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Old 02.09.2011, 12:13
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Contrarian Business. Someone please...

For a long time I have been observing businesses in CH who operate a this-is-what-we-do-take-it-or-leave-it attitude.

I really believe there are opportunities for small businesses to operate in these niches simply by doing the opposite of these so called services. Here are a few examples:

a) A dry cleaners that opening only in the evenings and on Saturday afternoon so you can pick up your suit for that weekend night out.

b) A restaurant that feeds customers after 2pm and at weekends

c) A shop that opens from 1700 to 2300 including Sundays.

d) A shop that actually engages the customers and encourages them to make stocking suggestions.

e) A shop that opens every day in July and August and advertises the fact

f) A shop the encourages multi purchases or real loyalty incentives.

With some clever cherry picking and promotion I think there is great potential.
These examples relate mainly to opening times, but you get the picture...

AYB
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Old 02.09.2011, 12:15
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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d) A shop that actually engages the customers and encourages them to make stocking suggestions.
You want to open a late night lingerie shop?
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Old 02.09.2011, 12:17
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

If only to have a hoarding to challenge the locals to "Pull their socks up".

AYB

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Old 02.09.2011, 12:48
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Many of your ideas work only if you run the entire business yourself. As soon as you have employees you may be in troubles because of work hours that are against the law -- laws maintained unter the decade-long pressure of unions. Even as a self-employed business person you still have to abide by most of those those laws. Nice idea, remarkable demand but little chance.
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Old 02.09.2011, 12:52
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

I'm not so sure. Sunday opening may be a problem and no doubt a shop opening in an evening would meet local opposition (doesn't everything?)

A real entrepreneur would find a way. That's what makes them special.

AYB

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Many of your ideas work only if you run the entire business yourself. As soon as you have employees you may be in troubles because of work hours that are against the law -- laws maintained unter the decade-long pressure of unions. Even as a self-employed business person you still have to abide by most of those those laws. Nice idea, remarkable demand but little chance.
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Old 02.09.2011, 13:03
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Ja - good ideas!

I used to have to (still do for some of the shops/businesses) keep a list pinned up with their hours ..... so confusing!

We had a haberdashery shop that only opened from 9am till 11am on Tuesdays and Fridays.

A second-hand kids clothes and toys shop that opened 9- 12 and 2 - 4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A wool shop that opened on Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 9.30 - 2pm.

The butcher opens at 6.45am till 11.45am and again from 3pm - 4.30pm but is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Landi staggers their hours according to the seasons.

Volg AT LAST stays open ALL day 6 days a week (whew what a relief! gotta just remember that on Saturdays they close at 4pm, not 7pm)

The Haberdashery, Wool shop and kids shop have all closed their doors ..... lack of customers?

Then ... along came a big fresh fruit and vege farm stall place that keeps most edible stuff ... wines ... cheeses... bread... milk....butter... icecreams (at horrific prices) .. but they are open 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week ALL YEAR. And they do a terrific amount of business!

Oh yes ... the bicycle shop ....... darned if I know when they are open .... at least they leave their bike tyre pumping stuff outside for diy.
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Old 02.09.2011, 13:34
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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c) A shop that opens from 1700 to 2300 including Sundays.

e) A shop that opens every day in July and August and advertises the fact
Most web stores do
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Old 02.09.2011, 13:47
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

There are licensing/permit issues that will have to be considered. That is one reason why there are very few 24 hour stores. And even those may not sell everything they would like to. Petrol bunks are an example: They may, after hours, sell only those goods that a traveller might need.

Opening hours are strictly regulated. Afternoon breaks (Siesta) is something that many small towns still practice. Things have changed rapidly in the past 10 years, but it is not a 24-hour society; Not yet.
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Old 02.09.2011, 13:52
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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They may, after hours, sell only those goods that a traveller might need.
Booze and WOB mags
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Old 02.09.2011, 13:54
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

You forget, that the majority of the population - contrary to what the SVP would have you believe - are resolutely Swiss... and why on earth would they want to shop "out of hours"?
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Old 02.09.2011, 13:59
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Because they can and have never been able to before ?

Perhaps if someone plants a seed of customer service ethos and watches it slowly grow ?

Before you know it people can organise their life on their own terms and treat services as just that.

It is interesting even in this business and entrepreneur forum there are a significant number of naysayers. Don't you wonder why I chose the username I did ? It is the most common "swiss answer" I ever hear to any idea, enhancement or improvement.

AYB


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You forget, that the majority of the population - contrary to what the SVP would have you believe - are resolutely Swiss... and why on earth would they want to shop "out of hours"?
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:06
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Because they can and have never been able to before ?

Perhaps if someone plants a seed of customer service ethos and watches it slowly grow ?

Before you know it people can organise their life on their own terms and treat services as just that.
Not been here long have you...
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:07
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

16 years. Does that count ?

AYB

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Not been here long have you...
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:14
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Because they can and have never been able to before ?

Perhaps if someone plants a seed of customer service ethos and watches it slowly grow ?

