Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Business & entrepreneur  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 20.07.2011, 14:27
grumpygit's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: geneva
Posts: 1,476
Groaned at 29 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,508 Times in 695 Posts
grumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
See? That was the idea of the thread....

Now if someone could come in with a nice story, that would be great...

please?
Ive got one

I was working for 25 years for other people, I was travelling 3 weeks a month, I didnt think about what it was doing to my personal life which was a failure, all in the pursuit of success for other people,shareholders and the big promise of money .
It all went terribly wrong when the company closed and the senior guys trucked off with a massive amount of cash and dropped everybody else like a used nappy.
I had no money so I borrowed from my Turkish friends and set up my own shipping company ..... in 2001.
As Grumpygrapefruit says, it is indeed a thankless task. The authorities are against start ups because of the antiquated accountancy rules here, the banks are against you because they only lend money to people with money, and its the staff that you work for because anybody that doesnt care whether their staff are looked after or not will never succeed.
I worked 7/7 as all of those people on here with businesses have and for 5 years made no money.In fact its the old story (which happened to me) when someone tells you if you make it through a year you will be fine. Go back in a year and he says make it for two years and you will be fine. Go back a year later and its five. The truth is that you cannot hope for it to grow significantly before 5 years and thats the rub.
All of us have a great idea and were all gonna be millionaires, but the truth is even if its a good idea, if you don`t put in the hours, work extremely hard whilst balancing necessities with ethics, and you don`t have a large helping from Lady Luck, you won`t succeed.
Now the best bit I left until last because when you do have a business that runs along, it is the GREATEST feeling in the world. It doesnt stop you worrying and waking up at night, but you don`t take crap from anyone, you are totally independant and you plan your own day.
Nil I wish you much luck and if you need advice, well Ive got room in my message box !
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank grumpygit for this useful post:
  #22  
Old 20.07.2011, 14:47
grumpygrapefruit's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 6,394
Groaned at 38 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 17,624 Times in 4,508 Posts
grumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
See? That was the idea of the thread....

Now if someone could come in with a nice story, that would be great...

please?
OK, I came here thinking I could carry on doing what I was doing in London (display graphics) and gave up within a year and realised I would have to get a job or create something new.

I had wanted to work with food for more than 15 years but didn't want to be a chef or own a bar/restaurant, I always thought something would turn up. This was my opportunity.... what do the Swiss like to eat.... chocolate... cheese... couldn't think of anything else back then, I knew little about chocolate but loved "proper" cheese so I went for it.

Most people said I was nuts trying to sell British cheese to the Swiss, maybe I was (am), but I also realised that most people, including the vast majority of Brits, knew nothing about proper British cheese.

In 3 and half years I have been very close to giving up 4 or 5 times, I now work 60 hours a week most of the year, sometimes up to 80, drive over 5000km a month but, I have a lot of fun and meet so many great people and when a Swiss customer tells me that one of my cheeses is the best cheese they have ever tasted (and that has happened many times) I feel that I am doing the right thing. Part of my (limited) success, is my passion for my product, I know I can be a bore, but passion for what you do will rub off on your customers and they will buy because of your passion.

I just need now to get to the next level and earn more than just a living from it. I'll report back next year, if I'm still in business

One more thing, a good friend of mine back in the UK, an elderly very successful businessman told me some years ago his secret to being successful in business.

25% is having the right product
25% is having the right price
but 50% is that your customers like you.

You can have the best produce and at the best price, but if you're a dick, they will not buy from you.
Reply With Quote
The following 17 users would like to thank grumpygrapefruit for this useful post:
  #23  
Old 20.07.2011, 14:56
möpp's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,201
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 1,079 Times in 547 Posts
möpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond reputemöpp has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
25% is having the right product
25% is having the right price
but 50% is that your customers like you.

You can have the best produce and at the best price, but if you're a dick, they will not buy from you.
Very true - I'm here for my clients and not the other way round, and I try to make them feel that
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank möpp for this useful post:
  #24  
Old 20.07.2011, 15:02
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

I think what I was trying to say is, the highs are really high, but the lows are probably lower then you have ever been before. no one and nothing can prepare you for that
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #25  
Old 20.07.2011, 16:29
nigelr's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Aargau
Posts: 1,712
Groaned at 118 Times in 59 Posts
Thanked 2,140 Times in 942 Posts
nigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

I agree about the liking/disliking bit. When I was playing sessions I would get calls from people because I would fit in as well as play what they wanted. They could probably find a better musician but he would be an arse.

