Will the coronavirus change the productivity of Japanese companies?

 

It is said that the productivity of Japanese companies is lower than that of non-Japanese companies. In fact, the companies and organizations I’ve worked for have had wasteful or inefficient operations. Three of the most commonly cited wasteful things are

 

(1) Meetings

(2) HANKO Culture

(3) Face to face sales

 

So, in this newsletter, let’s examine whether or not these will be changed by the coronavirus.

 

(1) Meetings

The main characteristics of a useless meeting are

“I have to attend a meeting that has nothing to do with my work.”

“It ends with just a sharing of information.”

“We got together to talk about it, but it didn’t come to a decision.”

But these are separate issues from working remotely, so even if the meeting held online, it won’t change much if the purpose of the meeting and the way to work doesn’t change.

 

 

 

(2) HANKO Culture

Not a few people say they want to work remotely, but have to come to the office to stamp documents. “The HANKO Culture is a major cause of the difficulty of working remotely,” some said. In June, the Japanese government announced that “a seal on a contract is not necessarily required. (FYI, it wasn’t originally required by Japanese law to put a seal on the contract, but the government announced it because many people misunderstood.)

 

Now there’s a greater awareness that other means of authentication, such as electronic authentication, are acceptable. So while many people think the HANKO Culture will change, I expect it to be about halfway there. The reason for this is that there are system costs associated with implementing alternative methods such as electronic authentication. However, 99.7% of Japanese companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and many of them cannot afford to invest in systems, so they continue to do things the way they used to. First, large companies that can afford it will be the first to adopt e-authentication. Second, it will be popular in companies that do business with such large companies. So I think it will take some time.

 

(3) Face to face sales

At the company I used to work for, we had a tradition of visiting clients at the end of the year to present them with calendars made by our company. I knew that it was useless to give them a calendar because it wouldn’t affect our work, and that we could just mail it instead of visiting, but I followed the previous custom.

 

But nowadays, most companies refrain from meeting with outsiders as much as possible. This is a good excuse to stop wasting time on face-to-face sales if the client side is willing to STOP. And since older people, who used to be reluctant to do online meetings, are now using ZOOM and the like, there will be less face-to-face sales and more business meetings over the phone and online.

 

These are my predictions. What do you think??

 

 

Japanese business Manga TOP 6 recommended for business Japanese learners!

 

In Japan, there are many adults who read manga, but it seems that in some countries it is embarrassing for adults to read manga. Most J-OS users are business people, so there may not be many people who read manga, but there are many Japanese manga that even adults can enjoy. Therefore, this time we have collected business-themed manga so that business people can enjoy it.

 

Kacho(Manager) Kosaku Shima https://amzn.to/2uGyG35

 

Speaking of manga whose leading role is a business person, many Japanese will probably mention this. It has also been turned into a TV drama. The main character is Kosaku Shima, who works for a major electronics manufacturer in Japan, and there are many current events and situations that are likely to happen, such as mergers of competitors and measures to take over from overseas companies. Kosaku Shima, who was the manager at the start of the manga, became a division chief, a director, and was promoted to the president. When his title changes, the title of the work will also change, such as “Division chief Kosaku Shima” ” Director Kosaku Shima” and “President Kosaku Shima”

A bilingual version of “K Division chief Kosaku Shima ” https://amzn.to/2ONPN9Y9  ” President Kosaku Shima ” https://amzn.to/31OfZXrX  is also available.

 

 

Salaryman Kintaro https://amzn.to/2w3S22v

 

This Manga is also popular and has been turned into a TV drama. Kintaro Yajima, the main character, is a salaryman working for a construction company, and his work and growth are drawn. There is also a series that has changed jobs to a foreign investment bank.

 

Investor Z https://amzn.to/2Hkekj8

 

A manga that allows you to deepen your understanding of investment and has a reputation for nurturing your mind as an investor while enjoying the story.

Kaisha Shikiho, a company that provides corporate information, describes this as “a manga that gives both beginners and experienced investors a” notice “to win.” Also, many real Japanese entrepreneurs have appeared, and there are many collaboration projects with real companies.

 

Concierge https://amzn.to/2SznE7S

 

A story that uses the hotel’s concierge as the main character and solves various problems and requests that guests and staff cause. Not only people working in hotels, but everyone who serves customers will enjoy it.

 

Yamikin(Illegal high interest lenders) Ushijima-kun https://amzn.to/2vo5NJg

 

This work has been turned into a drama and a movie.

Although the main character is an illegal high-interest lender, the content is dark, but it is a work that reminds you not to get involved in money troubles, and many entrepreneurs recommend this. Recommended for those who want to know about Japan’s dark society.

 

There seems to be a lot of Kindle versions recently, so please try it. And if you like, please see this article I wrote earlier.

