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making a small business in HCMC

Anyone made a small business in VN? How'd that go? Advice? Warnings?

How is your small business? Scope?

Step 1: you should have a plan for your business, clearly (example: where? how? human resource? capital?...)

Step 2: Make document to apply a bussiness license.
(I used to depend on lawyer to creat my company last year, if you need, i'll introduce her for you).         

Step 3: Running it with some experiences, example: how to low expense/ saving human/ etc...

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I have seen successful businesses both large and small in HCMC set up by expats. 
Common reasons for their success are:

1. Enough capital or planned reserves to last through any lean times (i.e. well-capitalized)
2.  Good local partners or trusted professional advisors, who can give them local insight and connections
3.  Good marketing strategy, competitive advantage or location

Well done, Simon Lee!
I'm trying to make my business, but I feel really, really so hard. Sometimes I was tired, just wanna quit :(

You are so great!

@SimonLee
Good points to keep in mind. I'm torn between the desire to start something and the reality that I know nothing about business and have never done anything before. Perhaps I need some partners to share ideas and risk. I have ideas for things but not enough experience with the reality of it.

@Kim Nguyen Don't quit!!!!

Thank you Vanross.
Hope your business plan doing well.
I think in a start up, the first thing is always an enough capital. My business has been run one year, Now I want to develop it but I had some troubles in the capital and a better location.

@KimNguyen99 Thanks. I think these are very good points to keep in mind.

Hi VanRoss,

I started an IT company here 5 years ago.
Now, I am helping my brother from Australia open a beauty business here.

I can share my own experience over coffee or beer.

Cheers,
Danny

Started my biz in Ben Thanh market and I'm tired of the local vendors chasing away my customers. Tired of these tourists bargain their way to death for a pack of gum. It's rough out here people.

Hypothalamus :

Started my biz in Ben Thanh market and I'm tired of the local vendors chasing away my customers. Tired of these tourists bargain their way to death for a pack of gum. It's rough out here people.

I think it's very tough to compete with those street people directly.

I assume that you are selling souvenir products. I am sure that they can find better & cheaper suppliers. Their profit margin doesn't have to be high!

Tourists in Ben Thanh market learn to bargain everywhere they go. I think some of them found it quite fun with bargaining. What would make them think that they should not bargain with you?

In order to compete, I think you might want to find a business niche that very hard for Vietnamese to replicate! History taught us that Vietnamese people would fight the price war on almost any industry!

Leananguyen :

hello

Hello 

Now if I were 30 years younger and single we could take this to the next level.  :cool:

:lol:

THIGV :
Leananguyen :

hello

Hello 

Now if I were 30 years younger and single we could take this to the next level.  :cool:

:lol:

For every successful expat here, there are a dozen who have failed. It's not an easy enviroment, but if you have a good product or service you may do well. Also be prepared for the locals to come in and undercut you, it's a very common scenario.

I'm a Vietnamese and I started my small business, just selling things online. If you are really interested in my case, I would like to discuss a little bit via email.

dannydo :

Hi VanRoss,

I started an IT company here 5 years ago.
Now, I am helping my brother from Australia open a beauty business here.

I can share my own experience over coffee or beer.

Cheers,
Danny

I am interested too. If you dont mind sharing here instead of over coffee.

Allanmta :
dannydo :

Hi VanRoss,

I started an IT company here 5 years ago.
Now, I am helping my brother from Australia open a beauty business here.

I can share my own experience over coffee or beer.

Cheers,
Danny

I am interested too. If you dont mind sharing here instead of over coffee.

Hi Allan,

I need to know what you really want to do before assisting you.

Even though I have more than 10 years of tough challenges. I don't know which part would most benefit you.

dannydo :
Allanmta :
dannydo :

Hi VanRoss,

I started an IT company here 5 years ago.
Now, I am helping my brother from Australia open a beauty business here.

I can share my own experience over coffee or beer.

Cheers,
Danny

I am interested too. If you dont mind sharing here instead of over coffee.

Hi Allan,

I need to know what you really want to do before assisting you.

Even though I have more than 10 years of tough challenges. I don't know which part would most benefit you.

Danny, I come from an IT background and would like to do something in IT. I have talked to a few of my network, and i am told that talent and hiring  is a constant challenge.  Perhaps you can elaborate on this as well as any other challenges you experienced starting up your business.

That's true!

Hiring is difficult everywhere not just Vietnam. However, IT hiring in Vietnam could be more difficult because there is high demand.

Here are some challenges I faced:
1. They don't have a proper CV - why need one?
2. They are likely to be late on the interview
3. Highly technical personnel would be very hard to find as they likely to become manager. That's the way for them to get higher pay here. The trend is changing as demand for highly skill technical staff is high.
4. The toughest challenge is staff retention. After getting the 13th month salary for Tet, many staffs change job.

