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  #21  
Old 30.12.2010, 14:21
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Why an expat focused business? Expats are a tiny minority and notoriously fickle. Start a business that will have customers of all nationalities as customers (including Swiss) and you will have a much bigger chance of success.
Yes. But.

If you are going to set up a café that appeals to expats, the Swiss will follow. Take a look at other expat friendly/heavy spots (i.e. CargoBar, Pickwicks, etc). They are full of Swiss people who are attracted by the quality of the clientele and the quality of the atmosphere. Even Swiss people like to have an affordable beer in a laid-back setting! Expat-friendly bars have more customers and are therefore good business.

Setting up a 20 min type newspaper, or some other English-only endeavor will only be valuable to the insular temporary expat who doesn't intend to learn German (of which many are here on this forum...). I don't think there are enough of the insular types here in Basel to support such a business, as the integration-minded expat will likely have little interest in your proposal. I, for one, would not read your magazine.

In fantasy-land, it would be great to see some kind of restaurant that cooks tasty food at reasonable prices, in a nice atmosphere. In reality, you probably wouldn't attract enough customers interested in food using spices and so would have to "Swiss" it down, driving the expats away, which would empty the place and kill the atmosphere, forcing you to raise your prices, which would make it just like every other boring, bland, awful, empty, expensive restaurant in Basel.
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  #22  
Old 30.12.2010, 14:30
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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In fantasy-land, it would be great to see some kind of restaurant that cooks tasty food at reasonable prices, in a nice atmosphere. In reality, you probably wouldn't attract enough customers interested in food using spices and so would have to "Swiss" it down, driving the expats away, which would empty the place and kill the atmosphere, forcing you to raise your prices, which would make it just like every other boring, bland, awful, empty, expensive restaurant in Basel.
This made me smile, and is the best explanation I've seen for the horrors served in Basel restaurants. After too many uneaten meals costing over 100 CHF per person, my husband and I have decided to only eat out in France or Germany.
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  #23  
Old 30.12.2010, 14:54
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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as gg has managed to successfully sell british cheese to the swiss, my suggestion would be to emulate him and try to sell british made watches the swiss!
Or British chocolate...?

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It's simply a matter of having a better understanding of the expat market. After 4 years of living here, I am still not quite sure what makes the Swiss tick. ;-)

Of course, I would be happy to have anyone from anywhere come in and share their hard-earned money with me - I just would pick something that would be of (hopefully) obvious interest to the expat community and then work on bringing in the locals.
They are just people like everyone else, but are also prepared to pay higher prices for quality products and quality service. They are also extremely loyal customers and if they like you will tell all of their friends about you.

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Actually, I wonder if there wouldn't be any interest in some form of Expat Times, English-language, 20-minuten-type publication. Another thing I discovered is that it is not particularly easy to advertise to the expat community.
There are plenty of English language magazines and on-line news sites and other English language places to advertise. But the best advertising is free. Good service = word of mouth.

What is your area of expertise and what type of franchise were you ready to buy?
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  #24  
Old 30.12.2010, 15:05
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Basel is definitely missing cosy, welcoming cafes. I've been here 10 years and they don't have enough.

The place should have nice lighting (low lighting) comfortable chairs, low music in the background - plenty of candles in the winter. English and German newspapers to read. The food - simply but tasty. With some proper English tea served in tea pots as well as good coffee. With tasty home-made cookies, scones and soup/sandwiches. Staff should be English and German speaking. People should pay for their food as they order it - so they don't have to rely on ultra slow waiting staff to get their bill and leave.

Once a week the cafe could have a special evening - with live music or book discussions (in English)

My God - please create such a place!!
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  #25  
Old 30.12.2010, 15:22
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Basel is definitely missing cosy, welcoming cafes. I've been here 10 years and they don't have any.
Fixed it...
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  #26  
Old 30.12.2010, 15:38
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Anything, as long as you sell proper bacon!
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  #27  
Old 30.12.2010, 15:41
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Affordable child care
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  #28  
Old 30.12.2010, 17:23
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Anything, as long as you sell proper bacon!
But somebody already does.
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  #29  
Old 30.12.2010, 17:37
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

I don't even like beer and I've often heard the people in the area complaining there isn't a decent beer around downtown Chur. One thing I miss from Germany is Malt Beer *yum*

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  #30  
Old 30.12.2010, 17:38
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Actually, I wonder if there wouldn't be any interest in some form of Expat Times, English-language, 20-minuten-type publication. Another thing I discovered is that it is not particularly easy to advertise to the expat community.
No! Stay away from this. It's time & money intensive, but you won't get anything out of it. With the internet there are hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousand website that provide information.

