“Don’t accept a poor attitude from anyone, anywhere and at any time, whether in business, on the sport’s field, or in the wider field and business of Life. Stand and fight if you have to, even walk away if you have no choice, but don’t let them get away with it, because they’ll do it again, to you or someone else, and, next time, it will be worse. This applies to all entities, including individuals, teams, businesses, politcal organisations and nation states.” George (1950-)
General Knowlege Question: (10 points) Where was the picture below taken? Clue: a Thai national from Isaan has already provided the right answer. Still 10 points in it.
It’s a business. This is a theoretical approach based on secondary research and primary (observations of business negotiations and interviews with buyers). We’re focussing here on the wants of foreigners here in Thailand, both visitors and ex-pats, and the products and services provided by young Thai women freelancers and sole traders. Freelancers in this article are business providers who are their own bosses providing short term business deals. Sole traders can provide longer term business relationships. Some who start off as freelancers become sole traders later on and vice-versa. This business model could very well apply to other countries in Asia and other parts of the world. Customers, suppliers, observers and other stakeholders will be writing in to comment and offer more insights to help build and modify this theoretical framework.
The young women (suppliers) are offering a product and a service. The young blood short time stayers (one type of customers) coming over here constitute one aspect of one of the markets. A market in this article is where suppliers and customers come together. The nature of the suppliers, their services and their products and the nature and wants of the customers will be different. Different mixes of suppliers and customers consitute different markets. Some of the suppliers specialise in the young blood short time stayers. Other suppliers specialise in other markets. Other examples of markets are the different cultural and national groups we can find here, like the Germans or the Arabs. Another market group is the oldies.Other suppliers still provide products and services to a wider range of markets.
Location is important too. Different market groups know where to go for their supplies and the suppliers know these places too in order to find their particular type of customers. Our readers will be able to inform you about these different market locations.
The customers look for a product and services that go with it. They find a supplier and ask questions about the product and the services on offer. When they find something they want, they sometimes negotiate the price. When a price has been agreed on, the customer buys the product and the services because that’s what they want, or think they want, or they don’t know what else they can buy with their money. Of course, often, the price is non-negotiable.
Some of the customers will look around because they don’t like very much what’s on offer (eg a bad attitude) or they want to get something better (in their judgement) for their cash. As we all know, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. The traders also have the right not to provide a product or a service if they wish. That’s their right. And often they will. Sometimes, they feel they would not enjoy doing business with a potential customer. Many choose their own customers but many others can’t afford to do that, even if they wished they could.Of course, all suppliers look for potential customers they can do business with. Each has her own preferences. For example, some like men in suits and some like men in baggy shorts, vests and flip flops.
Sometimes, the business transaction doesn’t involve cash. Sometimes, a bit of bartering takes place. One product and service is provided in exchange for another product and, or service. For example, a haircut, information, advice, buttons, pens or cigarettes.
The successof these business transactions depends on numerous factors including the quality of the product and service rendered, whether the service or product was the one that was promised and the nature and quality of the relationship that develops between the suppliers and their customers. Trust is one important element of the relationship.
Feedback is one way that the young people can improve their products and services. Some suppliers might want to seek feedback on customer satisfaction, or otherwise, so that they can improve their product or services. Many suppliers won’t for lots of different reasons including the following: they haven’t thought about it or they feel they don’t have to because they’ve got all the business they want. Many customers will provide feedback whether they have been asked for it or not. They do this in many different ways: directly to their supplier, or to other possible potential suppliers, usually verbally; or by writing in to complain to different publications, including Bangkok Diaries. Sometimes, this is in the hope of creating positive change; sometimes to warn or educate other potential customers; sometimes to share experiences and sometimes to get it off their chests.
What some of these young blood short time stayers are trying to do when they come over here is a) have a good time on their terms and b) develop a successful working relationship with their supplier (the young women) or suppliers in order to get the best out of them, that is, to get the best service that they can get for their money. The suppliers are trying to do something similar. Many want their customers to be happy with their product and services and some do this because they think it could lead to more business either with the same customer or through recommendations.We often see similar patterns of behaviour between business men and women offering or looking for other types of services and or products in night clubs around the town.For example, plastic mouldings.
Long timers (eg ex-pats) won’t always be happy about new customers coming into the market for different reasons, including the following: a) their suppliers change their product and services in ways that displeases them b)their suppliers demand a higher price for their product and services. c)the new customers are willing to pay a higher price than the long time stayers. When the demand increases very often the price increases too. Sometimes, this is seasonal. At other times, increased demand doesn’t lead to an increase in price because the customers have alternatives to turn to. For example, if the price of chicken goes up, people might stop eating chicken and eat rats, dogs or frogs instead. Changes in products, services and higher prices means that the long termers have to make a decision, for example a) accept the changes in the product, products and services b) pay the higher price c)look for new suppliers, which is always a bind, or d)Find an alternative but equivalent product.
Most of these business deals are short term. Sometimes, but more rarely, the business relationship becames something a bit more long term and the terms of the business deal change. It depends on the wants of the traders and the wants of the customers. Different customers are looking for different kinds of products and services and sometimes, of course, their wants change as do the goals and aspirations of the suppliers.
Not all providers are full-time professionals; some are amateurs, some are part-timers and some do this for a short period and then look for a career change. Others move in and out of being full-time professionals, part-timers, seasonal workers, occasional workers or amateurs.
Of course, there are many other aspects to this theoretical framework that have been left out either through oversight or deliberately. What has been written above should be enough to get the proverbial ball rolling. Over to you, George.