What’s going on with Thailand? (is it safe?)

What’s going on with Thailand? (is it safe?)

There’s a lot of doom and gloom being administered at sales meetings and network clubs up and down Thailand at present. Let’s look at it on the surface;

The Army controlled Government has taken over, giving the West an idea that we are all being locked up every day for just wearing bright colours, (actually there are a lot of foreigners I would like to lock up for fashion crimes, but I am not in charge)

They overthrew a  democratically elected government, yep sure, that’s the only bit the West hear, the rest of the sentence is; that was corrupt, just like every government in the world.

Guys we are fine, I personally from my little corner of the world, have not seen anything bad happen, apart from the Junta government giving me a few free games of the world cup on TV and being an England fan I wish they hadn’t!

The U.S. is trying now to muscle in and say Thailand’s human rights stink, and trafficking is on the rise, Mr Obama, you should come down Sukhumvit road Bangkok at 3 am and you will see just who is being subjugated on a daily basis; it’s the numerous middle aged pot-bellied foreigners who really believes this slender 20 year old Thai girl thinks he’s handsome!!

Then there’s the Visas, “oh my, the visa law changes, this will destroy Thailand’s economy” is the general consensus of opinion in the media, again; When I was in-between contracts and a little short on the dough to use the vernacular, I would have to go and sit on a bus to Laos for three days out of my life and re-extend a tourist visa, most of us have done it at some time, for whatever reason, and the majority of these people, aside a few foreign English teachers who are being abused by cheap schools, who are doing back to back tourist visas are not really adding to the Thailand economy.

I speak from experience to say that was me, when I was on back to back tourist visas, it meant at that time; I could not afford a non B (non-immigration Business) visa, or a company, or even an Education visa, so I in effect became part of Thailand’s ‘pond life’ and this was always very reflective of the people on the visa runs.

It was like being on a bus with people on probation for drink and drug problems and general misfits and social inept people, hey hang on a minute I quite liked those people lol!

It really is not that difficult for anyone with a little financial acumen to get a proper non B visa, a company, or retirement visa (for over 50’s), or even the dreaded Marriage visa to stay in Thailand. And it’s the people with some money in the bank that make any economy go round. So in some senses it is a good decision for the country.

Thailand and Bangkok have just got over a curfew whilst the Army government cleared the streets of protesters and in my view made is safer to travel around, now that has all been lifted we flow now into quiet season, the rainy season.

I can just imagine the lady at the travel agent in Birmingham UK explaining to a middle aged couple with children:

“Oh no, not Thailand, the Army are walking the streets with Guns and Tanks, it rains 24 hours a day right now , floods, Aids, prostitutes outside your house Pimps beating girls up, why not go on an all exclusive to Cost Brava where we can guarantee you sunburn, sangria and you won’t leave the complex for two weeks , have beans and chips every day and not meet any locals whatsoever”

“Perfect that’s what we really wanted” said Mr and Mrs Smith from Solihull.

So for those of us doing business, is this a positive or a negative? Well it really depends on your character, whether you think it’s all over, or you think now is the opportunity to make something of this situation. It’s important to remember capitalism breeds on downturns, when things are cheaper. Somebody told me recently that there are massive bargains right now in some of the most exclusive resorts in the world here in Thailand, because they need the business, because tourist numbers are well down due to all the things I have just discussed.

In business; people are just coming to terms with how cold calling is dying and well if you are a foreigner you are going to make 10 calls before you can speak to anyone who speaks English, so that’s a non-starter, added to that the proliferation of unregulated financial advisors pestering expatriates to death on their mobiles for medical and off the shelf tax free savings plans they make hideous upfront commissions on.

Email marketing is another way to find more business; well anyone will tell you, the only thing that works is an opted in list you have gleaned from offering various incentives for, and it will have taken you months and months to gather the list then even when you have a list of people who expect your emails, you are lucky to get 5% of them being opened, the opt in list just means you are allowed to spam them!

Then there’s blogging and social media and I have written over one million words on this subject and the crux of this is; it is purely branding!! The stuff that’s vital, to do that does not seem ever to produce any sort of direct income whatsoever yet is vital to your business, to let people know what you do and why they should trust you.

So the only thing left is networking at the clubs, as a long term expatriate I can tell you if you have worked hard all day and you then at 6 PM have to battle your way across town to a hotel and smile and be charming talking to strangers is really hard work and networking takes months and months of altruistic attitude to get anywhere.

We are doing our little bit by running our very own Network Café Bangkok to try to re-invigorate the economy.

Network cafe Bangkok

Network cafe Bangkok

So how do you find leads today?

Simple; Biz-find has been over the last few months asking people what they are looking to buy for their business, it really is quite a simple question to ask, and when you tell people you actually pay them for the information, well then it all becomes a little easier to get leads.

We also have affiliates that contact business in Thailand to get leads from them. We publish these leads on our website in categorised order for you to browse for your business, when you see a lead for your business you just click; ‘contact company’ and we charge just 500 THB for a month’s access to the existing leads and then any others we get within thirty days.

So now you know our little secret, don’t tell anyone will you!