Franchise / "Low Risk" Businesses in Taiwan (Brainstorming)

What about a session somewhere on this? I am in the process of trying to bring a franchise to Taiwan, Jlick has Subway and I am talking with someone else who is opening a Pizza restaurant. I also have a small finance business in HK that has yet to take off but looks promising.

I know that there is the monthly entrepreneurs meeting but my guess is that those guys are all in business already. I am thinking of something just for those who are looking into it.

Jlick has been very helpful to me, and I would be willing to share what I have learned/am learning with others. What do you all think?

My way of thinking about his is that if you think you’ve come across a good idea for doing mass market business, then ask yourself why someone else hasn’t done it already. In nine cases out of ten, plenty of other people have researched it and decided it wouldn’t work, or at least it wouldn’t work for them. My guess is that this is why Taco Bell doesn’t have a franchise in Taiwan. Pepsi and any potential franchisies have probably researched the market and decided that it isn’t ready for Taco Bell yet. But of course there is that 1 case out of ten…

Any sort of high volume businesses like fast food usually have tight margins. There’s nothing wrong with that if you can manage those margins well to bring in consistent profits, but IMO that requires experience in the business or the willingness to open your ear (and probably hire) those who have such experience. If I were going to start a small business, I would instead look for niches where I’d be selling to better off folks and in which I already have a skill or interest. There are plenty of opportunities that the bigger businessman who runs franchises or larger operations leaves to the small operator who’s willing to do his research and put in the hours to build up a base of well targeted customers.

An example of the above that comes to mind is a small carpet and upholstery cleaning company I used to work for. We were definitely not the biggest in our town, but our profit margins were certainly among the highest. Rather than going for the mass market, the boss had built a high end customer base over a period of 20 years. He avoided the bigger truck mounted spray and suck equipment that a high volume operator would need to use and instead used more traditional equipment that required greater skill to use and which was able to get much better results when in the right hands with enough time. Where the high volume operator would focus on getting jobs done quickly, we focused on every little mundane detail because that is what people with money expect. Only about 5% of this guy’s customers were “middle class;” the rest were all wealthy types with King Kong size houses.

How did he get these customers? Church and word of mouth. He’s an Episcopalian, and the pews of Episcopal churches in the southern US are filled with better off whitebred types who treat their houses like museums. These are just the sort of people who are willing to pay a lot for carpet and upholstery cleaning, and after getting good service from us a couple of times, they inevitably passed our business card around at the country club or where ever else such people hang out. This company only had one van. The boss worked the business three days a week and took in about US$150K a year from it.

The other two days a week he spent managing residential properties he owned. At one time, he had 20 houses; the money he put down for these houes came from the carpet and upholstery cleaning business. He is down to about 10 houses now, having paid off the other 10 with rent income and then sold them. He’s also got a good bit invested in equities and a couple of retail shop type properties. He’s now about 60 and I figure worth over US$10 million. He started all of this with a station wagon, one rotary brush carpet cleaning machine and a vacuum cleaner shortly after he returned from Vietnam in 1970. No degree, no real start up money; just patience and a bit of hard work. If he had gone the franchise route, he still could have made decent money, but he would have worked five days a week only on carpet clearning and would have at best brought in $100K a year per van from a high volume, low repeat customer base whose demand fluctuates greatly with the economic cycle.

Franchising can offer some good opportunities, but it isn’t the only way to get into business without taking a lot of initial risk. If you’re willing to put the time in and research a niche market, you can develop a strong business. If you can find a Taiwanese equivalent to rich white Episcopalians who are willing to spend for a certain product or service, you can speak their language (and by language, I mean know how to flatter them and make them feel good about paying for your services) and you have an obsessive eye for detail, then I’m sure you could build up a good business selling something.

OK, have had a couple of PMs. I will organise something if there is not already something planned. I found the thread for the last Entrepreneurs meeting (18 June) in “Business and Money” but no dates for a further meeting. Have also PM’s Mr He who organised that one to see if anything is planned in the near future.

If nothing is planned I will organise something.

[quote=“Edgar Allen”]OK, have had a couple of PMs. I will organise something if there is not already something planned. I found the thread for the last Entrepreneurs meeting (18 June) in “Business and Money” but no dates for a further meeting. Have also PM’s Mr He who organised that one to see if anything is planned in the near future.

If nothing is planned I will organise something.[/quote]

My place (new one) is central and pretty good for having beers. So, I wouldn’t mind hosting it. (the 7-11 nearby is also stocking Hoergaarten beers).

I’ll be back on the 7th or 8th next month after my Vn trip

Hey Tycoon when are you offski? I willbe back from UK on 9th but thought we might do something sooner, maybe next weekend…could follow up with a 2nd one when we are both back though.

Seems easy enough, but being the Jack of all Trades makes it hard :wink:.

I don’t know much about francshises and wanted to see how they might work out for me. The “something I know about” would be something with computers, or something athletic (like a fitness coach or something.)

I met a Taiwanese guy here that had contracts with some businesses to be their computer guy. He seemed to be doing OK.

I just think franchise because they come ready made for me to eventually hire a manager and step back.