Japanese business magazine TOP 10 recommended for business Japanese learners!

http://www.j-os.com/en/japanese-business-magazine-top-10-recommended-for-business-japanese-learners/

 

Popular 18 Business Japanese Dramas recommended for business Japanese learners!

http://www.j-os.com/en/popular-18-business-japanese-dramas-recommended-for-business-japanese-learners/

Job popularity ranking is not useful

 

If you work in Japan, what are the criteria for choosing a company?

When you find a job in Japan, you will see the “Job popularity ranking, but frankly, this ranking is not useful, so in this article, I will explain why and will introduce some other rankings.

 

Reason 1: The respondents are college students who has just started job hunting.

Companies that make such rankings often take questionnaires to university students who come to joint company briefings. For this reason, the number of companies that respondents know and the actual situation of the companies are extremely limited. It’s like asking a zero-beginner Japanese learner about recommended business Japanese materials.

 

Reason 2: The reality is just name recognition ranking

This is related to the first reason, most of the top ranking companies are doing BtoC business rather than BtoB. There are many excellent BtoB companies in Japan, but such companies are not well known, so they do not appear in the ranking.

 

So what ranking should you refer to instead?

Here are some suggestions.

 

Suggestion1:Job change popularity ranking

Example : https://doda.jp/guide/popular/

The respondents are already working, and the question is “Which company is better if you change jobs?”, That will be closer to the actual evaluation of the company than to ask students.

 

Suggestion2:Average annual income ranking

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/257530

Many people think salary is the most important. For those people, the average annual income ranking of employees will be helpful.

 

Suggestion3:Lifetime wage ranking

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/310498

In Japan, where the lifetime employment system was strong, there are many people who place importance on the ranking of lifetime wages rather than annual income.

 

Suggestion4:Ranking of employees working overseas

Example : https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/206216

There are many people who are worried about whether they can return to their home country in the future, work at a place where they can use their language skills, or do business globally. This is a ranking that allows you to know how many people work for the company overseas.

 

The operating profit margin ranking and overseas sales ratio ranking may also be helpful for you.

 

However, such ranking varies depending on the industry and business model, and may vary depending on the time of aggregation. For this reason, it is better to think that there is no ranking that perfectly meets your requirements.

 

So what should we do?

 

If you have a specific industry or job type that you want to work with, it may be good to create your own ranking based on that industry or job type. Also, if you are concerned about both the average annual income ranking and ranking of employees working overseas, it may  be good to create a list of companies that are ranked in both.

 

In this article, I wrote about how to use rankings, but it is always recommended to consult with people who are already working in the industry you want to go to without using such rankings.

 

Our free video course called “Japanese for Job Hunting” is available on YouTube.

I would be happy if you could register for your channel or do a GOOD evaluation 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZtUc_wd7BOKT9BvhRjyvsg/featured

 

I hope you all succeed in getting a job or changing jobs.

 

 

What are the popular SUBSK models in Japan?

 

■ What is “SUBSK”?

Do you know the word “SUBSK”?  This is a new Katakana word derived from an English word “subscription”, meaning a service or business that users usually pay a “monthly fee” or royalty depending on the period of use.

 

■ The most popular SUBSK model

Traditional services such as newspapers (many Japanese subscribe to newspapers as well), membership fee for gym, and house rent fall under this category. Recently, IT related services are increasing, for example, Microsoft office software is 37,584 yen for purchase-type, but 900 yen for monthly for subscription type.  Adobe’s Photoshop was 96,000 yen at the time of purchase (as of 2003), but the current monthly fee is 980 yen. While the sale unit price drops, Even the sale unit price drops, Adobe’s revenue has increased significantly by a successful user acquisition strategy. In addition, the all-you-can-listen service, such as Apple Music and Spotify are also popular .

 

■ Why the SUBSK is getting popular?

Why is the number of SUBSK service increasing? Let me analyze the reasons from both sides of  users and companies.

(1) Users

Cost: SUBSK is much cheaper than purchase type. In addition, initial costs, upgrade costs, support costs, etc. are all unnecessary.

Easiness: You contract the service only for the period you want to use. If you are not satisfied with the service, you can cancel it immediately.

 

(2) Companies:

Service improvement:  The services make the companies much easier to analyze the reason of cancellation and undertake service improvement. It is easy to plans for constant growth  and also it is highly valued in the stock market, therefore new market entrants  is increasing.

Customer LTV (Life Time Value) Improvement: The longer a company succeeds in attracting customer to its product, the more customer LTV will be improved even the unit price is low.

If these two functions(service and customer LTV improvement) work well, a virtuous cycle, that is “user satisfaction” > improvement of repeat rate> “sales improvement”, could be created.

 

■ What are the recommended SUBSK services in Japan?