Much better to go for someone who fits in than a genius who has no social skills.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 20.07.2011, 16:50
nic80's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 801
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 1,292 Times in 422 Posts
nic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond reputenic80 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

I'm starting a small business out of my studio in our apartment.
I'm teaching myself typography and I'm working with a small Adana to do letterpress (as well as hosting a Stitch 'n' Bitch (aka a crafting expat support network ) and creating events for it).

I'd love it to take off and eventually be able to tell my husband that he can take a year off to do something he loves; but everyone I've discussed it with tells me that its a thankless task and that I'll never make a living out of it (and then asks me to make letterhead or their Christmas cards )

I'm determined to try anyway. I need purpose to get up in the morning (lunching and shopping, whilst fun, is not a purpose), I'm hopeless at being unemployed, it makes me bored and angry and that makes my husband miserable and angry. So whether you call it a hobby or a business its saving our sanity.

I'll have to let you know how I go. But at the moment, even if it doesn't make me a penny, I've enjoyed myself (even the stressful bits) and I'm a lot less frustrated.
Reply With Quote
The following 9 users would like to thank nic80 for this useful post:
  #27  
Old 20.07.2011, 16:52
grumpygit's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: geneva
Posts: 1,476
Groaned at 29 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,508 Times in 695 Posts
grumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
I'm starting a small business out of my studio in our apartment.
I'm teaching myself typography and I'm working with a small Adana to do letterpress (as well as hosting a Stitch 'n' Bitch (aka a crafting expat support network ) and creating events for it).

I'd love it to take off and eventually be able to tell my husband that he can take a year off to do something he loves; but everyone I've discussed it with tells me that its a thankless task and that I'll never make a living out of it (and then asks me to make letterhead or their Christmas cards )

I'm determined to try anyway. I need purpose to get up in the morning (lunching and shopping, whilst fun, is not a purpose), I'm hopeless at being unemployed, it makes me bored and angry and that makes my husband miserable and angry. So whether you call it a hobby or a business its saving our sanity.

I'll have to let you know how I go. But at the moment, even if it doesn't make me a penny, I've enjoyed myself (even the stressful bits) and I'm a lot less frustrated.
You get a massive thumbs up from me, its encouragement you need, not to be told it will all fail anyway. My father told me I was barking and should go back to work for someone else all those years ago, its only depressing when someone says that and yet inside you just know you need to try. So TRY !
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank grumpygit for this useful post:
  #28  
Old 20.07.2011, 16:54
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post

You can have the best produce and at the best price, but if you're a dick, they will not buy from you.
must refrain...must...
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 20.07.2011, 17:10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Geneva
Posts: 50
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 6 Posts
MarkM has no particular reputation at present
Re: Do you have a business?

I did some stuff back home... and my advice is firstly figure out if you have time/commitment to do your own thing... cos it sure as hell isn't a 9-5 job. Then it depends on whether its a product or a service... In my opinion you have to sell it to yourself first if you think its worth the money then next step is to identify a group of people or friends (EF) and test it on them... If thats a success and if only it is success should you move on. 80% positive response is ideal. You have to remember though once you start you cant slack cos if you do then things go bad you get a bad rapp. and then whole show is over...

A good market analysis and commitment to task is what makes your own business a success.

And don't worry you find tons of people discouraging you.... but if it flops its alright cos entrepreneurs are different breed of people... not everyone can be one... Nobody is perfect... Thats my opinion...

but then again I am nobody...
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank MarkM for this useful post:
  #30  
Old 20.07.2011, 17:18
axewoman's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 49
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 114 Times in 26 Posts
axewoman has an excellent reputationaxewoman has an excellent reputationaxewoman has an excellent reputationaxewoman has an excellent reputation
Re: Do you have a business?

"25% is having the right product
25% is having the right price
but 50% is that your customers like you."

Yes, I'd go along with that. But I'll add that in terms of 'why go that route?' rather than join a huge (News) Corporation, it's 100% passion.

