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

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

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:01 am

AE86 wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:48 pm
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.
I definitely agree regarding the $700 "support". It raised red flags for me as well since your average country girl earning $200-300 in the city can support herself and still manage to send money back to mom in the countryside... I know a few expats who can easily live off $700.

I also do agree that failure is much more likely if he ans she have zero experience. 9 out of 10 businesses fail no matter where you are, probably even higher percentage in Cambodia. However, if it clears his mind he might as well help set up a small business which keeps her afloat. Might very well end up way cheaper than the $700/month... :D

I'm fine. No worries, you didn't make a bad impression or anything though I do remember we mostly just bitched, haha.
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Jamie_Lambo
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Jamie_Lambo » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:42 am

lol $700 a month? lol she probably has a secret Khmer boyfriend as well seeing as your mate is rarely in country
as mentioned, if shes not motivated/passionate/desire in something already then the business will fail, and even dreaming of earning $500 per month will be exactly that, a dream
if your mate is asking you to ask us for ideas then its not a good sign mate, she should be the one with the ideas of what she wants to do, if shes actually serious about working
but when shes already getting $700 per month for the past 2 years, which is already nearly 5 times the minimum wage, for doing nothing? lol
was she working before he met her? how did they meet? a bar? a poor hard working good girl from a poor family isnt likely to bump into random tourists and strike up a relationship
not impossible by any means, but youre friend needs to be careful, as people have mentioned, its quite a common/stereotypical scenario that we see/hear a lot
i could have got the wrong impression from your OP, how often is your mate in Cambodia? is she working already but wants to start her own business?

if she wants to start a business what skills does she have?
is she a good cook?
is she trained to work in a salon? if she wants a salon it would be best to get a few years training/experience before opening one herself, otherwise would only fail
it all depends on the girl whether a small business would work or not, as she will have to be motivated in whatever it is in order for it to at least break even, and if we dont know her then its hard to make suggestions
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boozyoldman
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby boozyoldman » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:47 am

$5,000 is good seed money to start up in business as a local moneylender.

With her more-or-less steady $700/mo. income, it's mildly surprising that
she hasn't started lending money at interest already.
jmagic
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby jmagic » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm

No, spending $700 to support a family is certainly not a red flag. How many of the expats on this forum spend that little in a month?
taabarang
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby taabarang » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:02 pm

"No, spending $700 to support a family is certainly not a red flag. How many of the expats on this forum spend that little in a month?"

Well, I support a.family of four on just slightly more than that. So if you would care to send a love offering of a mere $700/month we would be very appreciative.
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Jamie_Lambo » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:14 pm

jmagic wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm
No, spending $700 to support a family is certainly not a red flag. How many of the expats on this forum spend that little in a month?
what do the family do all day? nothing?
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Kuroneko
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Kuroneko » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:06 pm

jmagic wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm
No, spending $700 to support a family is certainly not a red flag. How many of the expats on this forum spend that little in a month?
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Raybull
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Raybull » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:52 am

Jamie_Lambo wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:14 pm
jmagic wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm
No, spending $700 to support a family is certainly not a red flag. How many of the expats on this forum spend that little in a month?
what do the family do all day? nothing?
Of course not! Gambling, uncles 'n brothers at the Ktv drinking and whoring, crashing their new Dreams and Zoomers-Xs in the local slews, acquiring a taste for imported wine and french oysters, the bloody options are endlesss! Seriously tho, 700$ barely buys you a pot to piss in nowadays! I respect somebody who can raise a family on 700$/mth if need be, and also say the same about the OP's friend if he's got the funds. He's basically a one man family charity, and if he's ok with it then so be it. He did do his DD according to the OP, right? She could of saved 200$ a month and had 5k$ by now to start her own business though. But that's not the game :wink:
What about a small combi van near the riverside selling lady drinks, those pay pretty darn well!
willyhilly
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby willyhilly » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:24 am

I support a family of six on $200 in the bush. If this girl is in the bush she should be talking to the guy who is doing honey and chicken breeding. But Khmers are not big on detail and any venture would likely fail. Vaccinating poultry for instance is just hard work and the money could be better spent on beer or smokes.
I too have thought about the bamboo rakes, they were great. But is there enough bamboo left and do Khmers have the patience to make them. I am still astounded that no Thai type street food is available around the riverside or the backpacker areas. Can't they learn to cook Thai food?
With street food being banned in Bangkok why don't enterprising Khmers start a food revolution in Cambodia. Its not hard to learn to cook surely?
Enterprising?
Barang chgout
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Re: Can you start a business with $5k

Postby Barang chgout » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:05 am

$200/ month for a family of 6 is barely subsistance imo.

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