This is the age where the majority of the budding entrepreneurs are motivated to prove their worth in this prosperous culture of technology and innovation. One of the best things is that these motivated entrepreneurs are challenging the big industries. Though the majority of the startups are building up their presence amidst the already established businesses, there are some that unfortunately vanish in the blankness.
Now the question is why some of the startups are vanishing in the first place? Well, the very obvious reason is that the startups are associated with high chances of risk, adopting a new strategy and failing to execute them act as triggers. In this article, we will talk about the major problems of Thailand’s startups and its solutions. For example, setting up a business in Thailand comes with a lot of challenges like-product differentiation, financing and lack of ICT talent.
Problems of Startups and their solutions
When discussing startup firms in Thailand, one of the major dynamic players in the market are the telecom operators. Other than the ordinary key players in the market like business sectors, VC’s, and others, the telecom service plays an active role in the market. The pattern of contributions made by Telco in new companies is something that is observed in other nations as well, for example, Indonesia’s Telkomsel, Singapore’s Singtel, and Philippine’s Globe Telecom. It is highly appreciating to see such a thing taking place in Thailand as well. However, here are some of the problems that the majority of the new startups face.
Insufficient funds or lack of finances
One of the essential things required for setting up a business in Thailand is the availability of a sufficient amount of funds. It requires a smooth flow of cash to survive in Thailand. One of the biggest problems faced today by small firms is the lack of finances. With an increase in income, there is a simultaneous increase in expenditure. Moreover, the startups are highly dependent on the investors who provide them with sufficient support.
During such situations, the first one that faces problems in managing their finances is startups. As a result of this, they have to face a lot of pressure. Though the entrepreneurs have to ensure that they have sufficient funds to carry out their business activities, at the same time, they need to pay salaries to the employees and have to pay the bills for mortgage and groceries as well.
A good read could be How to obtain financing for your business in Thailand
To start a business in Thailand, companies have to consistently discover methods for limiting their expenses. To speed up receivable processes, the method of invoice factoring has to be selected. With the advent of new technology, things have become very easier. We can now make use of digital means to make the invoice payments and therefore, there is no wrong in asking for immediate payments from the clients. Credit needs to be secured before any requirements of the business because this will help them to know how much amount of funds will be needed to carry on with their business activities. Using accounting software is also essential to keep a track on the Money going in and out.
Startup in Thailand often helps in Project financing or Startup funding when needed.
Lack of a proper marketing strategy
The majority of the startups come up with brilliant ideas and innovations, but what is evident is that the entire business equation is lacking marketing strategy. It also lacks a proper strategy for branding, using media and PR, developing a corporate identity that includes a presence in the online market, using online and offline strategies to gain a wider user range, investors and vendors.
What is ironic is that majority of the agencies that are involved in promoting accelerators; incubators and corporate hubs are all run by those who do not have any basic knowledge to use marketing strategy. Let’s ignore the whole marketing range! Considering only on Media and PR, you will see that majority of the persons do not have an idea on how to explore these platforms to fulfill their goals and objectives. There are also a few startups that do not have an idea of how to use the media for promoting their businesses.
The availability of digital means has opened broad channels for marketing- mobile, electronic, print, online and video advertising. Before setting up a business in Thailand, it is essential for these new companies to adopt new and innovative marketing strategies, using advertisements to promote to let people know about their services and the products.
In a nutshell, a good marketing plan is one that should have a proper vision, mission, and a proper business goal. The plan should be able to help others know about the role of your products and services. The strategy needs to be efficient that would motivate the customers to be loyal to your products and the services. For example, Apple Inc. is successful because of its exceptional advertising plan and its products are highly spontaneous and user friendly.
Business development endeavors need to be a priority in case of any startup with adequate sales and marketing initiatives to be successful.
Thai Startups lack English skills :
One of the universally recognized languages and an accepted medium of language, both for local and international business is the English language. Most of the schools and universities in Thailand impart education in English and therefore it is not always a problem to find English spoken candidates or employees for your business. But the major problem is that the startups in Thailand lack proper English skills and therefore, it becomes difficult to communicate and sell their products and ideas to the international entities. If you are thinking that only the local language will be sufficient to doing business in Thailand, you are absolutely wrong.
Thailand is a business hub and you will find people from different countries residing here. It will not be sufficient to target only the Thai market. You should also keep this in mind that the entire concept of startup was coined in English and therefore, each and everyone who is planning to set up a business over here, need to have good command over the English language. The worst part is that there are various accelerators and startup agencies in Thailand where English is hardly spoken or understood. There are shreds of evidence where such agencies have not been able to keep up with the language in foreign events including present a proper business plan in English.
The only solution to this is that before you start a business in Thailand, it is very important to have a strong command over the English language. If you have plans to do start something new, then you should take English classes so that you can at least present your business and marketing plan or deal with the foreign investors. You need to decide on what is your direction for your startup idea. If it is only for the Thailand market, then you may or may opt for English proficiency but then the business spread becomes quite limited. Any startup initiatives, we feel need to have a wider spread and that is only possible in embracing a universal global language like English. You can make your venture more profitable a lot of profit if you are head towards in the right direction.
Lack of good employees
A successful business does not always mean that it has a lot of customer base or it has a wonderful market share. What matters is whether the company has a strong employee base or not. One of the challenging things for any company is to create a dedicated team of employees working together in cooperation and harmony. The focus remains on efficiency but that should not mean just adding more numbers to the company. There is a need to find someone who can work on your project and who is trustworthy and reliable. Though Thailand has a good quality of honest, sincere employees, but lacks a proper set of ICT based skills and talent. The technologies are improving every day but the level of skilled workforce in Thailand is not unto the speed and is lagging behind in terms of knowledge. Thailand needs to step up technology education right from the school level to ensure the growth needed. You might like to read a bit more on the technology scenario of Thailand
Thailand is full of people looking for opportunities and jobs. In fact, there is supply more than demand, which means there are more jobs available than the people interested. However, not all of them are capable of doing everything that you are looking for. Properly advertise your jobs and state down the qualifications and the requirements of your job to get hold of the right employees. Also, the education system needs to be developed more and more so that the upcoming graduates are well versed in English and they acquire proper working skills. the universities should include more practical sessions so that once they pass out of the college, they can get recruited in a reputed company. On the job training at an early stage of employment is also very effective and capable of reducing the void of experts in the field.
Setting up a business in Thailand is difficult because of fierce competition. The number of startups being launched in the market is huge. Nearly every day, a large number of startups are being introduced and they are dominating the market. This poses a lot of challenges for new businesses to stay in the market.
You need to have a lot of creativity and innovations in your mind because the other newcomers have entered the market with a lot of new ideas. But this also has a positive side. The variety of new ideas pushes entrepreneurs to think out of the box. There is a huge gamut of scope and opportunities available but the newcomer has to make proper research on his niche industry that has to be different in outlook and its approach. This will help you to stand out from the rest!
Andy Aditya with his vast experience as a startup specialist can guide you to become a budding entrepreneur or even handhold you to pass through the critical phases of your startup project.
Interesting Reads :
- 5 Tips for raising funds for a Startup project
- Some common mistakes made by new Entrepreneurs
- Business in Thailand – How Different it is from Rest of the World
- Growth of Startups in Thailand and Future Outlook
- The success of small businesses in Asia. Is Asia really booming?
- Top 10 Reasons to start a business in Thailand