One Saturday morning, 8 years ago, I got up already miserable. Only 48 hours before I was due to return to office hell. Work was even ruining my weekends. Something had to give.

I chucked it and asked myself what I loved doing most, what I did well and how that could translate into dog food tokens. Words. I love words. I love writing, teaching and working with words. Turns out, there's a market for it.

Not only as an English teacher but editor, speech-writer, journalist, coach, website advisor, MBA assistant, presentation director and writer.

I don't make enough to keep myself in Jimmy Choos, but I can keep the pugs in Chicken Chews. So we're all happy.

http://www.nuancewords.com/
Reply With Quote
The following 9 users would like to thank axewoman for this useful post:
  #31  
Old 20.07.2011, 17:30
nigelr's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Aargau
Posts: 1,712
Groaned at 118 Times in 59 Posts
Thanked 2,140 Times in 942 Posts
nigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Good luck axewoman!!

I had a similar moment a few months a go and work was killing me and my marriage because I was so unhappy. I had sessions with Hypnotics and a Psychiatrist to try to change my perception of work, but it was no good.

In the end I have teamed up with a few people I know and we are launching a project together. Because this has fired me up I have even managed to hang on in there at work and even get a pay rise because I just don't get annoyed now - essentially I have given up with it and moved on.

Being self-employed is not easy (I first went self-employed in 1996) but it can be rewarding even if money is tight. Keep plowing on and I'm sure the dog food tokens will arrive in good time.
__________________
Life's what you make it, so let's make it better

Last edited by nigelr; 20.07.2011 at 17:36. Reason: forgot the name
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank nigelr for this useful post:
  #32  
Old 20.07.2011, 17:39
Assassin's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chasing clouds
Posts: 4,023
Groaned at 180 Times in 123 Posts
Thanked 11,558 Times in 3,148 Posts
Assassin has a reputation beyond reputeAssassin has a reputation beyond reputeAssassin has a reputation beyond reputeAssassin has a reputation beyond reputeAssassin has a reputation beyond reputeAssassin has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Having your own business relies on one simple ingredient - customers. Without them, you could have the most fantastic product sitting on your shelf gathering dust. Why would your potential clients need you, or your goods against what is already on offer? This is your unique selling point.

My business is 15 years old this year. I could tell you about initial cashflow problems, known friends letting you down and not knowing how to proceed on many occasions; it's all about perseverance and a dedication to being better than the competition.

And if you do make it past the first few years, don't expect the long hours or dedication to take a back seat whilst you roll around in piles of gold, it doesn't happen like that. Most entrepreneurs I know reinvest their profits and only really get to take out what they put in when they've sold their successful business on or passed it onto their kids.

My tips would be to find yourself a niche that can't be easily copied and get information from others who have started their own concerns, there are some good groups here in Switzerland too, check out the Meetup sites for what's going on in your area as well.

And er, good luck. If all goes well you won't be posting as often on EF, that's for sure
__________________
Crash your karma into little bits of happiness
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Assassin for this useful post:
  #33  
Old 20.07.2011, 19:02
axewoman's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 49
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 114 Times in 26 Posts
axewoman has an excellent reputationaxewoman has an excellent reputationaxewoman has an excellent reputationaxewoman has an excellent reputation
Re: Do you have a business?

And in Switzerland, I'd suggest more of the Purple Cow than the Blue Ocean strategy.
http://radinfo.blogspot.com/2006/12/...-strategy.html
Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 20.07.2011, 19:39
Nil's Avatar
Nil Nil is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Basel
Posts: 10,356
Groaned at 428 Times in 333 Posts
Thanked 16,045 Times in 6,322 Posts
Nil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Thank you so so much guys!

This is what I was hoping from this thread and it is great! Got a bad start but look now how people share their experiences, stories and tips!

Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 20.07.2011, 20:12
Bertrand - Geneva
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
By the way, I do have a passion and yes, this is what I want to do as a business.
Start to write down about your passion. Everything about it. why you like it, how you do it. How it has started. How you would develop it.

Really everything and more.