What I have learned:
1. Lower your expectations
2. Get a HR to chase the interviewee
3. Nerds are weird - need to get along with them and pay them well
4. You need to have regular team building, guide your staffs in building the office culture.

My achievement was:
recruited 22 developers in 1 month with over 80% retention with 2 helpers.

Please note that money is not always the best solution.

I hope this help.

dannydo :

That's true!

Hiring is difficult everywhere not just Vietnam. However, IT hiring in Vietnam could be more difficult because there is high demand.

Here are some challenges I faced:
1. They don't have a proper CV - why need one?
2. They are likely to be late on the interview
3. Highly technical personnel would be very hard to find as they likely to become manager. That's the way for them to get higher pay here. The trend is changing as demand for highly skill technical staff is high.
4. The toughest challenge is staff retention. After getting the 13th month salary for Tet, many staffs change job.

What I have learned:
1. Lower your expectations
2. Get a HR to chase the interviewee
3. Nerds are weird - need to get along with them and pay them well
4. You need to have regular team building, guide your staffs in building the office culture.

My achievement was:
recruited 22 developers in 1 month with over 80% retention with 2 helpers.

Please note that money is not always the best solution.

I hope this help.

What is the reason for thr increase in demand for highly technical staff?

Did you have problems with the government? Tax issues or regular visits by the police?

How big is your company now, staff wise.

What is the nature of your business? Do you have a website for me to view?

Lack of highly skills developer
- As I mentioned above, most talented developer would end up moving to management role to get higher salary.

Government and police
- It's not recommended that you start the company under foreign identity - everything will be much more difficult
- If you are in the big building, cops are unlikely to visit you
- The tax system is fine here

Company size
- 25 staffs

Nature of business
- Websites and mobile apps

I already had the company sold 2 years ago! Website is no longer available.

I hope this help.

Bonus:
Some of our team members, we spent enormous amount of time building culture!
https://goo.gl/photos/g2ARXzCVq766Ny1X8

I think the advantage that Dannydo has over many new business owners is that he is a Vietnamese and most probably speaks the language.

In all these discussions about opening a business, or hiring staff - apart from the usual problems of finance, marketing and so on, one common factor can be clearly seen as vital for success: Team Building.

If you employ staff you need to eradicate the "avoid responsibility, blame someone," culture and instil a pride in their work, quality consciousness, team spirit, time consciousness and diligence. That list is not exhaustive, but its a start and a good manager will see which other attributes are needed.

It is also no use employing people on a less than subsistence wages and expecting them to perform like champions. You need to set goals, reward achievements and take no crap.

Firmness, fairness and consistency are traits that any manager or boss needs, but the need here is quadruple that of many other countries.

because the system here is rotten through and through, people expect to be shafted, every minute of every day.

Select your staff carefully TRAIN them well. SUPERVISE them, but don't be oppressive. Give PRAISE where it is due. Reward good work.

colinoscapee :

I think the advantage that Dannydo has over many new business owners is that he is a Vietnamese and most probably speaks the language.

Iam also vietnamese and speak the language.  Iam sure dannydo is an entrepreneur and iam just a wannabe. Lol

If you speak the language you are at least half way there. My experience as a foreigner speaking Vietnamese is that whatever I say and whichever way I pronounce it in Vietnamese it invariably evokes the Khong Hieu response with waggled hand at shoulder height. This infuriates my wife who gives the person a rollocking saying that my pronunciation was perfect.

"Train people well enough so they can leave.....Treat them well enough so they don't want to"

Sir Richard Branson

Temper harshness with severity.

eodmatt

Always view the mother before taking the bride.

Colinoscapee

Heres a thing......

Small business possibility in Vietnam....

Yesterday I was contacted by a friend in another FE country and asked if I could help a man who is setting up a business in a country adjacent to Vietnam. The man was trying to contact a supplier in Saigon - a very big company which exports to the world.

The man called the company by phone from outside Vietnam and the phone was answered by someone who didn't speak English. He called 4 times and each time this Vietnamese exporting companies phone was answered by a non English speaking person.

The man asked a friend if he knew anyone in Vietnam that could help. The friend, whom I also know, sent me an email asking for help.

I answered the email, saying that my wife, a fluent English and Vietnamese (and Korean) speaker may be able to help.

The friend set me all the details and I asked my wife to assist.

She called the Vietnamese company and was eventualy connected to an "assistant manager" (=, nephew or close relative of the manager who has no qualifications and can't speak any language other than Vietnamese) who demanded to know why this person wanted to contact them.

