one off’ jobs is an excellent way to save money.  

So, for example, you might need an extra hand to help with email marketing as your company grows and expands. If this is not a full-time position, you do not have to pay for one. Find a freelancer, independent contractor, or remote worker who specialises in providing a service to multiple clients. That way, you get the best talent at an affordable price.

Investing In the Best Technology

One area where you should not cut corners is your software. It is a false economy to believe that sticking with cheaper, older options is a good way to save money. If you pick carefully, even relatively costly investments should pay for themselves pretty quickly by streamlining operations. High-end AP software, for instance, substantially reduces invoicing errors.

This keeps customers happy and makes sure that payments never get lost or misplaced. You will be able to instantly identify how a payment has moved through the invoicing system and avoid penalties and expensive corrections. Things like Office 365, cloud storage solutions, ERP software, and conferencing tools minimise expenses by maximising value.     

Why the Secret to Success Is Flexibility

The news of rising rates and an increased cost of living is sure to discourage some entrepreneurs from making a home in Hong Kong. However, the most experienced business owners know that high living costs mean wealthy consumers and fertile markets. If you can make it here, you have got a chance to connect with shoppers and investors who take their products seriously and will stay loyal to a good, reliable brand.