Now, what you could do it start a conspiracy theory and then sell videos & e-books on it and get other conspiracy theory websites to put ads on your page and then get ad revenues.

PS, if you want to come to Lausanne in about 6 months we could open something together.....
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Old 30.12.2010, 17:46
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Or British chocolate...?
definitely!
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  #32  
Old 30.12.2010, 17:50
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Are you moving to Dubai or already there? I just spent basically
the last 6 months there and in Abu Dhabi.
Been here for the last 4 months. Just like Switzerland without the snow
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  #33  
Old 30.12.2010, 19:05
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Ever considered something along the lines of Merchants of Cool ( a PBS doco )??

I work with some kids here and they appear to have a significant purchasing ability. Might be capital intensive though.

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  #34  
Old 30.12.2010, 19:24
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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two related businesses; Brothel situated over a 5 minute car wash
Better yet, a brothel above a self service laundry.

With staff to take out your laundry when done and iron it. A decent pub next door for those who don't want to partake in the brothel bit.

This was a proven business model in the UK, well, until the police closed down the upstairs bit
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Old 30.12.2010, 20:15
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Or British chocolate...?
Probably the most popular and well-known British chocolate brand is Cadbury's, who are owned by Kraft Foods; who also own ........
http://www.toblerone.co.uk/toblerone...1&PagecRef=579-- see bottom of page.
Possible conflict of interests?
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  #36  
Old 30.12.2010, 21:18
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Better yet, a brothel above a self service laundry.

With staff to take out your laundry when done and iron it. A decent pub next door for those who don't want to partake in the brothel bit.

This was a proven business model in the UK, well, until the police closed down the upstairs bit
When the building next to Migros at Claraplatz went up for sale, I fantasy bought it and turned it into a self-service laundry with a bar upstairs with Sky TV, a couple of pool tables, real ale and proper bar snacks like pies, chips and scotch eggs.

Apparently I didn't do it.
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  #37  
Old 30.12.2010, 21:48
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Well, something that I think is really missing in a town the size of Basel - and something that expats really look for (because there are tons of them back home) but also the Swiss seem to be more and more into - is a big, 365 days a year, kids indoor play centre. There is now Okidoki in Lorrach across the border, but I still think there's room for one here too because that place is packed to the rafters all the time.
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  #38  
Old 30.12.2010, 22:28
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

I wouldn't bother wiht newspapers- too much work and won't sell enough.

I would try to make a kind of artsy cultural cafe- something with a Starbucks/ Cafe Lena mix, specialty teas and basic good seasonal food. Comfy seats, English newspapers. Occasional visiting poets or guitarists, pictures of landmarks in English-speaking countries. Wacky/ interesting stuff like the chewing- gum wall outside like the bar in Seattle. Most of all attractive personality staff, whose motto is the 'customer comes first'.
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  #39  
Old 31.12.2010, 01:01
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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When the building next to Migros at Claraplatz went up for sale, I fantasy bought it and turned it into a self-service laundry with a bar upstairs with Sky TV, a couple of pool tables, real ale and proper bar snacks like pies, chips and scotch eggs.

Apparently I didn't do it.
To be clear, my thanks is not for the last sentence. That is groan-worthy. It's for the phrase "I fantasy bought it." That Lamborghini parked there? I fantasy bought three of them last week to do my grocery shopping in.
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  #40  
Old 31.12.2010, 02:01
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

According to the Sun a new drive through sex shop in Alabama is doing record business.
Trouble is it would not be suitable for selling the new condoms for 12 year olds; maybe add a bicycle lane - would also appeal to the Greens.
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