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Old 13.01.2011, 15:55
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Sorry. Beer plus fizzy pop and crisps then.
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  #62  
Old 13.01.2011, 15:56
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Similar to a post from Hoppy...

I seriously considered a bar/lounge with a small stage in the corner for jazz evenings, acoustic nights, comic nights etc. Somewhere sophisticated for people to go and enjoy simple entertainment without it being rammed down their throats. Nice environment etc, you know what I mean...
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  #63  
Old 13.01.2011, 16:00
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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That's a good idea

Whole Foods? Not such a good idea. Had a friend here who opened a Deli specializing in 'real food'. Import, lack of buying bulk power etc meant he was just down right expensive, which is fine if you want to market to the pockets that bring home an amazing packet every month! Of course, you also have to get to that kind of population and keep them! Stick to the cafe.
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  #64  
Old 13.01.2011, 16:01
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Virtual assistant service from Romania speaking and writing good German to deal with all the things you have to deal as a foreigner in a country in which not everyone speaks English.
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  #65  
Old 13.01.2011, 16:13
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Whole Foods? Not such a good idea. Had a friend here who opened a Deli specializing in 'real food'. Import, lack of buying bulk power etc meant he was just down right expensive, which is fine if you want to market to the pockets that bring home an amazing packet every month! Of course, you also have to get to that kind of population and keep them! Stick to the cafe.
Actually, I would think that if you could switch to seasonal Swiss produce you could cut down on the import issues (which can be quite significant in Switzerland) and appeal to the Swiss and potentially expats alike.
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Old 13.01.2011, 16:14
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Similar to a post from Hoppy...

I seriously considered a bar/lounge with a small stage in the corner for jazz evenings, acoustic nights, comic nights etc. Somewhere sophisticated for people to go and enjoy simple entertainment without it being rammed down their throats. Nice environment etc, you know what I mean...
I'd be a regular! Sounds like a great idea!
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  #67  
Old 13.01.2011, 16:15
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

I wouldn't use it but I know that some women I hung out with in Switzerland moaned about not being able to find a nail salon or a pet parlour. They had never done this themselves and didn't know where to start.
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  #68  
Old 13.01.2011, 16:19
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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That's a good idea
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I reckon a decent fish and chip van would make a killing in Basel: park near the pharmas at lunchtime and near Paddy's / cinema street in the evenings. LUSH.

Either that, or a Marks & Spencers food franchise please.
I was thinking more of a sandwich place. Ever seen one here? In Oz, we have sandwich bars everwhere. Loads of fresh ingredients, different breads. Toasted or not, buttered or plain. Roast pork sandwiches with bloody crackling and apple sauce. The ever faithful Ham Cheese Tomato Toasted ( do those all the time, all my swiss neighbours love them - especially the teenies). Chicken and avo --- god my mouth waters already.
Back home these were the best quick lunches and VERY well visited. A nice, almost healthy, alternative to the Döner. And now that the swiss have caught up with the rest of the world and don't have two hour lunches anymore.......
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Old 13.01.2011, 16:25
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

I would travel miles to get a roast pork sandwich with cracking and apple sauce
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Old 13.01.2011, 16:55
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

I would love to see...

...a professional dog sitting service, including in-home sitting, where sitters are qualified and registered as required under the TschV, insured, and working legally. One where the sitters are both able and willing to care for pets who have special medical needs or whose behavior is not always perfect.

There is no such service in Switzerland - I've been looking for years now. Desperate dog owners like me would gladly pay a fortune for the right person.

Expat dog owners are a natural target market - we need to travel back to our home countries regularly, and few have a support network here.


That, or a real bagel bakery. (Just had yet another 'round bread' let down... )


Just a thought.
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  #71  
Old 13.01.2011, 17:00
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Reasonably priced relocation and ongoing support. The Aussies have made a good go of this kind of stuff in London and I wish it was here. Of course, this just reflects my current concerns.
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  #72  
Old 13.01.2011, 17:10
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

A proper BBQ restaurant which is not termed exotic = cost a fortune for a proper kabab and I don't mean the doner crap.