Let me introduce some of the popular and unusual services in Japan.

 

(1) Amazon Prime Video

With an annual membership of 4,900 yen, you can watch movies, dramas, and animations. The annual fee for such Amazon Prime has been raised from 3900 yen to 4900 yen stating on April 12,2019. However, this price is less than half of $ 119 in Amazon USA, so it’s still a quite good deal, I think. Because of viewing restrictions depending on the area, Amazon prime membership of other countries will not work in japan. It is necessary to apply for Japanese prime membership, if you want to watch Japanese content.

 

(2) Sutadiisapuri (study supplement)

This service is recommended for families with children attending schools in Japan. It is a service that is used by 339,000 elementary and junior high school students in Japan because the video classes at the preparatory school are all at a 980 yen for a month.

https://studysapuri.jp/

 

(3) THE STELLA

A monthly service delivering 1 or 2 bottles of premium and cult wines depending on the plan.

https://www.the-stella.com/service/

 

 

(4) Bloomee LIFE

A weekly service that delivers flowers for appreciation.

https://bloomeelife.com/

 

(5) YClean

A shirt delivery service with both rental and cleaning of 20 shirts for 1 month.

https://yclean.co.jp/

 

(6) airCloset

A service that a professional stylist coordinates the entire body and delivers a set of clothes.

https://www.air-closet.com/

Please let me know if there are other services available in your country (^ ^) /

Must watch Japanese YouTube channels for business

 

YouTube’s popularity has greatly grown within these years in Japan.

There seems to be more people searching on YouTube rather than Google, especially on finding a way to do something. However, in fact, many of YouTube channels in Japan are made for young generation, not for business use. So this time, I will introduce my recommendation of Japanese YouTube channels for business persons.

 

Horiemon channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXjTiSGclQLVVU83GVrRM4w

A channel by Mr. Takafumi Horie, a famous IT entrepreneur commonly known as “Horiemon”.  There are a lot of fan of him, however, some people do not like him very much because of his frankness of speech. He is extremely well briefed on various business, not only IT business, but also rocket, gourmet and so on. In this channel, Mr. Horie discusses new business ideas with people in vogue such as best-selling authors. Also, he answers various questions from the readers of his mail magazine that gives beneficial ideas for business. This channel is updated frequently and well-organized.

 

 

NewsPicks

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfTnJmRQP79C4y_BMF_XrlA/featured

A channel by News Picks, which is a content curation media for business. (I introduced NewsPicks in this article https://goo.gl/ih8A8b ) Many business talks with well-known entrepreneurs and innovators are up on this channel.

There are also videoshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOlE7uqvvLE)of Mr. Kosaka known as “Pico-Taro” who is famous for “”Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen”.  He talks about the hidden story of Pico Taro’s birth. Japanese subtitle in this channel is excellent, so it will help your listening practice as well.

 

 

TEDXTOKYO

https://www.youtube.com/user/tedxtokyo/videos

A channel of TEDxTokyo which is the Japanese version of TED.

Although quality and quantity of this program are inferior to the above two, it will be helpful for those who are interested in an interview and a presentation in Japanese.

 

 

Industry Co-Creation

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJg5PAsj8fP45Fn8Pr5a3LQ/featured

Industry Co-Creation is an entrepreneur conference that is gathering of company founders and business leaders. Movie of pitch events is the main content of this channel. This channel will be helpful for those who are interested in an elevator pitch or a presentation.

 

 

BBT 757 program

https://www.youtube.com/user/BBT757program

A channel of online university “Business Breakthrough University (BBT)”, presided by a well-known management consultant, Mr. Kenichi Ohmae. It covers such topics as MBA, business news, and business trends.

 

 

Sekai wa ima  – JETRO Global Eye

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7yNsJvQ0wMOh6cdtUajLXQ

A channel of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) which supports overseas expansion of Japanese companies. A content format of the channel is like a real TV news program, and the narration is made by a professional narrator who speaks beautiful Japanese.

It is especially recommended for people involved in trade.

 

 

Kigyoo TV

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeKbsDj3ESBP5VuYTItN35w/featured

A channel of “Kigyoo TV”, a movie learning media for entrepreneurs.

The main contents of this channel is interviews of venture-business entrepreneurs.

 

All the channels I introduced this time are useful not only for Japanese listening practice but also to your business. So check them out!

PS

I will introduce another channel as an extra edition.

 

Dad has naturally curly hair

https://www.youtube.com/user/masatoikebe/featured

A family channel of “VAN LIFE”, “Vehicle Night” enjoying outdoor such as hiking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding. There is no useful business information, however, I recommend this channel for people who want to enjoy outdoor activities with family in Japan.

There are many information on ski resorts, travel stories from Chiba to Hokkaido by car, and so on.

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