According to a 2018 study by the World Economic Forum, Thailand boasts the highest entrepreneurial spirit in the ASEAN region. 26% of Thais polled in the area already ran their businesses, and a further 36% planned to in the future.
When asked why they’d prefer to work for themselves, it’s for the earning potential. The fact that they’ll be autonomous comes in second. Interestingly enough, globally, 55% of people start businesses to gain professional control rather than for money. Perhaps the difference is that we already understand that the two work hand in hand in Thailand.
Whatever the reason is, you’ve decided to start a business. Do you have what it takes to become a tycoon in Thailand? Read this post and find out.
Starting a business is relatively simple. If you’re creative, you won’t even need a ton of cash. According to the World Bank, Thailand is a “development success story,” moving from a low-income country to a high-income country in a short period.
The Bank goes on to state that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on growth. Combined with the political protests and the lack of tourism income, Thailand’s economy seemed to be in dire straits, but we’ve been in worse situations.
The strengthening of the baht between October and November made the currency the second best-performing one in ASEAN. News that the coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use gives renewed hope that tourists will soon be welcomed back.
While the present situation doesn’t seem conducive to starting a new business, it may well be the best time to begin.
With the current economic climate and millions of Thais being out of work, the internal talent pool is large. Those who don’t have jobs may be willing to work for a lower wage. Renting premises might also be less expensive at this time. Suppliers may be willing to negotiate more favorable terms to secure your business.
On the other side of the coin, building a client base may be difficult. Deciding on the correct product or service to offer requires intensive market research.
Getting a business off the ground is difficult at the best of times. Starting one as we’re coming out of a global pandemic isn’t going to make it easier. Be prepared to put in long days and nights to turn your dream into reality.
One of the advantages of working for yourself is that you keep the money that you earn. One of the disadvantages is that you also bear all of the responsibility. Having savings to rely on for living expenses for the first year or so will make life easier for you.
Every entrepreneur has a vision about how their product or service will revolutionize the industry. Now’s the time to objectively evaluate how revolutionary your idea is. Do other companies provide something similar? If so, what do you do that adds value to the process?
If your idea is truly unique, why has no one thought of it before? Is it something new because the technology wasn’t there previously? Or is it because it’s an unworkable solution that the market doesn’t really want? Will your target market switch over to the new product or service or resist doing so?
Let’s use an analogy here.
Let’s say that we have a one-lane bridge crossing a river. It’s been used for years but is always congested during peak periods. A company comes along and decides to build a toll bridge further upstream. The bridge has four lanes and will easily cope with peak traffic. Does this solve the dilemma?
At first glance, it’s a good solution, but in reality, it may not work.
It requires that people go out of their way to use the new bridge. It’s not a huge detour, but a large enough one to be inconvenient. What’s more, the locals resent paying the toll when they can use the more convenient bridge for free.
Don’t fall into the same trap by doing copious market research upfront.
The next question to ask is whether you’ll make a living from the business. Say, for example, that you sell the best brooms available. They’re sturdy and last well. Initially, the sales may go well as people stock up on a useful item.
Over time, however, sales have slowed down—people only need one broom per household, and yours don’t break. While the idea is solid, it may not be as sustainable as you’d like. You could approach this one of two ways:
- Make a product designed to fail: A dangerous plan because you risk your business’s reputation.
- Design complementary consumable products: What about selling rubbish bags and other household cleaning essentials?
Some entrepreneurs take each day as it comes without any plan. It’s a strategy that seldom bears fruit and is extremely stressful. Creating a clear business plan helps you to refine your vision for your business.
It clarifies your target market, enabling you to optimize your marketing efforts. It further provides a clear route forward and benchmarks against which to measure success. The plan may be adjusted over time, but consider it a roadmap to success.
Setting up your business may be one of the most difficult challenges you undertake. The rewards, however, are more than worth the effort. If you work hard, take time to research the market, consider finding a mentor to guide you, and create a clear vision of what to achieve, you could be a Thai tycoon.