Business Opportunities in Budapest

atomheart :
arash.qanavati12 :

Hi

I want to start a business in Hungary but I'm not sure what to do.

I'm interested in construction and trading.

Appreciated

How about selling construction equipment and materials..?

What kind of material and equipment ?

arash.qanavati12 :
atomheart :
arash.qanavati12 :

Hi

I want to start a business in Hungary but I'm not sure what to do.

I'm interested in construction and trading.

Appreciated

How about selling construction equipment and materials..?

What kind of material and equipment ?

Tiles, lumber, bricks, electrical wire, nailguns, mixers, saws, shovels, grinders...

arash.qanavati12 :

Hi

I want to start a business in Hungary but I'm not sure what to do.

I'm interested in construction and trading.

Appreciated

Best thing is to conduct an analysis of your target market so you can develop a business plan and projection of the viability of your business..

A lot of the cheaper end tools and materials etc are Chinese made/sourced but it depends exactly what it is.  Materials from Iran would be more difficult for logistics but could be more unique.

You might want to consider sending raw or semi-finished materials like marble or granite here for finishing. There's potentially a market for high end finished products like marble flooring, tiles or kitchen surfaces. 

Tastes are different here - more European of course - so ornate "bling" type materials likely to  sink without trace unless they are for a special purpose like renovation or offices.

For retail, people are not rich so it'd have to be on the cheaper end.

fluffy2560 :
arash.qanavati12 :

Hi

I want to start a business in Hungary but I'm not sure what to do.

I'm interested in construction and trading.

Appreciated

Best thing is to conduct an analysis of your target market so you can develop a business plan and projection of the viability of your business..

A lot of the cheaper end tools and materials etc are Chinese made/sourced but it depends exactly what it is.  Materials from Iran would be more difficult for logistics but could be more unique.

You might want to consider sending raw or semi-finished materials like marble or granite here for finishing. There's potentially a market for high end finished products like marble flooring, tiles or kitchen surfaces. 

Tastes are different here - more European of course - so ornate "bling" type materials likely to  sink without trace unless they are for a special purpose like renovation or offices.

For retail, people are not rich so it'd have to be on the cheaper end.

Thanks my friend
But if a shop sell everything cheap, how to make a profit?

I want to invest and then have profits.
So,maybe selling construction equipment and materials is not good for your market

arash.qanavati12 :

...
Thanks my friend
But if a shop sell everything cheap, how to make a profit?

I want to invest and then have profits.
So,maybe selling construction equipment and materials is not good for your market

Making a profit is the same problem for everyone everywhere! 

Over regulation, interfering bureaucracy and poor language skills are a problem here.   There are far easier places to make money.  Hungary is not a big rich country - small country, small market, smaller opportunities,   

If you want to open a small general shop selling small scale equipment or materials, there's not much that distinguishes you from anyone else.  On the other hand, if you have a unique product, you have more scope.

There's no magic to it, just needs good research, business model and capital (cash).

fluffy2560 :
arash.qanavati12 :

...
Thanks my friend
But if a shop sell everything cheap, how to make a profit?

I want to invest and then have profits.
So,maybe selling construction equipment and materials is not good for your market

Making a profit is the same problem for everyone everywhere! 

Over regulation, interfering bureaucracy and poor language skills are a problem here.   There are far easier places to make money.  Hungary is not a big rich country - small country, small market, smaller opportunities,   

If you want to open a small general shop selling small scale equipment or materials, there's not much that distinguishes you from anyone else.  On the other hand, if you have a unique product, you have more scope.

There's no magic to it, just needs good research, business model and capital (cash).

Thanks for your reply

Which market do you suggest  for better profit and more opportunities

arash.qanavati12 :
fluffy2560 :
arash.qanavati12 :

...
Thanks my friend
But if a shop sell everything cheap, how to make a profit?

I want to invest and then have profits.
So,maybe selling construction equipment and materials is not good for your market

Making a profit is the same problem for everyone everywhere! 

