Saturday, August 01, 2009

Journal: week in review

Well, this week has been full of weather madness and business start-up headaches.

It's been raining a lot. In fact, yesterday it rained pretty much all day. This definitely does not help the laundry situation, particularly since I have only 1 pair of clean underwear left. I finally washed them today, but of course there was a rain storm.

This weekend will be spent entertaining another Couch Surfer.

So, we're trying to open up a little Umbrella Tours stall at the Angkor Night Market. We signed the contract and paid the annual fee on Monday night. Of course, this was not without a discussion of our terms and conditions that we had supposedly verbally agreed to with the manager, but were in sudden opposition by the assistant and the market owner.

Apparently the assistant hadn't communicated our discussion with the owner like he was supposed to. I think that was purposely done. In the end our verbal agreement was accepted, but our "contract" would be "secret".

Then Da got a call on Wednesday from the assistant telling him that the owner didn't agree with our shop description because there was already a shop selling tour packages.

Um, so why is it ok to have 4 "spicies" shops and a gazillion (yes, that's right!) shops selling scarves and other duplicate souvenirs?

Really, the owner just didn't want any competition. And the joke was that he didn't have his shop up and running yet.

This meant yet another conversation with the assistant, where he would ask us about what kind of packages we would be selling. He'd write some notes, then call the owner and have a short conversation. He then asked us a few more questions followed by another conversation with the owner.

I was getting fed up with this. I wanted a meeting with this owner instead of giving away all of our ideas, so I told the assistant to call the owner and set a meeting. Well, all of a sudden the owner was busy, so we would have to wait until the next day to confirm if we could meet him or not.

This was not looking very good. I was getting very frustrated and angry and these tactics to intimidate us.

It didn't work because we were called the next day by the assistant saying that it was OK to open our shop. Hmph. What more will be done to prohibit us?

Needless to say, we have ordered ticket books, business cards, and banners. We'll be ordering leaflets to distribute later.

This is the great thing about Cambodia: production is CHEAP! Meaning, inexpensive.

A box of 100 business cards printed on both sides costs $6.50.

A 100-page ticket book costs $0.50 each.

A 2 meter x 1 meter banner (color) costs $11.

1,000 color brochures on magazine cover (which will actually be 3,000 after being cut in thirds) will be $150.

Does anybody need any business cards?

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