What's Your Idea for a New Business?

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What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:54 pm

Ok so none of us are going to want to give away too much here but it would be useful to throw a few ideas around and get the benefit of others' opinions, insights and experiences.

In respect of microbusinesses, so far I have heard of:

Exporting
Used cars to the UK/NZ and Aus
Used boats
Capsule Toys

Importing:
Roomba iRobot room cleaners
Antiques

Others
Pie Shop
English Language Teaching

Please add to the list with your ideas.

My own little, and I mean very little, niche is importing reasonably priced antiques. There is a market but it is taking a long time to learn it. Sorting out reliable supply isn't easy either. My feeling is that the market is growing but not all that quickly - The love of the new and temporary is still very strong.

Of course the Yen being so weak at the moment is making things more difficult as well. We are though selling everything we brought with us as well as stuff we are buying as we go along. The margins are still quite good, no complaints there.

Anyway, I am interested in your comments and contributions.
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Unread post by Mogura » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:05 pm

A Canadian restaurant/bar. I am not Canadian, but I thought there should be a Canadian restaurant/bar in Tokyo (seriously!).

I mean, there's British/Irish pubs, American/Hawaiian restaurants, Aussie bars, but nothing remotely Canadian.

The restaurant concept would be simple: log cabin feel interior, a Canadian flag here and there, hockey streaming on a large flatscreen 24x7, Canadian beer and salmon steaks with a maple-inspired sauce.

Okay. Please critique. Responses from Canadian nationals are especially welcome...

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Unread post by Wage Slave » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:12 pm

Actually, you may well be on to something. I haven't ever seen a Canadian restaurant anywhere.

Don't forget the Mooses, Mounties, Lumberjacks and Bears,
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Unread post by Mogura » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:27 pm

Wage Slave wrote:Actually, you may well be on to something. I haven't ever seen a Canadian restaurant anywhere.

Don't forget the Mooses, Mounties, Lumberjacks and Bears,
Yeah, a stuffed/mounted moose or bear would definitely be in order.

As for Lumberjacks, how about "Lumberjackettes" as the servers? Sexy girls wearing tartan shirts, short shorts (the shortest!) and leather hiking boots...

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Unread post by Wage Slave » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:34 pm

Lumberjackettes sound pretty good to me :lol:

Not quite sure about the hiking boots though.
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Unread post by Mogura » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:52 pm

Wage Slave wrote:Lumberjackettes sound pretty good to me :lol:

Not quite sure about the hiking boots though.
Anything... as long as they're not Birkenstocks...

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Unread post by Are they the lemmings? » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:32 am

Mogura wrote:A Canadian restaurant/bar. I am not Canadian, but I thought there should be a Canadian restaurant/bar in Tokyo (seriously!).
There was one, the Maple Leaf (which I've never been to), but according to this post on GaijinPot, "Steven ripped them off by clearing out the safe and bank account one night, and doing a runner... and last I heard... turning it into an Italian restaurant."

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Unread post by allblacks » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:20 am

One other facet to the car export game is the export of classics. I recently have been doing porsches from the 70s. This is a 1976 one that went to Aussie.

Image
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Unread post by ShonaiBen » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:08 pm

Mogura wrote:A Canadian restaurant/bar. I am not Canadian, but I thought there should be a Canadian restaurant/bar in Tokyo (seriously!).

I mean, there's British/Irish pubs, American/Hawaiian restaurants, Aussie bars, but nothing remotely Canadian.

The restaurant concept would be simple: log cabin feel interior, a Canadian flag here and there, hockey streaming on a large flatscreen 24x7, Canadian beer and salmon steaks with a maple-inspired sauce.

Okay. Please critique. Responses from Canadian nationals are especially welcome...
Lobster.....you need lobster.And mussels,oysters etc.
Don't forget to throw in some deer and moose steaks.......
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Unread post by Mogura » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:11 pm

ShonaiBen wrote:
Mogura wrote:A Canadian restaurant/bar. I am not Canadian, but I thought there should be a Canadian restaurant/bar in Tokyo (seriously!).

I mean, there's British/Irish pubs, American/Hawaiian restaurants, Aussie bars, but nothing remotely Canadian.

The restaurant concept would be simple: log cabin feel interior, a Canadian flag here and there, hockey streaming on a large flatscreen 24x7, Canadian beer and salmon steaks with a maple-inspired sauce.

Okay. Please critique. Responses from Canadian nationals are especially welcome...
Lobster.....you need lobster.And mussels,oysters etc.
Don't forget to throw in some deer and moose steaks.......
Ben, You're the real deal (Canadian). What are some examples of typical Canadian fare? (Don't say Kraft dinner!)

