Showing posts with the label Startup

How can I get money to start a business when I have nothing?

It's a question I usually ask myself and I think many people might ask the same question. Well, I don't know, but I want to know. And one day, I asked my father about his experience. He told me that when the Khmer Rouge regime ended, he and his family returned to Battambang. Because their house was destroyed, they had no place to live, so they asked a family, who had a house, for a space in their house to stay and that family agreed. After that, he went with others to get rice from the storage in the farm field (that storage was managed by Khmer Rouge, after the regime ended, it was left). He got a few sacks of rice. He gave half to family and he took half to sell and got two Chi (Chi is Khmer gold measurement, 1 Chi is about 3.75 grams). That two Chi was his funds to start his business. At that time, business in Cambodia was nothing besides going to the border to buy things to sell in the country. My father, with one of brothers, rode a bicycle to the Cambodian Thai border. Th


How can an uneducated person make money? I am asking myself this question. Why? Because I am doing a special assignment for myself related to how to make/raise funds without asking help from family, loaning or getting invested from the rich. I cannot tell because I don't know it yet. I am searching for an answer.


I just started selling my Kaffir lime's leaves that I have planted in my balcony garden for almost two years. Because it is a natural and safe product, the price is high. One hundred grams is about USD 2.00. Of course, I know that no one will buy it, but I don't care. My garden is really one hundred safe as I don't use any chemical products - only water from tap, rain and cow dung/bat guano, hence, I cannot sell it cheap. But if there are no customers, will my kaffir lime's leaves be ruined?  No, because I will use it in my kitchen. Then will my business be lost? No, it will not lose, it just moves forward slowly.


When I was frying pork, I seemed to gain something from it. I noticed the way I fried the pork, especially the way I made the heat. Pork is needed to fry two times to make it cook on both sides. When I fried one side, at the beginning, I put the heat at 1,200 degrees. It took about seven minutes to cook. When it was good, I turned to the other side at the same degree.  Just a few minutes later, I smelled something burning. I hurriedly checked it; fortunately, I got it at the right time or the pork would be dark. Because of this, I understood. At the beginning, the pot is cool, that is why it needs high heat. After it is heated, the heat remains with it, so it doesn't need high heat like the first time. This work might be just cooking; but for me, it can be a method in doing business. Actually I want to describe it but since I haven't found out yet what I should compare the heat level to; therefore, I can't show in detail what I've got from it. I have to think more.


This is lunch I made for my family.  I don't know how to call it in English, in Khmer we call it 'Trey Jian Juon' (fried fish with ginger and sweet soybean). To cook it, first of all, I have to learn how to fry the fish. It is not easy. I have to make its meat to be well cooked while its skin is golden red and crispy - not hard or burn.  I have been learning it since 2007, still my fried fish is not as good as my grandma's. Before I entered the kitchen, the first thing my mother told me was about the danger while frying fish, then she instructed me how to prevent and protect it. After that, she taught how to cook - what to put first, what to put secondly, etc. I just found out that this kind of work is similar to doing business. I feel it will be useful if I study the process of cooking and convert to doing the trade. At first, I thought about the strong points and weak points of myself, but I didn’t think about the danger - the causes that might pull my business to los

Why big goes to big

I am wondering: 1. Why do people invest in famous/big enterprises?  2. Why don't they invest or cooperate with these small business people?  3. Not only the small businesses but also the medium businesses meet zero investors.   In my own opinion, some small businesses give more stable income than the big businesses.  Well, unfortunately, I don’t have money. If I were rich, I would think about investment with the small and medium enterprises.

I start from a seaweed

This is a kind of seaweed used as food for fish or decoration of the fish's tank. I bought it from the fish shop. It was expensive. I decide to grow it myself in order: - to reduce my boredom. - to reduce spending since I have fishes (pet) in the house. - to sell.

If we do business, we should and we should not

When I have freetime, I go to my friend who is a businessman. Because he has done business for many years before me, he has experiences and knows more than me. I like to chat with him to get knowledge and information related to business. We don’t talk too much, just five or ten minutes - because he is busy. Recently, I met him and he told me a small methodology. He said that if we are doing business, we should know a lot of people but we should not have many friends. Actually, I see the meaning of his words, but I don’t know how to describe them. Do you understand? If you understand, then you are good.

I learn two things from fried tomato with minced pork

People might think cooking is just to fill the stomach; it is nothing, just cooking; but from my point of view, it is not just cooking, it has many things that I can learn. Such as this menu. It is fried tomato with minced pork. To make it, first, I have to mince the pork. In general, I do it with my right hand, but one day I wanted to try my left hand. While I minced the pork, because I was afraid that the pork would not be well done, I put all my strength on my left hand. Only in a few seconds, my left hand was very painful, and also my feeling was stressed and pressured. When I checked, the pork was still sticking to each other. I thought this way wouldn’t work; however, I didn’t want to use my right hand. Then I decided to mince the pork with my left hand, but I didn’t force my hand anymore, I used normal strength and motion.  In such a way, both my hand and my feelings were not stressed. In addition, at the same length of time, the pork became the minced pork - that I wanted. Talk