Before you know it people can organise their life on their own terms and treat services as just that.

It is interesting even in this business and entrepreneur forum there are a significant number of naysayers. Don't you wonder why I chose the username I did ? It is the most common "swiss answer" I ever hear to any idea, enhancement or improvement.

AYB
Change people's attitudes to what the church, the unions, their political party says and you might change Swiss society. Tell an extremely Catholic Luzerner that his shop should be open on Sunday Tell a member of the "Unia" union that shop employees in Zurich should work till 11 p.m.

It's not just a question of naysayers - the "system" in Switzerland is constructed in such a way that one single segment of the public, e.g. entrepreneurs, are never (or almost never) given so much weight as to be able to dictate what the rest should do. It's an extremely slow and ponderous process. As Geox mentioned, even the "hit-and-run" kiosks at petrol stations are regulated in what they may / may not sell after a certain hour.

Your ideas in your first post are good and might be doable - to a certain extent - in large(ish) towns, but as soon as you're out in the sticks (see discussion here on rental prices in suburbia and villages outside of Zurich as compared to in town), you can compare Switzerland to downtown Hintertupfigen in Germany or Oberknödelsdorf in Austria. No chance!

Just as a "P.S." - we were travelling through the southern part of France this summer - try finding one place, just one single place, where there's a boulangerie (aka bakery) open between 12.00 - 15.00. Nowhere - everything closes down!

Last edited by möpp; 02.09.2011 at 14:18. Reason: added p.s.
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:17
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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For a long time I have been observing businesses in CH who operate a this-is-what-we-do-take-it-or-leave-it attitude.

I really believe there are opportunities for small businesses to operate in these niches simply by doing the opposite of these so called services. Here are a few examples:

a) A dry cleaners that opening only in the evenings and on Saturday afternoon so you can pick up your suit for that weekend night out.

b) A restaurant that feeds customers after 2pm and at weekends

c) A shop that opens from 1700 to 2300 including Sundays.

d) A shop that actually engages the customers and encourages them to make stocking suggestions.

e) A shop that opens every day in July and August and advertises the fact

f) A shop the encourages multi purchases or real loyalty incentives.

With some clever cherry picking and promotion I think there is great potential.
These examples relate mainly to opening times, but you get the picture...

AYB
I was just thinking of opening a 24/7 Super Wal-Mart...
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:23
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

I don't think that is the issue (regarding contrarian trading).

I rember Walmart had a few problems when they operated in Germany a few years ago....

This is not America.*

AYB

*Added purely for benefit of Dougals Breakfast

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I was just thinking of opening a 24/7 Super Wal-Mart...
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:29
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Perhaps if someone plants a seed of customer service ethos and watches it slowly grow ?
This is exactly the factor that's missing in retail and not taken into account in church/union/societal decisions and considerations here. The customer is king is a foreign attitude and by showing local customers a hint of such a service attitude, I feel a venture could indeed be successful.
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:31
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

You are missing the point: I am not suggesting existing swiss businesses wake up. In fact the contrary, the niches should be filled by small forward-thinking operations that can operate within the framework (or even influence change) and yet still exploit the many opportunities by focussing on the customer that are treated with contempt by many retailers.

AYB

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Change people's attitudes to what the church, the unions, their political party says and you might change Swiss society. Tell an extremely Catholic Luzerner that his shop should be open on Sunday Tell a member of the "Unia" union that shop employees in Zurich should work till 11 p.m.

It's not just a question of naysayers - the "system" in Switzerland is constructed in such a way that one single segment of the public, e.g. entrepreneurs, are never (or almost never) given so much weight as to be able to dictate what the rest should do. It's an extremely slow and ponderous process. As Geox mentioned, even the "hit-and-run" kiosks at petrol stations are regulated in what they may / may not sell after a certain hour.

Your ideas in your first post are good and might be doable - to a certain extent - in large(ish) towns, but as soon as you're out in the sticks (see discussion here on rental prices in suburbia and villages outside of Zurich as compared to in town), you can compare Switzerland to downtown Hintertupfigen in Germany or Oberknödelsdorf in Austria. No chance!

Just as a "P.S." - we were travelling through the southern part of France this summer - try finding one place, just one single place, where there's a boulangerie (aka bakery) open between 12.00 - 15.00. Nowhere - everything closes down!
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:31
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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16 years. Does that count ?

AYB
Clearly not...

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You are missing the point: I am not suggesting existing swiss businesses wake up. In fact the contrary, the niches should be filled by small forward-thinking operations that can operate within the framework (or even influence change) and yet still exploit the many opportunities by focussing on the customer that are treated with contempt by many retailers.

AYB
But you then have a catch 22. On one side you have the Swiss who have no real notion of customer service and don't want to work "out of hours". That means staffing your shop with *clears throat* foreigners... see where I'm going with this...

Anyway, if you think you know best, then go for it. And if all goes well, I'll buy you a drink. If not, well, I'll buy you a drink too. Fair enough?
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:34
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Not been here long have you...
Been Switzerlanded have you...
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