Can you start a business in Cambodia with $5k?

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Duncan
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Duncan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:38 am

Here's a small business idea for someone out in the provinces, and you dont even have to make them yourself. Contract the job to village ladies as they are quite good at weaving and making basket type of things.

I remember back in the early days before these things were made in factories and mass produced in plastic,,, they were made from bamboo strips, the ends being soaked in hot water to get a bend on the end.
Cambodians have not got past the stage of using a broom to rake up grass and leaves, so there is plenty of potential here.


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Bitte_Kein_Lexus
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:42 am

AE86 wrote:I don't mean to be demeaning, but I've seen this story a thousand times over with much more money. Same story every time. "Going to start a small business with my wife/girlfriend. Going to keep it small. Just want to make a little extra money, that's all. I'm sure with the investment she'll do great!"

It never works, and I mean never as in 0% of the time. I know of ONE couple (foreigner with Cambodian girlfriend) who has consistently been able to open a business and turn a profit for any length of time...and that's me and my wife. Consequently, we both previously ran profitable businesses on our own, and even with that we've gone out of business 3 out of 7 times here.

I'm sorry, but all I can say is "forget it", because $1,000 a month is in no way possible with a $5k business from two inexperienced people.


EDIT: I'm saying what I said because I've seen literally dozens of couples lose out on massive amounts of money because they could make it. I don't want to see you lose that $5k, because that's exactly what will happen.
To be fair, one doesn't need a lot of startup capital to start a business here. You're thinking "big", but selling rice and pork on the street corner or coffee from a makeshift tuktuk are small businesses. I know a coffee seller which nets $100+/day, which isn't bad for a small Khmer business. Granted, many of these small businesses with idle staff/owners make just enough to scrape by, but that's what the OP is after. He doesn't need the next PayPal idea.
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Anchor Moy » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:22 pm

What is she good at and likes doing ? Where does she live, in PP, in the countryside?
Also, supply and demand. You need to supply a demand that is not being met, or you can create or increase the demand - selling ice-creams where there are lots of schoolkids for example.
Or if she's in PP, organise a shopping service for people in the provinces. There are almost no internet delivery services outside of the cities and many people still have to come to PP to buy certain goods. Either offer to find specific objects that people ask for, or she could set up a FB page with photos of whatever she fancies selling (and that there is a demand for), and then organise delivery to the provinces by minivan or bus. Customer pays by Wing or whatever.
My 2c. :)
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Just Another Dave
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Just Another Dave » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:26 pm

Raise chickens, at least that's what Bill Gates suggests.

Why Bill Gates Thinks Raising Chickens Would Solve a Huge Problem | Fortune ...

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Development
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AE86
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby AE86 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:48 pm

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:42 am

To be fair, one doesn't need a lot of startup capital to start a business here. You're thinking "big", but selling rice and pork on the street corner or coffee from a makeshift tuktuk are small businesses. I know a coffee seller which nets $100+/day, which isn't bad for a small Khmer business. Granted, many of these small businesses with idle staff/owners make just enough to scrape by, but that's what the OP is after. He doesn't need the next PayPal idea.
You're correct in saying people can make it here, and I'm not saying people don't make money, but from my personal point of view the OP's friend didn't seem to have a good sense for money or business, which is why I was being a bit cautionary towards him. $700 to "support" a family is an instant red flag. That is a lot of money being siphoned off already, and with the talk of $1,000 a month dreams it makes me think they and the Khmer family have no experience with business whatsoever.

For every $100 a day coffee seller, there are hundreds if not thousands that give it a try and go out of business. I know because our family is who sells them the startup furnishings, and I'd say 80-90% of the sellers we furnish have already closed doors in the first 6 months. Okay, I know it's not a tuk tuk coffee stand, but the same idea applies. Everyone wants more money, and the more startup opportunities one has (like buy a tuk tuk), the less chance they'll have of succeeding because of supply and demand. The reason you don't hear about them is because...well, they're not in business and you're not buying from them. :shock:

Re: Next big thing: I actually don't like the idea of the "next big thing" and I despise the likes of Elon Musk, because to be that kind of ultra rich emperor you have to be ruthless and amoral in your dealings with people, it's just a fact of capitalism and how it works. I'm happy to make a good living while providing a product I know is good, even if my customers don't understand the benefits of higher quality and I make less money doing so.

However here I'll try and take a positive tone though (as I am a pessimist by nature). It is absolutely possible to make it with a small business here, and in many ways I like doing business in SE Asia vs. the U.S. because of lax regulations. Freedom is the engine of innovation. I just wanted to say that 9 out of 10 people I've seen start a business here have failed, so you really have to be diligent and keep at it if you want to stay in business.

The right way to approach it would be to compare it to a minimum wage job and how much work you have to put into it.

$120 a month is a basic non thinking salary. If you double that while having a small stand of something where you can leave it when you want to take a nap or break, then you're doing great.



P.S. Btw how you doing Bitte_Kein? I still feel bad when we had coffee together and I was dealing with a massive financial issue and was in a super cross mood. Can't have been a good first impression, haha.
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby willyhilly » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:17 pm

$700 a month! It sounds like she already has a thriving business. Why would she ever want to work for a living when she has some mug giving money away like this?
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby redjade » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:59 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes it seems she is lucky she is being funded. However like most people I believe that we all would like to be independent on relying on another person be able to financial support ourselves. Because you never know when circumstances change and you are on your own.

Also for those that asked she lives in Phnom Phen. A trade job will be good but I don't think a khmer girl would be capable or accept.

I feel she maybe suited more towards a service type or sales type job
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby phuketrichard » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:50 pm

redjade wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:59 pm
Thanks for your thoughts. Yes it seems she is lucky she is being funded. However like most people I believe that we all would like to be independent on relying on another person be able to financial support ourselves. Because you never know when circumstances change and you are on your own.

Also for those that asked she lives in Phnom Phen. A trade job will be good but I don't think a khmer girl would be capable or accept.

I feel she maybe suited more towards a service type or sales type job

why would she trade in $700/month for dong nothing, to work as a saleslady (even those at Aeon make less than $200/month) ?
Office work??

Asains will, 75% of the time take a sure, easy thing over work any day :beer3:
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby rozzieoz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:24 am

willyhilly wrote:$700 a month! It sounds like she already has a thriving business. Why would she ever want to work for a living when she has some mug giving money away like this?
My thoughts exactly.


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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby rozzieoz » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:26 am

If it's not her idea, it's unlikely she will make it work.
You can't teach someone to be motivated. Good luck to your friend but I think he's going to be fighting a losing battle.



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