Over regulation, interfering bureaucracy and poor language skills are a problem here.   There are far easier places to make money.  Hungary is not a big rich country - small country, small market, smaller opportunities,   

If you want to open a small general shop selling small scale equipment or materials, there's not much that distinguishes you from anyone else.  On the other hand, if you have a unique product, you have more scope.

There's no magic to it, just needs good research, business model and capital (cash).

Thanks for your reply

Which market do you suggest  for better profit and more opportunities

There's a saying: "How long is piece of string?" 

It means no-one knows that answer.

If I had the perfect answer, I'd make a fortune. And the answer is not "2 x 1/2 it's length".

In summary, it depends on what you are selling, to whom and where. Therefore you need to research your market

You could always invest in stocks and shares to lower your entry costs or take up  of financing projects in return for a share.

There's a bit of a property thing going on here at the moment. 

I've always thought that there should be demand for small scale low unit cost housing estates here.  I do not mean apartments, I mean energy efficient quality houses with gardens.  Everyone seems to build their own individual houses rather than small planned estates with 10-50 houses. Or small housing blocks in a "garden setting".

In my own country (UK), they have almost production line smaller houses they put up quickly and they usually build mixed housing estates of 1000s of smaller houses (1, 2, 3 or 4 bedroom places).  The demand is there as we (in the UK) have changing demographics - increasing population of single people. 

In Hungary, as far as I can recall, the population is in decline as people migrate to better opportunities.

fluffy2560 :

In summary, it depends on what you are selling, to whom and where.

Regarding the "to whom": if you are selling wholesale to contractors then your buyers will also need to "know you". Connections are very important here. You have to "know a guy". Without such contacts, don't even bother.

And retail may require an OKJ certificate:

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 95#3599725

i am interested in doing business in Budapest too,contact me through email,****

Moderated by Bhavna 5 months ago
Reason : Please do not post your contact details on the forum. You should exchange them through the private messaging system.Thank you
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Best to do some serious research before investing in anything.
Our old friend near one of the lake resorts here in Hungary is a serious businessman.
He is Hungarian and was always trying small private business ventures even when HU was still communist.
Got people to make him some items to sell in small stalls in local events, his wife and her family bought knitting machines to make socks, had several machines set up inside their large home.
Always trying something new and moving on.
He is a bit too full of himself these days and we haven't spoken to him in a couple of years but he sells construction materials plus wiggled his way into being a builder of grocery stores by the lake area,Hired a cheap crew from Romania and is very wealthy now.Thing is  he knows nothing formally about building anything, many a mud hut. It's all about who you know over here.
He bought up land years ago near the lake and opened a small grocery shop, sell building materials, has a bar and several hotel rooms for rent near the lake, anything that can make a buck he is doing.
Without speaking HUngarian and knowing the "tricks of the trades" here, it isn't going to be easy to break into the old boys network.
This old friends is buddies with all the local police and politicians in his area.
He is more into power these days then making money, has enough money and thrill of making it is gone.
Power trip is the right word .
You would need to hire a local to smooth your way into any business which is already going strong with the locals. They won't let a new player in very easily.
Think of something new that hasn't been flooded yet.

Hi Subash,

I am Pravin from India,  considering to move to Budapest and start a small business like a franchise or convenience store for a budget of €50,000. Are you interested? If so please get in touch. Thank you.

Prabha0248 :

Hi Subash,

I am Pravin from India,  considering to move to Budapest and start a small business like a franchise or convenience store for a budget of €50,000. Are you interested? If so please get in touch. Thank you.

I suggest you send a private message to the individual or put it in the business opportunities section of this forum. 

BTW, convenience stores here are usually called ABCs.   No-one knows why.

fluffy2560 :

BTW, convenience stores here are usually called ABCs.   No-one knows why.

Because (in theory) you can get everything there in the alphabet, from Apples to Zucchini.

And that is why there is a chain called "CBA", it is "ABC" reversed as a word play on that idea.  ;)

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

BTW, convenience stores here are usually called ABCs.   No-one knows why.