What I do to make people who can read and can't read read my writing

T here was one day LinkedIn notified me of the article of a business woman.  I didn't know her until I saw her last name, I checked then I realized she is the sister of Facebook, now Meta's owner.  I followed her but later on I wondered why I became her followers - because I liked, because I wanted to use her to get noticed, or because she gave me inspiration. Neither of them. I decided to unfollow her; I will wait for the day I have a sincere and clear goal to follow her, then I will follow her. Well, before I clicked unfollow, I was inspired by one thing. She had an article and at the bottom there was a video link. As I clicked it, it linked me to a video but it was not new - it was her voice reading that article. During the early days of the pandemic, the schools were closed and studied online. One of my nephews was at kindergarten and because of that, he couldn't read or write.  When I visited him, he liked me to read a book for him. I found he liked readin

One difficulty the online business using Facebook page meets

Online business doesn't always go smoothly, it has problems like business on the land. Such as my business. I sell PDF and Ms word books on a Facebook page. Mostly I use a cell phone to operate my shop. With the old platform, I and customers could contact each other fast.  When Facebook changed to Meta and changed its platform, I could not communicate with my customers - especially when they messaged or commented to buy my product, I didn't receive it until half a day later. So I have to use the Meta business app to run my store. However, it doesn't help my business to be better. The app goes down everyday; I have to reinstall it once every two days or I will lose my customers. I cannot choose though it gives me a hard and unhappy time - because Cambodians are fans of Facebook. It's a real example to prove that doing business is not easy and being an online entrepreneur, especially a start-upers, isn't always successful - we need time.

My little laziness made me become a green online entrepreneur

I resigned from work and decided to not get employed anymore after meeting a lot of broken heart events.   Then the pandemic arrived. I stayed at home and made videos for YouTube. At that time YouTube closed advertisements if the channel was from Cambodia, so my channel got very little revenue. I had to live depending on my parents' money. My sister saw I was not happy, so she gave me a small pot of cactus. I put it at the window. One day my mother got Cambodian sweetsops. I took one to stand by the bin eating it because it was easy for me - to eat then throwing the seed into the bin. When the last piece remained, I thought it didn't have any seeds, so I walked towards the window and put the piece into my mouth. Immediately I touched the seed. I took it out. I was too lazy to go back to the bin, so I inserted it into the pot of cactus that was at the window. I didn't notice and remember anything about it. I watered the cactus. About two weeks later, I saw a sprout coming ou

A business idea from the cooking

This is pickled cabbage. It is used the same as Kimchi, to cook soup and fry - with pork or poultry. To cook a pickle cabbage soup, I slice it into a medium piece (like the top one in the photo).  To fry it, I have to slice it into smaller pieces (like the one at the bottom in the photo). This is the structure used to cook pickled cabbage. One day I was confused by making small slices for the soup. After it was cooked, I found the amazing result: - The cabbage was tender, easy to eat, especially for the old people in my family. - It took shorter time to make it tender than the medium pieces. From this experience, I have an idea that: - To get a new and better achievement, I don't need to find a new way. I just exchange one or some aspects of the existing ways, that's enough.  And do you know what business I am thinking about? Orchid selling, and yes, it is online business.

I learn 3 important things related to customer service

I have two stories to tell you. They are related to customer service that I have learnt from other businesses for my own business which is coming in the future.    Story one There is an exchange service near the store of my parents. I usually go to the store to help my parents. One day, I didn't have a change to give to my client. I asked a staff in the store to go to that exchange store - because it was near. I wanted to exchange USD 10.00 to Riel, but the staff said that the store would not exchange unless we changed from USD 20.00 up. Hence I gave her USD 20.00. When she came back, she handed me the Riel money; I took it to count and I found most of the cash was old, some was torn and some was dirty. Seeing that I told the staff to not go there anymore.   Story two There is an exchange store in a market. I frequently exchange money there when I go to the market. One day I went to change money from USD to Riel before I entered the market. When the store owner gave money to me, I

3 Things the start up business owner should know

There is a lot of good advice and ideas around, and I love to listen to all, even from unsuccessful or small business people. One of my friends, who is a cloth seller, told me that if we are doing the same business as other and they walk before us many years, we have to be: 1. The best It means if our competitor has ten products, we have to have the same ten products and more than that. 2. Better than It means we have to have what they don't have. 3. Flexible It means we have to follow up and catch up the trend. For example, now Cambodian don't use cash, they prefer send money through bank apps, we have to have the apps for the customers to do payment.   Business is a kind of career that the owner needs to be creative all the times. It does not matter if you cannot run ahead of your competitor, but you should not run behind them. 

Two tuk tuk drivers teach me about customer service

I am learning how to be an online entrepreneur. Like I mentioned in the previous article, I learn business through my family's history and everything around me. There is a lesson learnt I want to tell you. There are two tuk tuk drivers near my house. One has a lot of customers while another one usually parks his tuk tuk from the morning till the evening. Both of them are good people and good drivers, but why do they earn differently? It is because the unpopular driver always says something not good, not to his customers but to others along the street. For example, he is driving his tuk tuk, then there is a motor driving fast and turns around immediately without showing light or signal, he will curse them with bad words, while the popular tuk tuk driver doesn't say anything even if he meets the same situation. From this story I have learnt that: - to be successful in business, we have to take care of our customers' feelings. We cannot say bad words to them and not to