I’m up for a meeting as described above as well.

Hi miltown

maybe something education-related? Why not develop a 2nd part-time (at first) income from the existing customer base that provides ur 1st income? :bulb:

My wife and I are members of an MLM network called Ladder 100
Digital Education, also called Smart Family.

Perhaps u have seen the tv ads, with kids in white clothes talking about e-learning? All the kids talk about how covenient it is to learn “anytime,anywhere” and it’s fun, too.

It is a membership program, giving access to over 100 websites thru their member portal. Includes, but not limited to: software to review/practice ALL subjects from 1st grade thru sr. high, adult learning, including online GEPT, Japanese, French and many more, including a complete grade-school ESL curriculum that works well in a classroom with a projector.

This is low initial investment, and taps into ur credibility as a teacher, in that u know ur students and their needs, at least as regards ESL. A little bit of talking would allow u to develop a fuller understanding of these needs, and see if this might be a learning solution that they are into.

If ur interested, PM me and we can discuss further.

If not, best of luch with ur -generating ideas. I will keep up with this thread, and hope we can all find a way to put more into our pcokets while retaining joy and peace in our hearts. :sunglasses:


I’m afraid you’re asking the same kind of questions we all ask from time to time here!

I think it would be better to exercise your imagination to find an opportunity not currently served and then find a way to serve it!

Franchises will require quite a commitment upfront, and in terms of a few years, and they may not be successful.


I have trouble seeing a 7/11 or Mc Donalds failing, though it probably happens from time to time. I’ve never seen a Mc Donalds close in my life (here and in the US.)

[quote=“US 7/11 Site”]Fees and Expenses:

	[ul][li]The Franchisee pays a one-time initial franchise fee to 7-Eleven (averaging approximately $70,000, depending on the store's gross profit, but that may vary significantly depending upon the area).
	[/li][li]A Franchisee is required to make an initial cash payment to 7-Eleven in an amount equal to the cost of the store's initial inventory, supplies, business licenses, permits, bonds and cash register fund. 7-Eleven will finance the Franchisee's continuing operating expenses. A typical initial cash payment to 7-Eleven for a franchise is about $89,000, but again, that may vary significantly depending upon the area.
	[/li][li]A prospective Franchisee may wish to purchase an existing 7-Eleven Franchisee's interest in his or her store for which the prospective Franchisee must negotiate a price with the current Franchisee. This is called a "goodwill" sale. The "goodwill" price is paid to the existing Franchisee and would be over and above the typical initial cash payment made to 7-Eleven.[/li][/ul][/quote]

[quote=“US Mc Donald’s Site”]Financial Requirements/Down Payment

An initial down payment is required when you purchase a new restaurant (40% of the total cost) or an existing restaurant (25% of the total cost). The down payment must come from non-borrowed personal resources, which include cash on hand; securities, bonds, and debentures; vested profit sharing (net of taxes); and business or real estate equity, exclusive of your personal residence.

Since the total cost varies from restaurant to restaurant, the minimum amount for a down payment will vary. Generally, we require a minimum of $200,000 of non-borrowed personal resources to consider you for a franchise. Individuals with additional funds may be better prepared for additional or multi-restaurant opportunities.[/quote]

The bolded parts are the reasons I imagine most people don’t open a Mc Donalds (if they wanted to.) Other reasons might include being anti-McD’s etc., but whateva. I think the bolded part is why most people don’t/can’t open a bigger name franchise (me included for now :smiley:.)

I read a lot about opening a Mc Donald’s (a long long time ago), and I memory tells me that the McD corparation will not let you open a restaraunt in a location they think will fail (they help with finding a location, doing that marketing research stuff, ekcetra.)

7/11s here seem like something that just can’t fail (from where I sit anyway.) I’ve seen spots with stores directly across the street from each other. 2 new convenience stores popped up in Yonghe with in the last couple months. I’m sure that’s bad news for the 7/11 around the corner, but I also bet business is still steady and profitable.

I’ve seen 3 stores come and go in the location of one of the stores. The new one is a 全家 or something and seems to be doing well (I still go to 7/11, gotta get those Doraemon magnets.)

That’s exactly what I plan on doing starting next week. :slight_smile: After this school semester I plan on keeping part time hours and spending the other half of my time being a businessman. I already have a couple of things going that sort of break even :smiley: (which is the best I’ve done businesswise in my life so far :laughing:.) I hope to spend more time on those things and make them profitable.

OK, so I have confirmation that the next Entrepreneurs meeting will be on the 3rd Sunday in August, which I think makes it the 20th. The location will be Carnegies.

If anyone wants to get together for a beer before that I am always open to that.

At what time is the meeting?

Oh sorry Taipei Bob paid me not to say, hoping you would all show up at opening time and drink until the meeting finished.

If you keep it between you and me, the meeting is at noon.

Great! I’ll come for the brunch, and stay for the meeting.

Correction - the guy arranging the meet might have to move it forward a bit, so it’s likely to be the second Sunday of August.

Works for me. Same time and place?





Yes. Noon, at Carnegie’s