Because (in theory) you can get everything there in the alphabet, from Apples to Zucchini.

And that is why there is a chain called "CBA", it is "ABC" reversed as a word play on that idea.  ;)

I heard that story too but I begun to think it's an urban myth.

They should really be called an A-Z or A-2-Z or some such thing.

Anyway why is it 7-11? 7am-11pm in old money? Or in real money, 7-23h. 

Hmmmm....on that note, I think I'll go to Balaton for the rest of the day.....

fluffy2560 :

I heard that story too but I begun to think it's an urban myth.
They should really be called an A-Z or A-2-Z or some such thing.

Logical thinking does not always get the correct answer. Mainly because what is logical to you and me in how or brains work, is not necessarily logical to others or how other people's brains work.

And knowing one's "ABC's" implies the whole alphabet. For example, the ABC British Rail Guide was not an urban myth. ;)

http://abcrailwayguide.uk/page/about

Besides, in Hungarian "A-2-Z" does not work (only in English does "two" and "to" sound the same).

fluffy2560 :

Hmmmm....on that note, I think I'll go to Balaton for the rest of the day.....

Good plan. My wife just left for a short swim. :)

klsallee :

....
Besides, in Hungarian "A-2-Z" does not work (only in English does "two" and "to" sound the same).

fluffy2560 :

Hmmmm....on that note, I think I'll go to Balaton for the rest of the day.....

Good plan. My wife just left for a short swim. :)

Well I know A-2-Z doesn't work in Hungarian.  I admit A-tól Z-ig doesn't have the same ring to it.  But they could think of something else.

Team Fluffy was in the water at it was good. 

And while this was going on the Team Fluffy coach was asleep on the grass.

fluffy2560 :

But they could think of something else.

Well.... They thought of Wizz Air. I am still laughing.  :lol:

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

But they could think of something else.

Well.... They thought of Wizz Air. I am still laughing.  :lol:

I thought that would be Whizz? 

"Zoom" might have worked better. 

Or "Flash"? "Zing"? "Zap"?

Wizzair probably goes with historical misnamings Chevy Nova and Mitsubishi Pajero.

I really do not know allot about sandblasting buildings but that might be something to look into doing in Hungary.
Many old buildings could use a good deep outside sandblasting to clean them up between painting.
Would need to research it, make sure that they could take the water pressure and not crumble away.
Just an idea, also with the weather getting so warm here and winters becoming so mild maybe a tree growing business.
It is warmer here in the winter then it gets in Las Vegas, could even grow palm trees with the right conditions.

Not per se business opportunities in Budapest, but more in general. I have my own Hungarian company (delivering services outside of Hungary though). To me there are many opportunities to set up a profitable business (I really feel the lack of craftsmen, but also eg Indian restaurants (in the area of Keszthely) I think remuneration is not so much the problem (although in the end expats expect a better price then in Western Europe for example), we are looking for skilled builders for quite some time, but just can not find them.
Many of the discussions and mindsets are with Budapest (understandably so), however for small companies I see loads of opportunities around the area mentioned above.

cdw057 :

we are looking for skilled builders for quite some time, but just can not find them.

They work in Austria for a higher wage ;)

cdw057 :

.....we are looking for skilled builders for quite some time, but just can not find them.
Many of the discussions and mindsets are with Budapest (understandably so), however for small companies I see loads of opportunities around the area mentioned above.

Most of the very skilled people have left for abroad - Germany, France, UK etc.  All have higher salaries and better working conditions even for simple jobs.  Not really a surprise no-one is going to be left here.  You only have to look on the highway during the summer, Budapest-Vienna, the number of foreign cars visiting from Germany and the UK has grown massively - they aren't all tourists either.

You really have to do your homework first. It no good in thinking I know I will open a restaurant without the understanding of running one. They say most new restaurants are set to fail in the first year.

