ASEAN economic integration brings many opportunities for a new business venture in Thailand. On the other hand, it presents new challenges that include higher price and non-price competition on the market. Some newcomers will succeed while others will fail. If you want to be in the pool of successful entrepreneurs then it is of utmost importance that your new business venture is based on a well-planned business strategy. The art of coming up with a promising business strategy starts with objectively evaluating opportunities and challenges and conducting a cost-benefit analysis as precisely and accurately as you can.
- Understand your region’s strengths and weaknesses
Each member of ASEAN economic community has their own strengths and weaknesses. Some of those strengths and weaknesses are untapped while others are obvious and already proven. For instance, comparing Thailand and Philippines, Thailand has proven to be competitive in the tourism sector, agro-business industry and automotive industry. Thailand is among the top 5 food exporters in the world and has one of the most advanced food processing industries in the region, as of 2012, the Thailand automotive industry was the largest in Southeast Asia and the second largest pickup-truck exporter after the USA. Philippines on the other hand, excels in producing electronic products and has a better manufacturing base for such business activities than Thailand does. By understanding the structure of such comparative advantages, one will be able to accordingly diversify suppliers and remain cost effective.
- Source the cheapest supplier, regardless of borders
Having the cheapest suppliers is one of the most important strengths of a business. As already argued, understanding your region’s strengths and weaknesses will help you find the cheapest sources for your input requirements. Geographic location is yet another concern when choosing a supplier because the further your supplier is located, the more you have to pay for transportation, import tariffs, quotas and other bureaucratic costs. However, since the ASEAN economic community implies no trade barriers, the role of geography is much less troublesome when you are presented with more opportunities to find a relevant supplier.
- Set aside capital to invest
There is no doubt that it is better to have your own capital for reinvestment rather than going to the financial market and obtaining capital for a cost (i.e. borrowing from a bank). For this to be the case, it is recommended that you set aside part of your profits as capital for potential future investment opportunities. The future is uncertain; time is money and often the key to seizing an opportunity as it presents itself. Ensuring that you have sufficient capital set aside allows you this opportunistic freedom.
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