- Because he wants to buy your goods

Does he have a company in Vietnam?

- No he is an export customer.

Whats his tax reference?

He doesn't have a Vn company, he wants you to export your goods to him.

Why does he want to use our goods?

whats the address of his factory overseas?

Why does he come to Vietnam to buy goods?

It went on and on for nearly all day, question after question and meaningless bureaucratic bullshit.

So theres a small business there for someone -  training people in large Vietnamese companies how not to piss off a potential large customer and lose a million dollar export order.

eodmatt :

Heres a thing......

Small business possibility in Vietnam....

Yesterday I was contacted by a friend in another FE country and asked if I could help a man who is setting up a business in a country adjacent to Vietnam. The man was trying to contact a supplier in Saigon - a very big company which exports to the world.

The man called the company by phone from outside Vietnam and the phone was answered by someone who didn't speak English. He called 4 times and each time this Vietnamese exporting companies phone was answered by a non English speaking person.

The man asked a friend if he knew anyone in Vietnam that could help. The friend, whom I also know, sent me an email asking for help.

I answered the email, saying that my wife, a fluent English and Vietnamese (and Korean) speaker may be able to help.

The friend set me all the details and I asked my wife to assist.

She called the Vietnamese company and was eventualy connected to an "assistant manager" (=, nephew or close relative of the manager who has no qualifications and can't speak any language other than Vietnamese) who demanded to know why this person wanted to contact them.

- Because he wants to buy your goods

Does he have a company in Vietnam?

- No he is an export customer.

Whats his tax reference?

He doesn't have a Vn company, he wants you to export your goods to him.

Why does he want to use our goods?

whats the address of his factory overseas?

Why does he come to Vietnam to buy goods?

It went on and on for nearly all day, question after question and meaningless bureaucratic bullshit.

So theres a small business there for someone -  training people in large Vietnamese companies how not to piss off a potential large customer and lose a million dollar export order.

Ha! Ha! Ha! That reminds me of when a company in Saigon contacted me via email and sent me their website relating to tea export. I contacted the company and asked a sales rep  if they could give me their prices per kg and tonne. The reply was a classic, she said 'once you have the customer sign a contract with us, we will give you the prices". I was gob-smacked, I asked her 'how can I get a client to sign a contract without knowing the price' the reply was the usual dribble..."this is Viet Nam, its different".

colinoscapee :
eodmatt :

Heres a thing......

Small business possibility in Vietnam....

Yesterday I was contacted by a friend in another FE country and asked if I could help a man who is setting up a business in a country adjacent to Vietnam. The man was trying to contact a supplier in Saigon - a very big company which exports to the world.

The man called the company by phone from outside Vietnam and the phone was answered by someone who didn't speak English. He called 4 times and each time this Vietnamese exporting companies phone was answered by a non English speaking person.

The man asked a friend if he knew anyone in Vietnam that could help. The friend, whom I also know, sent me an email asking for help.

I answered the email, saying that my wife, a fluent English and Vietnamese (and Korean) speaker may be able to help.

The friend set me all the details and I asked my wife to assist.

She called the Vietnamese company and was eventualy connected to an "assistant manager" (=, nephew or close relative of the manager who has no qualifications and can't speak any language other than Vietnamese) who demanded to know why this person wanted to contact them.

- Because he wants to buy your goods

Does he have a company in Vietnam?

- No he is an export customer.

Whats his tax reference?

He doesn't have a Vn company, he wants you to export your goods to him.

Why does he want to use our goods?

whats the address of his factory overseas?

Why does he come to Vietnam to buy goods?

It went on and on for nearly all day, question after question and meaningless bureaucratic bullshit.

So theres a small business there for someone -  training people in large Vietnamese companies how not to piss off a potential large customer and lose a million dollar export order.

Ha! Ha! Ha! That reminds me of when a company in Saigon contacted me via email and sent me their website relating to tea export. I contacted the company and asked a sales rep  if they could give me their prices per kg and tonne. The reply was a classic, she said 'once you have the customer sign a contract with us, we will give you the prices". I was gob-smacked, I asked her 'how can I get a client to sign a contract without knowing the price' the reply was the usual dribble..."this is Viet Nam, its different".

Am I hearing this in 2016? Lol

Oh yes, in 2016.

Today my wife went to the police station to complete my re registration as a  married temp resident. The usual 6 months stamp affaire.

Only I didn't get 6 months I got four months. Reason:

Well I returned to Vietnam from Honkers in December 2015 and on return I got a 6 month stamp at the airport. I went to Honkers again in February and this time on return the immigration bloke just confirmed that I had 4 months left of an existing visa.

So today they gave me 4 months again.

TVB!   :lol:

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