It's also not a good idea in thinking about starting a new business without having the understanding of the country. What may work in your home country might not work in another.

SimCityAT :

You really have to do your homework first. It no good in thinking I know I will open a restaurant without the understanding of running one. They say most new restaurants are set to fail in the first year.

It's also not a good idea in thinking about starting a new business without having the understanding of the country. What may work in your home country might not work in another.

There's a rumour around there's a Hungarian fast food place in London - one of my relatives told me about it.  Langos was mentioned.   Not sure that would work here.  No chance I suppose of British fast food.  Yorkshire Puds with toppings like egg and bacon maybe.

Our old neighbours have some Italian three wheel scooter things which are basically portable coffee machines.  I was surprised they could make a go of it .They seem to be doing OK.  Apparently they are popular on movie sets in Hungary.

I have my own business in Hungary and I am fine, not making millions but a few thousand EUR pm is fine for me (even if paying excessive taxes). Hungarians are not stupid, better to provide services to Western Europe rather than locally, drawback for services is that there is a lack locally.
Again I believe that things can work locally as well. (also local Indian restaurants (speaking for myself I would be happy to pay German prices,and I think a lot of expats (as well as tourists)) would agree.

cdw057 :

however for small companies I see loads of opportunities around the area mentioned above.

I thought the same when I came to Hungary 20 years ago. I know better now. ;)

Basically, it is more complicated then you think.

cdw057 :

I have my own Hungarian company (delivering services outside of Hungary though).

Having a business in Hungary that does business outside Hungary, as I have said many times on this forum, is really the only business option an expat should consider in Hungary if they are serious about making the business work, making real income, and having the least amount of headaches....

cdw057 :

To me there are many opportunities to set up a profitable business (I really feel the lack of craftsmen, but also eg Indian restaurants (in the area of Keszthely)

Well, there is the "Mexican" restaurant in Keszthely (I put that in quotes, as I grew up in the American South West, and what they serve there is not really authentic Mexican food). And each time I go there, the food is different. Inconsistent in quality. Never the same twice. Do you think you can import and get real Indian cooks to live and stay in Keszthely? Without turnover? Without them leaving to get better pay abroad (because they can get better pay abroad).

And that does not even include all the local politics you will be involved in with having a restaurant. Want to have seating outside on the sidewalk? Do you know the mayor really well enough to get that greased through to get permission? Do you have on staff people that have the correct OJK certificates to run your restaurant? Do you know the regulations in Hungary regarding food service? Can you trust your manager? (Last one is the most common failing of expat businesses in Hungary)

Just saying. And just my 2 cents worth.

klsallee :

.......
Well, there is the "Mexican" restaurant in Keszthely (I put that in quotes, as I grew up in the American South West, and what they serve there is not really authentic Mexican food). And each time I go there, the food is different. Inconsistent in quality. Never the same twice. Do you think you can import and get real Indian cooks to live and stay in Keszthely? Without turnover? Without them leaving to get better pay abroad (because they can get better pay abroad).
.....

We've recently acquired a Thai restaurant in the village.  It was a British pub before. 

I've never been there but Mrs Fluffy  says people in her contact circle say it's not bad but the service is slow.  No-one has circulated a menu (we get pizza menus in the post box regularly) and they aren't offering home delivery.   I would have thought it'd never make it.  I assume it's run by someone's Thai wife/husband as a kind of hobby.

There's another place down the road the same. No-one knows what it's actually about or what it does or what style it is.  They spent a lot of money fixing it up then conducted no advertising and never seen anyone there.  It's always lit up with the lights on and the same vans always parked outside. 

BTW, most workers in Indian restaurants (at least in the UK) are actually Bangladeshis so I assume it would probably the same here.

fluffy2560 :

We've recently acquired a Thai restaurant in the village.  It was a British pub before.

I've never been there but Mrs Fluffy  says people in her contact circle say it's not bad but the service is slow.  No-one has circulated a menu (we get pizza menus in the post box regularly) and they aren't offering home delivery.   I would have thought it'd never make it.  I assume it's run by someone's Thai wife/husband as a kind of hobby.