It will make things more clear for the time you will really think about it.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #36  
Old 21.07.2011, 10:48
grumpygrapefruit's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 6,394
Groaned at 38 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 17,624 Times in 4,508 Posts
grumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
Jesus man, there's only one person who has written anything on here with any sense at all... that's probably why no-one here has written of their great successes (because they've all failed).

I remember when I was about 8 years old. My school had encouraged me & a couple of friends to collect money for a cause, poverty for kids in Africa or something like that. We did well, we were on Parkstone High Street with our tins & buckets full of money. The whole collection thing was to last 2 weeks but we did so well (especially collecting on a saturday) in the first week that we even had the TV cameras down our way (local TV news).

I was the best, my baby face & curly locks, gift of the gab and all had the grannies handing pound notes by the dozen over.

And the smell of money, everything about it... ..to have plenty, what I could do with it.. ..was ridiculous. So I stole some. Grabbed a bloody big handful & stuffed it all in my pockets, went home & never said a word to anyone. Hid it in my wardrobe & waited for that rainy day. I didn't really care where I got it, just that I had it (& could do what I wanted with it).
In a way the basic principle of business itself, take people's money, make them happy they gave... ..and skim off as much as possible for yourself without anyone knowing.

OK, it is nice to mess around every day with what you like, so much easier to slap a smile on the front of one's head to do business but... money is the best reason anyone should have to start their own business, and to make lots of it. Anything else is just a waste of time.
I can't tell how serious you are being here, if you are then that is bollox.

People start business for many reasons, of course the most obvious one is that they want to earn more than they could working for someone else, maybe just a little more or even a fortune (very few have the talent or one in a million idea to get that). They also start a business because they want to make a difference in some way or do something different with their life or just want the freedom to be able to plan their day and not have to answer to some dickhead with no talent who got to his/her managerial position through office politics or back stabbing.

I know plenty of people, many of them housewives and trailing spouses, who have started part time businesses admitting they will never make a fortune, but want/need something worthwhile to do whilst earning a little extra cash and also expanding their social circle and life. Are they are wasting their time? Absolutely not.

Your picture of a greedy, dishonest sleezebag who fiddles the accounts, borrows from his companies pension scheme or rips off customers after stealing money from a charity/church collection (and feels good about it) is what many people see as the evil face of capitalism and businessmen in general. Most businessmen are actually hard working, ethical, honest and decent folk who have absolutely no ambition to be another Robert Maxwell.
Reply With Quote
The following 11 users would like to thank grumpygrapefruit for this useful post:
  #37  
Old 21.07.2011, 11:19
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

hehehe the only business to start if your only interested in money is drug dealing
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #38  
Old 21.07.2011, 11:21
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 14,952
Groaned at 295 Times in 199 Posts
Thanked 19,019 Times in 8,000 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
hehehe the only business to start if your only interested in money is drug dealing
selling to the government is also very lucrative
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 21.07.2011, 11:25
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Do you have a business?

Quote:
View Post
selling to the government is also very lucrative
but you have to bribe your way onto the preferred suppliers list then
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 21.07.2011, 11:25
economisto
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Do you have a business?

Here's another thing I thought of:

owning your own business is incredibly lonely. You go from having one boss to having a million. Your phone is your boss. Your emails are you boss. The post is your boss. Every customer is your boss. You are constantly pulled from one minor crisis to the other and struggle to find time to push forward with even a modicum of what you thought your vision would be. In the first few years (5? 10?) money might be much tighter than in your previous job and the work much harder. You may look at people who turn up to an office every day, chat with colleagues, have a bad month and still walk home with the same pay at the end of the month as incredibly lucky. You have to graft for every penny and if you don't make the rent that month you go into debt hoping the following month something will change but it probably won't because the damn phone keeps ringing and that late shipment finally arrived and it's wrong and...
Reply With Quote
The following 10 users would like to thank for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one? Kathryn Transportation/driving 37 28.10.2015 23:07
If you spend your LPP do you still have AVS benefits? Lizard_day Insurance 6 29.07.2011 15:55
How do you clean your floor when you have a cat? lost_inbroad Pet corner 55 09.06.2011 07:35
Do you have a childhood hero whom you still like today? Sada General off-topic 30 02.06.2009 17:59
What do you do when you have a medical illness? HAT Daily life 0 31.10.2006 19:11


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:54.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0