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Unread post by ShonaiBen » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:25 am

Mogura wrote: Ben, You're the real deal (Canadian). What are some examples of typical Canadian fare? (Don't say Kraft dinner!)
Well,I always fancied a wee bit of Canadian beaver.......but since coming to Japan I sort of lost my taste for it........ :wink:
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Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:58 am

Are they the lemmings? wrote:
Mogura wrote:A Canadian restaurant/bar. I am not Canadian, but I thought there should be a Canadian restaurant/bar in Tokyo (seriously!).
There was one, the Maple Leaf (which I've never been to), but according to this post on GaijinPot, "Steven ripped them off by clearing out the safe and bank account one night, and doing a runner... and last I heard... turning it into an Italian restaurant."
I've been to the Maple Leaf and also have heard it closed down but I haven't been there since hearing that so I don't if its true or what has become of the place. I went there a couple of times with others later in the evening just for drinks and found it an OK place to hang out, but the one time I did go in there for dinner, I found the service was awful. The food was OK but I just found the waiter/bartender (the owner perhaps? The impression I got was he was the owner or if not the manager) a right cocksucker. If it was just a lacky, then I can forgive it, to a point. But as I say he acted as if he was king dick so if he was the owner and/or manager then he shouldn't be a dick to the customers.
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by sampler » Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:23 am

Getting smoke detectors sent from abroad. We got one in a home centre in the UK for equivalent of 600 yen. The same spec. device is in Japanese homecentres at 6000 yen. Both were made in China.

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by chimpsky » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:25 pm

man as a canadian, just being able to see a live hockey game (esp. now that the playoffs are on) on a large HD screen, would be a sight for sore eyes...

any true canadian restaurant would also have to serve real quality poutine with real cheese curds and thick ass gravy... It's the one thing i always miss when I hit the slopes here in japan

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:42 am

chimpsky wrote:man as a canadian, just being able to see a live hockey game (esp. now that the playoffs are on) on a large HD screen, would be a sight for sore eyes...

any true canadian restaurant would also have to serve real quality poutine with real cheese curds and thick ass gravy... It's the one thing i always miss when I hit the slopes here in japan
I think the Canadian bar in Shibuya used to show ice hockey and serve poutine. But that place has since closed down. Didn't last long as it was only around a year or two as well. I guess poutine and ice hockey weren't as popular here as the guy thought they would be...
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Are they the lemmings? » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:52 pm

I know this is a terrible thing to say, but here goes...

Every time there are squawking kids around disturbing the peace, it always occurs to me that there might be some demand for places/services where kids aren't welcome. For instance, if I'm out shopping at the local mall or something and there's an army of caterwauling brats, I imagine that if someone would open up a no-kids shopping facility, I'd spend large chunks of my time and money there. Or, if I'm on a place and some baby won't stop crying, I long for a child-free airline.

But them some sweet little cherub comes along and all's forgiven. :)

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Mogura » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:54 pm

Are they the lemmings? wrote:For instance, if I'm out shopping at the local mall or something and there's an army of caterwauling brats, I imagine that if someone would open up a no-kids shopping facility, I'd spend large chunks of my time and money there.
These places used to exist. They are called bars: smoke-filled, boisterous, nasty, dingy lairs where alcoholic beverages are served out in copious amounts to a dangerous crowd. No responsible parent would think of bringing a child to such a place... well, "responsible" is the operating word here, so we probably already know how the story ends...

There's a sign at the entrance to a restaurant in my neighborhood that reads "Children under 3rd grade not allowed". Now if they would just do the same for airlines...
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by kunikun » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:58 pm

Actually I was just about to say that kids cafes and play areas would probably be a big hit. A place where you can let your kids go and not have to worry about them running out or getting too badly hurt and the Mums could have a cup of coffee and a chat in peace. There are quite a few in Australia and they can be a bit bogany but I dont think in Japan you would have such a problem with Mums ignoring the kids for hours. Its really hard to go into Starbucks or somewhere when your kids can really only sit still for about 5mins max. Plus with Japanese apartments being so small its hard to have Mothers Groups at home.

I find Japanese are faschinated by can openers since you generally only have the old hacker ones here.

What else? Ummm...import the weight watchers lines of foods like desserts and chocolate biscuits? Theres more and more coming in but in Aus now EVERYTHING has a low fat version.

Exhaust fans for bathrooms? - try to keep the mould at bay.

I wonder if a Pancake Restarant would go down well. Look at Krispy Kremes!

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:33 pm

kunikun wrote:Exhaust fans for bathrooms? - try to keep the mould at bay.
What hell hole do you live in that you don't have a fan in yer bathroom?!?!?!

