Investing in a business in Thailand through the eyes of experienced and successful business man, Bryan Flowers.
Investors and aspiring business guys here are very difficult to match up, everyone has different agendas and there are too many ifs and buts. There is just to much lies in this town and often the only way to contact people is through word of mouth between mutual friends.
It would be nice to make a platform where both can meet each other, but the problem is too much fraud and cheaters will mess it up as usual. The other problem here, its very difficult to invest in success, lots of guys still contact me to invest, but why would I sell them a percent when it makes money. It would have to be a lot of money to be worth it for all parties, so we can double operations quickly. There are some honest/successful guys around but they needed investments at the start only. However some are open to ideas because they are hungry to expand faster.
I see many people investing in a business in Thailand, investing in people from their home town or home country because they feel safer, this is when people drop their guard and shit happens. You are much more likely here to get ripped off by your own countrymen because people do handshakes etc. Yes he was your mate for 20 years and was honest, but Pattaya changes everything, some people would kill to stay here and live the dream, ripping off your mate is an easy fix when desperate. All my investors are from different nationalities, they were chosen because they are all good guys, nothing to do with sense of humour or having the same interests.
Because of my posts I am now getting more guys contacting me wanting to invest and more guys looking for investors. A bad business man would keep taking those investments and sell 200-500% of shares, which is how some gogos seem to stay afloat. That’s ok if they are happy with the tiny amount of income they end up getting and if they can get their money back at some point, but its wrong and it can collapse.
I have seen many people turn bad, I am seeing people turn bad right now and I can see the future quite often. I wanted to make this post to help investors figure guys out and to prevent problems, because they are the vulnerable ones in this situation. Most investors here seem to be first time investors and they are so keen to live here, that they will risk their money very willingly investing in a business in Thailand
Here are some things you should do or ask yourself (to reduce chances of losing your money) Investing in a business in Thailand
1. How many years has he been here, it’s a steep learning curve moving here and you don’t want someone to open a business during that learning curve
2. What motivates them – I think family is stronger than pussy but pussy works well here, I hope its not nights out or drugs
3. Do they have a criminal record back at home, you can check some of these things online
4. Do you actually know any of their real family, if they are really from where they are, any of their friends can verify it? Lots of guys lying about their pasts here.
5. How much money do they have and why don’t they have any? If the guy is older with no money it could be because he likes to spend, or there could be a good reason like out of work or medical expenses
6. How much money will they put in? If they aren’t putting money in they either have little confidence, don’t want to be liable and I don’t think they will put as much effort in without the threat of losing all their shit.
7. Does he ring bells and buy rounds of shots in? I have seen many guys with huge bar bills and many of them were using investment/borrowed money, if someone lives like that they will blow all your money to, plus make expensive business decisions because they don’t care about the money so much
8. Never ever hand over all the investment, (everyone did this for me but im established) You need to control and drip the money to them when they need something, don’t accept any excuses, you can put the money in a Thai bank, so you can transfer fast/easy. If some guys have huge amounts of money in their accounts, they will spend it all eventually. Keep a tight reign on this money.
9. Ask around about the guys reputation, you can ask his friends what are his strengths and weaknesses.
10. I find you need to figure out there train of thought to see if it’s a successful type of person or its someone that is going to lose a lot of cash
11. You need to preferably find someone that isn’t lazy and is self motivated
12. Drug tests
13. They should be compliant with whatever contracts your lawyer advises you on, if they are making excuses then don’t do it. Make sure you have a rock solid contract so they go to jail if they steal your money. Forget paying a thai guy to beat them up or getting a cop to harass them. There is nothing more powerful than the full force of the law, because the whole system is behind it.
14. Go with your gut instinct, if it feels wrong don’t do it
15. Try and be around and have regular meetings, if hes avoiding you its for a reason
16. Ask for daily sales emailed to you
17. Go through the whole business plan, is the rent right, can he gonna get the staff, does he have a crazy wife that will screw it all up, is it legal? Look for any flaws and seek advice off others.
