My Biggest Business Failures in Thailand
While I'm not trolling the online dating sites I'm busy dreaming up new business ideas. Starting a business online or offline anywhere in the world can be a challenge and while I like to talk up my successes not everything I've done has been a gold mine. In fact I've had more failed business ideas in Thailand than I really care to list and that's OK because if you aren't failing you aren't winning. Two of my favorite and most memorable Business failures was the donut shop and the eBay listing and management software.
Mr Churro Donut
Unless you speak Spanish, live in the USA or have been to Disneyland you might not know what a churro is. For me it's the best tasting donut ever eaten! I thought I saw some potential in the Churro here since Thai's love donuts they might like this also. So we tested them in a test market and they sold out and were a huge success and things just grew from there. Before you knew it we had 5 donut mobiles driving around Chiang Mai plus a retail shop. Ultimately the enterprise didn't work after a few years of trying mostly due to the high cost of fuel and electricity, but it was a fun business and even though it didn't work out as planned I think I learned more Thai during this period than at any other stage and most importantly how to get a Thai University girl from the ground floor to the top floor. Actually this website was created while I sat eating donuts at the shop so I guess you could say it was worth pursuing.
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”― Thomas A. Edison
Mr Lister Pro
I only just realized that two of my favorite business failures of mine both had the "Mr" name in them so from now on I'm never naming any business or product with a Mr in them ever again. When I first landed in Thailand I had two ideas, first was to build an eBay business quickly which I became very successful at, and then there was Mr Lister. In 2008 there wasn't any easy to use warehouse management systems for small businesses that could actually manage their own warehousing. So before moving to Thailand I created a website solution that could track shipping, print labels, track customers, etc etc. I had it translated to Thai so I could get any Thai chick to print a label and go to the post office so pretty much the whole eBay system was automated. It was a great system....for me. The problem with trying to market this product to other people is everyone was using eBay in different ways, a different country, with different shipping, with different warehousing techniques, and then there was the threat that eBay would just start building these services right into their site (which most of it they eventually did) so while the site did what it needed for me I honestly just didn't care to spend the time to build everything people wanted to I closed it down and just used it myself.
One of the most common businesses people start in Thailand is a bar, I don't think I'll ever open a bar because I don't really like bars, maybe I'll open up a karaoke one day one with Full HD videos, a stripper pole, and with both coyote and PR girls. But for now I'm working on another failure (hope not) the Thai Locator I'm hoping will be the guide everyone uses to know where things are at, if you'd like to follow my progress there then check out the locator page.
Every month I give something away sometimes just to VIP members and other times to anyone who reads the site. This month I'm giving away 3000 baht. Here's how to win:
* You must be signed up to the email list to win!
* Leave a comment about the worst business Idea you've ever seen or heard about in Thailand. In fact you could just comment on how stupid my ideas were, your own, your friends or just businesses you've seen in Thailand that were meant to fail.
* That's it!
I will be choosing the winner next Monday 7th September 2014 so start thinking about it!