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Phuket Business – Types of Business

Bars and restaurants are for sale just about everywhere in Phuket and more are being built as part of shop house developments as the property building boom continues, especially in the south west of the island.

The reason for the large amount of businesses for sale, especially bars, is that most people wanting to live in Phuket are either the older generation looking for early retirement with a small income or someone who wants to change their lives, thinking a bar is easy to run and good fun.

Nothing could be further from the truth and the only successful bars in Phuket are very professionally run with "mine host" always on call, a fact overlooked by many over enthusiastic buyers whose dream varies dramatically from the reality of running a successful bar.

There is a saying here “If you want to make a small fortune in Thailand, start off with a large one”! Although not necessarily true, this statement accurately reflects the plight of the majority of would be enraptures who arrive almost daily with little or no master plan.

In the service industries, competition is fierce and Thais will always be able to undercut prices as the Thai regulations, which seem to be in a continual state of flux, always favour the locals who can easily cut their way through the mountains of red tape, which is the bane of all Farang business owners.

Until the recent recession, developers of all sorts found business relatively easy but now, even with construction going on at a frantic pace, working on what could be called the “I've started so I'll finish“ attitude, things are getting much tighter especially in the middle market areas.

I have two friends who have bucked this trend, both arrived with very little and are now very successful as they both put their energies into businesses in which they already had considerable experience and exploited the “Farang“ niche in their respective markets, in these cases Publishing / Advertising and Building Supplies.

For good business advice, talk to an ex–pat business person who has been here a few years, but play your cards very close to your chest, as everybody here is looking for a good idea.

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