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DaveUKagain
26-01-2004, 23:41
Almaty, Kazakhstan. If you`re an expat there, apparently, you can pop down your local embassy and have a paaaaarty. ;-))))) Well, not silly hats and party blowers. (Set myself up for a fall there by using the word "blowers". ;-)) ) But there`s a CV table, drink, meet, chat, talk, "network" ........

...... and apart from the Boar House, there doesn`t seem to be an "Expat club" in Moscow. All expats of all ages (plus families) welcome, so to speak. There`s a potential clientele of about 150,000 for starters.

Someone tell me why this wouldn`t work as a business idea ???? Which I would be of course, er, happy to be a part of, ahemmmmmmmmmmmm ;-) (spot shameless self promotion ;D)

trackhat
27-01-2004, 01:53
Well, there is the British Council, if you are the bookish sort. No kool-aid, though; I don't even know if they have that in Britain or anywhere else outside of the US of A. (although I can think of one promotional stunt for Kool Aid in French Guyana that didn't go over so well with the local press.) I can see where and why the Expat women would be put off the Boar House. Their waitresses don't really like me for some reason.

DaveUKagain
27-01-2004, 01:54
Let me rhetorically answer my own question.

WHAT are you doing on this site ? Whether you post or not, you`re here for the simple expedient reason that you have an interest in Expat issues, either as an expat, a potential expat or a Russian national interested in the expatriate lifestyle / market / expats per se.

So whilst we have a virtual community here, by visiting the site and reading this post you`re registering an interest. Not all the expat community who come here post - few do for any subject, the internet`s like that, but if you were stuck in one night on your own with no one to get out for a drink with, no English language papers, no English language television and surrounded by foreign culture, be nice to get out for a drink, wouldn`t it ? Meet native speakers of your own language, people from the same culture as back home......

Yep, you can go off to an expensive, noisy bar in central Moscow, not for everyone, and I can`t see expats with kids going off to the Boar House. Can you ? However, if you could get on the train / Metro and go off to a small club somewhere (monthly subscription) with it`s own bar, access to (at least) papers in your own language, your local TV stations on satellite, mix with other members of the expat community - would you pay a few dollars a month for the priviledge ? Let`s throw in a commercial aspect by having recruitment evenings, there`s a huge amount which can be done and as for advertising, well, the Embassies WOULD probably give free website mention to it and there`s here and the Exile as well.

100,000 plus expats in Moscow
Quite a few Russians interested in meeting expats too

Imagine a 1-2% takeup rate paying by subscription on a monthly or quarterly basis and you`re talking MONEY.

Why isn`t it done ? Expat communities are disparite and by nature comprise of individuals, but - unless I`m very wrong, there`s nothing like this in Moscow. There are few expat websites in Russia - so there`s concentrated advertising for you. The point is that I reckon this CAN be done, the question being - is it an economically viable idea ? And if anyone wants to do it and wants an ideas man who`ll go out and make it work, there`s me PM in the profile.

So

Is this an idea ??

trackhat
27-01-2004, 01:57
What about News Pub? The Phleghmatic Dog? Real McCoy's?

DaveUKagain
27-01-2004, 02:01
Originally posted by trackhat
Well, there is the British Council, if you are the bookish sort. No kool-aid, though; I don't even know if they have that in Britain or anywhere else outside of the US of A. (although I can think of one promotional stunt for Kool Aid in French Guyana that didn't go over so well with the local press.) I can see where and why the Expat women would be put off the Boar House. Their waitresses don't really like me for some reason.

Used to work for the BC in Manchester, Trackhat. ;-)))) I`d say that what I had in mind was an expat club run BY expats FOR expats. If SOME organisations run something like this, and here I don`t point a finger at the BC - it`ll be standing around in evening wear in front of a map of the British Empire drinking champagne and haw-hawing about how simply frightful these native Johnnies are...... don`cha know ? ;-)))))

DaveUKagain
27-01-2004, 02:03
Originally posted by trackhat
What about News Pub? The Phleghmatic Dog? Real McCoy's?

