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One year after, Sharee is closing her business, Bare Necessities.

By: Cambodia Women in Business Posted: October-05-2010 in
Cambodia Women in Business

"There are so many things" she told me in shaking her head... "this adds to the statistics that most businesses do not survive their second year". As tough as the situation is, we tried to draw lessons. Although the reasons why it did not worked out are probably not different from the studies we can find about start up companies, Sharee singled out three main reasons:

1) Insufficient Capital: the fatal mistake was having insufficient operating funds. Sharee lunderestimated how much money was needed and she was forced to close before even having a fair chance to succeed. She was working with suppliers demanding a minimum order per month so if you don't sell well enough, you end up with huge inventory and still having to pay the past orders.

The Small and Business Administration advises: It is imperative to ascertain how much money your business will require; not only the costs of starting, but the costs of staying in business. It is important to take into consideration that many businesses take a year or two to get going. This means you will need enough funds to cover all costs until sales can eventually pay for these costs.

2) Location, Location, Location . Sharee opened her shop in the midst of speculation in Phnom Penh. So good location where out of reach (up to 2000$ for a ground floor on Sisowath Quay). Sharee opened in a street near Pasteur, a neighborhood where all the NGOs are and most foreigners are living. They are her target market. However, it was a side street where so not so many cars and people was passing by.

The Small and Business Administration advises: location is critical to the success of your business if you are in retail. Some factors to consider: Where your customers are; Traffic, accessibility, parking and lighting; Location of competitors; Condition and safety of building; Local incentive programs for business start-ups in specific targeted areas; The history, community flavor and receptiveness to a new business at a prospective site.

3) Started the business as add-on to day job. Sharee identified a need for quality underwear which were not available in Cambodia and at the same time observed that women in Cambodia were not aware of breast cancer, an illness that has affected her close relatives. She thought she could do something useful for the country in contributing some profits to this cause and decided to open Bare Necessities as an add-on to her daily job. Sharee is a tourism expert and working on projects. She could not devote her whole efforts to the start up.

Closing a business and reflecting on the reasons why things could have gone differently is always a painful moment. But the reason why this Facebook page was created is the possibility for the network members to help each other. NOW, you can help Sharee with two things:

1) buy underwear from her stock at a discounted price or take on consignment in your retail space and help her sell. Contact Sharee at : barenecessitiescambodia AT gmail DOT com or call 092 574 342

2) if you need to rent a space for your office (not retail!), continue to rent from Sharee so she can be removed from the financial burden of continuing the pay the rent.

Source: Cambodia Women in Business


Thank you

Thank you for all of your kind and inspiring comments.



Sad when a new business

Sad when a new business folds. Don't let it dampen your entrepreneurial vision. Wishing you success for the future.


If you haven't failed you aren't trying hard enough

Having a business fail before I know it can be be both depressing and liberating at the same time. Having to continue to pay the rent is a problem though, are there any termination clauses in the lease you can use?

Most people don't actually know how hard it can be to run a business so well done for sticking it out for a year.

Just imagine if people actually took the advice of the small business advisory boards around the world. No one would ever start a business as it would take to long to get the cash to open.


sorry it didn't work out for

sorry it didn't work out for you ... but, yes.... lots of lessons learned.


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