If people will eat it, you should BBQ it.
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  #73  
Old 13.01.2011, 19:07
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

Oh yes please,please, pretty please.....................

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I would love to see...

...a professional dog sitting service, including in-home sitting, where sitters are qualified and registered as required under the TschV, insured, and working legally. One where the sitters are both able and willing to care for pets who have special medical needs or whose behavior is not always perfect.

There is no such service in Switzerland - I've been looking for years now. Desperate dog owners like me would gladly pay a fortune for the right person.

Expat dog owners are a natural target market - we need to travel back to our home countries regularly, and few have a support network here.


That, or a real bagel bakery. (Just had yet another 'round bread' let down... )


Just a thought.
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  #74  
Old 13.01.2011, 23:03
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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Whole Foods? Not such a good idea. Had a friend here who opened a Deli specializing in 'real food'. Import, lack of buying bulk power etc meant he was just down right expensive, which is fine if you want to market to the pockets that bring home an amazing packet every month! Of course, you also have to get to that kind of population and keep them! Stick to the cafe.
The same is true of a restaurant or cafe. On average a single operated cafe/restaurant if it is successful would at best only get you a maximum of 5% return on your investment and that usually takes working 6 to 7 days a week of full time hours during breakfast, lunch and diner to make it work, for some that's all it takes but you must have the passion and drive behind you to make that work. Lots of people will tell you what they think should be available but few will put their money where their mouth is and support the venture.

My preference is to look for higher margin businesses with less intensive labour & overall running costs.
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  #75  
Old 14.01.2011, 17:22
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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The same is true of a restaurant or cafe. On average a single operated cafe/restaurant if it is successful would at best only get you a maximum of 5% return on your investment and that usually takes working 6 to 7 days a week of full time hours during breakfast, lunch and diner to make it work, for some that's all it takes but you must have the passion and drive behind you to make that work. Lots of people will tell you what they think should be available but few will put their money where their mouth is and support the venture.

My preference is to look for higher margin businesses with less intensive labour & overall running costs.
I agree the restaurant/cafe business can be very hard ... anywhere, but I think is good about a lot of the ideas in this thread is the concept of combining the cafe with something else. Reduces risk, increases customer-base and appeal and might be a very good idea for a place the size of Basel.
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  #76  
Old 14.01.2011, 20:22
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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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.
As a case in point a small shop opened near me a few years ago selling baseball caps, skateboards and designer sweat shirts. At first glance it appeared to me to be someone setting up a business for their (possibly not academically orientated) son. However it has now turned into quite a substantial business with a lot of stock and much larger premises in a good location.

You are right about it being capital intensive, and the cost of staff here isn't cheap. If you can survive until the pont where bulk purchasing discounts kick in, the margins can be quite healthy (and you do need healthy gross margins to pay for a prime location and enough staff).
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  #77  
Old 14.01.2011, 20:38
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Re: What would be the best expat servicing business to start in Basel??

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The same is true of a restaurant or cafe. On average a single operated cafe/restaurant if it is successful would at best only get you a maximum of 5% return on your investment and that usually takes working 6 to 7 days a week of full time hours during breakfast, lunch and diner to make it work, for some that's all it takes but you must have the passion and drive behind you to make that work. Lots of people will tell you what they think should be available but few will put their money where their mouth is and support the venture.
Anything like a cafe, restaurant or bar tends to go in cycles. Essentially unless you have the only lunch spot in town most of it is discretionary spending, the clientele can be fickle, and it will be subject to cycles. Talking to a local bar owner recently I reckoned the cycle was something between 3 and 5 years, and for his particular spot he came down on the 3 year side of that. He has a fair but of property as well, so it's not his only form of income.

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My preference is to look for higher margin businesses with less intensive labour & overall running costs.
I agree, but if you attack the wrong market sector you run the risk of attracting the attention of major players who might just price you out of the market to preserve their share.
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