18. Visit them in their house, are they settled or just here. I have a fully furnished house, dog, kid, all my computers, cars. I am real and I am not going anywhere. I said to a guy once, we aren’t gonna do business until I have sat in your living room and had a cup of tea, he didn’t want me to know where he lived!
19. Has he partied out? I am not against shagging bar girls and having a drink, but if its every night forget it, when I was at my height of grafting, I went out 1-2 times a week. I much prefer to employ someone that doesn’t drink because they are more efficient and useful. Drinking alcohol consumes a lot of time. Many guys go crazy for the first two years, some faster and some never. But be warned some guys wont go out because they have no money, so when your investment comes they are then out nightly lol
20. No secrets between business partners- ive been involved in business before when there are lots of secrets that I couldn’t tell people/partners, this shown dishonesty and ultimately that dishonesty turned on me also.
21. If you are cheeky enough you can suggest you have a stupid friend with loads of money and he could invest and we can push him out/rip him off. If he agrees to this then hes not a guy to trust.
22. So many guys that have been ripped off, knew that there business partners ripped people off before them, but they always say “I didn’t think they would rip me off” lol Well trust me its your turn at some point, it doesn’t matter who you are, guys who are desperate will rob anyone.
23. You will need a good bullshit detector and be weary of guys promising silly returns, they are out of touch and shouldn’t be doing business yet
24. You need to go through every last detail, plan between partners. One guy told his business partner just to take out enough money to live on, but when there was no money left an argument ensued, no amounts were discussed. How much profit being reinvested? Is he gonna give himself a bullshit salary and pay his wife double, is he going to get first class flights? Will he put his bar bills down as public relations. Is he going to live on premises for free. If you can agree a buy out price even better, so when there is a problem later, its easy to exit. Most things we think surely we don’t need to write this down, but some guys get greedy, have strange ideas or are just taking the piss.
25. What if he dies, will the business continue?
26. Does he have time to do the business or does he have to work for someone
27. How much is his current living expenses? If its more than what hes gonna make to start with, there is a lot of pressure to take more. Unless he has savings to get by, if his expenses are high and the payout is low, then something will snap.
28. How much profit will be reinvested?
29. Is the lease rock solid? Has he found a location?
30. Check the market hes going into and see if his pricing is right.
31. Check his passport and visa
32. Does he listen to advise or critism or is he always right? The latter will fuck up your business.
33. Is he passionate about this business, does he really enjoy it?
34. Does he really love Pattaya? Some guys just want to spunk up girls all day, whereas other guys love Thailand, love Pattaya and the girls are a huge bonus.
35. Check his reputation around town, try to find out if he owes money or has other investors, most of the failing types hide investors and debts. Some clues are often on their girlfriends facebook, “Thanks for the land back my lovely husband” “Thanks for the motorbike”
36. Find out exactly how much money is going to be spent on what and how much safety net needs to stay in the bank, try and get your name on the business and the bank account but be careful and check with a lawyer because there are a few tricks people can use.
Last thing is we all have ideas, I have tons, we could brainstorm all day and figure out many things. But its not the idea, it’s the execution and the timing. Lots of guys message me with good/bad ideas but really its how they are executed is what a business owner really needs to know, you can be full of ideas but if you don’t market it right then you failed. I don’t want to listen to ideas.
I haven’t done this post to scare people into investing in a business in Thailand, or to invest in me, I just feel like I need to help people out. Please don’t be scared to reach out to business owners for advice or help, many are happy to help, many are grateful that you are a new customer. I don’t care how busy business guys are, if you ask them for help, they will often help because they love business and they are looking for opportunities or simply to learn what others are getting up to. Many people ask me for help, all I ask for in return is some feedback later or to keep me up to date, then I will learn through them. (good exchange for helping someone) Even small business owners have good contacts and opportunities.
This list is exhaustive and may seem too much, but if they back away from questions or checks, you have saved yourself a lot of money. A real conman would give up half way through these questions because you aren’t an easy mark. They are looking for an easy ride.
This blog Investing in a business in Thailand was written by Bryan Flowers. Connect with Bryan directly on Facebook (Click Here)