Here's another idea: importing flavoured alcoholic drinks from Oz. I reckon it would work (I also looked into getting Ugg boots imported back in '95 so i have a good track record of good ideas;)) but I don't have the initiative and energy to do it.
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Mogura » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:42 pm

MacGyver wrote:
kunikun wrote:Exhaust fans for bathrooms? - try to keep the mould at bay.
What hell hole do you live in that you don't have a fan in yer bathroom?!?!?!
Actually, intelligent architectural design would probably address the mold issue best. Bathrooms need to breathe, hence a window is a necessity. The "duh" factor is pretty high on this one...
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by chimpsky » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:11 pm

MacGyver wrote:
chimpsky wrote:man as a canadian, just being able to see a live hockey game (esp. now that the playoffs are on) on a large HD screen, would be a sight for sore eyes...

any true canadian restaurant would also have to serve real quality poutine with real cheese curds and thick ass gravy... It's the one thing i always miss when I hit the slopes here in japan
I think the Canadian bar in Shibuya used to show ice hockey and serve poutine. But that place has since closed down. Didn't last long as it was only around a year or two as well. I guess poutine and ice hockey weren't as popular here as the guy thought they would be...
that or the fact he opened a canadian bar in teeny-bopper central didn't help either... as much as I love hockey and poutine, i'm not gonna fight through the mobs at hachiko to find it... probably like finding a needle in a haystack...

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by steki47 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:45 am

I know an Englishman who imports antiques from England to sell here. The shipping costs are way high (he had a 19th century door sent from the UK), but he seems to make money.
I am noticing a few gaijin here and there selling Japanese stuff on ebay. Small items that are popular with Westerners. One fellow was selling chewing gum to Oz. Doubt he makes a killing, but it is easy, tax-free moolah.

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:56 pm

Chewing gum is interesting. I tried listing 3D stickers/decorations on ebay UK as an experiment. Didn't get a single enquiry and hardly even any views.
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by kunikun » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:33 am

MacGyver wrote:
kunikun wrote:Exhaust fans for bathrooms? - try to keep the mould at bay.
What hell hole do you live in that you don't have a fan in yer bathroom?!?!?!
The luxurious apartments of Japan Post. 8) Built in January 1979. Even prisons in Aussie look nicer from the outside. But for 28,000 a month including parking 10mins walk from station it aint bad.

But none of the older buildings I've lived in have had bathroom fans. They do have toilet fans though. :shock:

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by steki47 » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:11 pm

Wage Slave wrote:Chewing gum is interesting. I tried listing 3D stickers/decorations on ebay UK as an experiment. Didn't get a single enquiry and hardly even any views.
Yeah, Black&Black gum. Apparently,it sells. I took a bunch of flyers from my local movie theater and posted them on ebay. The Sweeney Todds sold, but nothing else. Oh well, they were free.
I thought of manga, but the margin would be really low. I found a few things that do sell on ebay. Sell well, to be honest. No, I won't tell you. :D But I'm always looking for more items to sell. Ebay is prefect for me. At home, by myself, no taxes. Way cool.

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:43 pm

Some tips: The two biggest brands of J-junk food that American otaku will recognize are Pocky and Ramune, but especially Pocky. They actually sell some of the cardboard twigs dipped in acrylic at some places over here, like video stores that have a large anime selection and stuff, but pretty much only the plain chocolate flavor -- if you offer some of the more unusual or seasonal flavors, you'll probably be able to move it. Ramune might be a bit tougher as you have the shipping issues with the heavy glass bottles and such, but it'll sell. You may also be able to sell those japapeño-flavored ring-shaped corn chips (the name eludes me now) and botan.

There's anime goods, too. Keep an eye on anime news sites (like ANN) for sales charts and announcements for popular series that are going to air on television, and resell tchotchkes from the big names -- right now, that'd be Naruto, Bleach and Death Note. These nerds have a lot of disposable income.

And if you ever start making it big and need a business partner back in the States…

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by steki47 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:34 am

I looked at Pocky stuff on ebay. Problem is the stuff is cheap, low profit. Maybe you can make a buck through volume, but that's a lot of trips to the daiso and post office.
I thought of tea ceremony accessories. Some of the things are expensive, others are fragile. Pottery and such.
Thanks for the offer to help. Actually the market for American things on Jpn internet auctions is much bigger. Check out Yahoo Auctions and look at all the listings for "I Love NY" Tees. If decide to play the other side of the market, I'll contact you.

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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:27 pm

kunikun wrote:The luxurious apartments of Japan Post. 8) Built in January 1979. Even prisons in Aussie look nicer from the outside. But for 28,000 a month including parking 10mins walk from station it aint bad.
Can't beat the price, that's for sure.
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Re: What's Your Idea for a New Business?

Unread post by Raelene » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:22 pm

That's pretty good.

As for me, 3DK, ocean view, 30,000 a month, only 10 minutes commute to the city centre and job. (But no bathroom fan.)

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