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Author Topic: A year on the island  (Read 10495 times)

Offline Metz

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A year on the island
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:59:59 PM »
Almost a year on the island now.  It has been a roller coaster, but nothing worse than in the US. 

Came here with no bills, car, home paid for, and a ton of shop equipment.

Lessons learned:

Contrary to my own advice, I started my business too fast.  Built a shop space that turned out to be too small and not great location.  Burned thru almost 8k usd on that one.

Burned thru more cash trying to get business running.  Learned the importance of advertising money.

Moved into new shop, only to discover poor electric service and no money to move to another location.

Stuck thru it, went thru a bunch of workers.  Cheap labor is exactly that; cheap and useless.

The August floods killed business for 6 weeks.  It also contaminated the food supply.

Good thing we have a big pantry.

Business picked up till December.  I got cocky and neglected my premium ads. 

Phone didn't ring much.  We didn't have very extravagant Christmas.

Discovered that my landline service is junk also.  No wonder the phone did not ring in January.

Spent the first 2 weeks of Feb answering lots of emails and estimates.

Finally all the hard work was rewarded.

All in all I'm doing ok.  Lights are on, stomach is full.  We are living on the local economy.  Not using any previous before island funds for the day to day living.

Still going thru the new business trials.  I assumed that my wife's connections would get me more work than it has.  Those ones seem to be the hardest to get business from.

Being a white guy here and actually getting dirty working shocks the locals.  Still I have managed to make some solid business contacts.  Still getting used to Chinese grinding me down on prices.  I have found they will more readily take barter than cash.  Today I got a order but he changed the terms, he wanted a different design that took more work.  No more cash but I got a truckload of aluminum siding scraps.

Other than that it is pretty much like anywhere else.  Go to work, go home, repeat. Manila is somewhat like NYC.  A lot of jerks running around.  I lived in the Middle East for awhile, so no real surprise there.  It is not Shangrila, but it works.

I guess if  one can start a business here and succeed, one can do it anywhere. I won't call it a success here, but not a failure either.

Offline jonnyivy

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Re: A year on the island
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 03:20:36 AM »
Well done for at least trying bud !
Your honest report is more valuable .
Good luck with the future.

A True Friend Is Someone Who Sees the Pain in Your Eyes While Everyone Else Believes the Smile on Your Face

Offline fred

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Re: A year on the island
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 07:12:32 AM »
What do you make Metz?? End product?
Good on you BTW.. I wish you every success.
Keep on truckin ya hear!!

Offline medic3500

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Re: A year on the island
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 10:55:57 AM »
Hard work normally pays off in the end.