Been to Thailand. The Thai food I have had in Hungary is "meh" at best in comparison. But I have of course not been everywhere or to all Thai restaurants in Hungary. ;)


fluffy2560 :

BTW, most workers in Indian restaurants (at least in the UK) are actually Bangladeshis so I assume it would probably the same here.

A detail I am not sure makes much of a difference if one knows the Indian sub-content colonial history.

Of course, this does indeed affect culinary and regional attributes of some "Indian cooking". But only to an extent. I say this, "only to an extent", because I dated a Sri Lanka woman for a while, and yet she still took me to some amazing "Indian" restaurants she said were very traditional cooking even for Sri Lanka. ;)

klsallee :

....Been to Thailand. The Thai food I have had in Hungary is "meh" at best in comparison. But I have of course not been everywhere or to all Thai restaurants in Hungary. ;)


fluffy2560 :

BTW, most workers in Indian restaurants (at least in the UK) are actually Bangladeshis so I assume it would probably the same here.

A detail I am not sure makes much of a difference if one knows the Indian sub-content colonial history.

Of course, this does indeed affect culinary and regional attributes of some "Indian cooking". But only to an extent. I say this, "only to an extent", because I dated a Sri Lanka woman for a while, and yet she still took me to some amazing "Indian" restaurants she said were very traditional cooking even for Sri Lanka. ;)

Been to Thailand myself many times  - excellent tucker/grub/nosh.   I've never tried it hereabouts as I think I've been spoilt with the real stuff. 

I think the issue with Bangladesh is that it's much poorer than India is supposed to be.  Never been to India but been in Bangladesh multiple times.  Indian chefs are probably too expensive for a place in HU but Bangladeshis might, I suppose, be cheaper. Indian restaurants are everywhere in the UK - national dishes now (yum!).

I was in a hotel in Dhaka and the chef said he was previously a chef in a large hotel in Saudi Arabia before returning home.  If we wanted anything special he would make it for us. 

Stupidly we asked for the  Greek (hot) version of Moussaka.

Apparently a step too far and unexpected as he said he couldn't do it. Maybe he thought we would ask for something else like a burger. Might have been confused by our accents.  Strange really as Moussaka is eaten (sometimes cold) all over the place in the Middle East so I'd have thought he'd have known about it. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen Moussaka anywhere here.

I think we are going off the OP slightly :D

SimCityAT :

I think we are going off the OP slightly :D

I thought we were talking about opening restaurants in Hungary?!

True fluffy2560

But it seems to be a bit of all sorts, including all other counties. lol

I think we can all agree on this:

1) unless you know the market -  don't bother
2) unless you know the country/loccation - don't bother
3) do your homework first
4) visit the country first

I am sure there are more that can be added to that list....?

SimCityAT :

True fluffy2560

But it seems to be a bit of all sorts, including all other counties. lol

I think we can all agree on this:

1) unless you know the market -  don't bother
2) unless you know the country/loccation - don't bother
3) do your homework first
4) visit the country first

I am sure there are more that can be added to that list....?

Goes back to the 4Ps of marketing - product, place, price and performance. 

Other versions may have extra Ps or different Ps.

I think also it depends on what you are doing as well. 

If you are opening filling stations in a country with none, then that's a different market to say, selling large industrial excavators in a country with mining as a main industry but few large corporations and/or state control.   

Maybe split out from 1) to have a 5) Know whose bread you have to butter? or 6) Being nice to the regulator?

fluffy2560 :

Goes back to the 4Ps of marketing - product, place, price and performance.

I can reduce that to one "P": Promotion.

Get an ad campaign that goes viral, and it does not matter that nobody needs the product, no matter what place they are, even if over priced, and even if the product has dismal performance. Some people, caught in the fever, will still trip over themselves to try to get it.

Of course, sales of such products are not sustainable. But in today's world, it does not matter. In a viral campaign, the producers make their pile of money, and then simply move on to the next viral nothing product. Different world today. The solid, reliable, producer type of business model is not the only game in town.

fluffy2560 :

I think the issue with Bangladesh is that it's much poorer than India is supposed to be.

What I meant, by mentioning the Indian subcontinent colonial history, is that if one is Bangladesh or Indian or Pakistani, is simply an artifact of that recent political/historical issue. Lines drawn in the dirt, and on map, often by old men in cigar smoke filled rooms, are artificial very recent demarcations, compared to the real long history (culinary or otherwise) of the region. ;)

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

I think the issue with Bangladesh is that it's much poorer than India is supposed to be.

What I meant, by mentioning the Indian subcontinent colonial history, is that if one is Bangladesh or Indian or Pakistani, is simply an artifact of that recent political/historical issue. Lines drawn in the dirt, and on map, often by old men in cigar smoke filled rooms, are artificial very recent demarcations, compared to the real long history (culinary or otherwise) of the region. ;)

I think people from the region would very much disagree.  There is a mish-mash of border oddities of enclaves and exclaves but the borders mostly do follow pretty much different peoples cultural and linguistic boundaries.   

The difference culturally between East and West Pakistan (as it was then) was quite visible.  I was in the National Museum in Dhaka and they have quite an exhibition on their 1970s war between West Pakistan and East Pakistan.  It includes a son et luminiere show and with many items and descriptions of the war.  The Bengalis view the war one of liberation although it might be viewed as an opportunity for propaganda and to unify the country. 

As far as I understood it, one of the major factors in the war was imposition of Pakistan's Urdu as the official language in East Pakistan rather than recognition of Bengali spoken by the majority.   This caused an uprising that led then to the founding of Bangladesh as an independent state.   In that war, India sided with the Bengalis and militarily intervened in Bangladesh and this effectively saved them. India has - since then - been essentially a guarantor of Bangladesh's independence.  Obviously not the same as Pakistan's relations with India.       

Nothing to do with Indian restaurants in Hungary of course.

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

Goes back to the 4Ps of marketing - product, place, price and performance.

I can reduce that to one "P": Promotion.

Get an ad campaign that goes viral, and it does not matter that nobody needs the product, no matter what place they are, even if over priced, and even if the product has dismal performance. Some people, caught in the fever, will still trip over themselves to try to get it.

Of course, sales of such products are not sustainable. But in today's world, it does not matter. In a viral campaign, the producers make their pile of money, and then simply move on to the next viral nothing product. Different world today. The solid, reliable, producer type of business model is not the only game in town.

yes, I tend to agree the promotion has a new facet in the rise of social media and the manipulation of the population by FB.  There's no accounting for some fads other than hysteria. I am thinking of investing in tulip bulbs.

fluffy2560 :

I think people from the region would very much disagree.

Sorry to be "rude", but rubbish. Read history.

There was a massive forced migration of people between India and Pakistan after the creation of these countries that displaced 14 million people with repercussions that persist till today.

fluffy2560 :

[ I am thinking of investing in tulip bulbs.

You too? After 400 years, I think they are ready for another run. ;)

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

I think people from the region would very much disagree.

Sorry to be "rude", but rubbish. Read history.

There was a massive forced migration of people between India and Pakistan after the creation of these countries that displaced 14 million people with repercussions that persist till today.

No, it's not rubbish as there whole region is an utter mish-mash of culture and language.

Yes, Pakistan, sure  as I said, India and Pakistan are not friends and haven't been for years.

But I was only talking about West Pakistan and East Pakistan (or Bangladesh as it became).  East Pakistan was another mistake of the British. But the Pakistanis made it worse which led to the war.

I am old enough to remember the war of 1971 being reported on the TV. I also remember reports of the lines of migrants crossing in different directions between countries.

BTW,  just for you, Mrs Fluffy and I saw a Hungarian ethnic fast food van this morning at the Allee (no relation?) shopping centre in Budapest!

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