Pub, pub, pub......

Every tried to organise anything from a pub ? And it costs a packet to go down the pub every night, drink up or get thrown out, you can`t take small kids there........ pubs don`t produce newsletters, organise themselves with recruitment agencies, get family events together, produce lists of known good (approved) taxi drivers, medical practitioners....... pubs don`t offer creche facilities, information - on anything other than a casual or informal basis and what you get depends on who`s in on the night.

There`s 101 things you can do with this idea if it`s organised correctly. But a pub is essentially there to sell beer, no more.

I go eight miles up the road and there`s a Ukranian club. I go five miles the other way and there`s Jewish clubs, Polish clubs, Russian meetings, you name it, every community has something. Why not an Expat club ? Answer, disparite community, lack of internal communication, but I bet you it`d work. However, another great idea without money, and they`re ten a penny. ;-))

geofizz56
27-01-2004, 08:21
Dave, one thing working against your otherwise excellent idea is, sadly, the threat of terrorism. A club such as you propose would be a real target, don't you think?

moscowmail
27-01-2004, 09:36
Great idea Dave,

Actually, myself and a few guys have thrown the idea around for soemtime, we are all ready to put in $20,000 - $30,000 each, but to make it work well, it would have to be a consortium of about 15 partners, each putting in the same amount, of course the investment is one of the reasons, but the prime reason for this is that they and their friends will have a vested interest to go there, the word will spread etc..an issue as the expats aren't really targeted here, and there are ways to reduce the threat...

So far there are 5 of us with this sort of money to gamble :) know a few good places as well....

RE terrorism, not really

Ghost
27-01-2004, 12:18
Long before coming here, I toyed with the idea of starting a club/bar here. But has anyone considered the ramifications of "security"? Ie, payoffs, etc. I had heard long and wide about how the moment you open a business, you pay a "fee" to keep it safe.

DJ Biscuit
27-01-2004, 12:21
Not entirely true anymore.

Teutonic Deity
27-01-2004, 13:10
I have also thought about this idea off and on over the years...

1. A place for people to meet and hang out
2. Big common room that could double as bar/cafe with a fireplace and comfortable furniture
3. Big lending library of books and movies in English/other languages.
4. Airport shuttle service.
5. Help with visas/tickets/travel - could be subcontracted by local company and be a source of revenue for club.
6. Pool of translators/interpreters available for visiting members
7. 5 or 6 rooms which could be used for meetings.
8. Virtual office service
9. Mini internet cafe 5-10 computers
10. Big room for kids to play in stocked with toys, games, etc..
10a. Someone to play with kids in said room while parents relax in front of fireplace.
11. Day Care service for children.
12. Mini fitness club - room with small collection of exercise machines.
13. Sauna
14. Cars + Drivers available for hire
15. Postal service - letters and packages from home
16. <add your suggestions here>

DJ Biscuit
27-01-2004, 13:43
Dave, how financially viable would this be? Don't forget that you will need all the relevant licenses and so on. Then there's rent, taxes, sales and social, the remont for the place. You would have to have a Russian accountant and you definately will draw attention from the authorities if you are a closed/private club especially for foreigners. If you are not a closed club then you negate the initial idea I guess.
Start up cost for a clean bar/club with toilet facilities that meet the legal minimum requirement in say 250 sq metres is going to be around 150 thou, minimum. And that's before the legal hassles start. Believe me I know a thing or two about this.

moscowmail
27-01-2004, 13:45
RE krysha/security, I have that one solved.

TD, great idea

SO, anyone else interested in becoming part of this?????

We could call it 'The Circle' as in circle of freinds, take your clients there etc..

I now have 6, we could probably raise enough dosh now, need peeps who can add something, i.e. of value :)

Limitchik
27-01-2004, 13:50
Originally posted by moscowmail
We could call it 'The Circle' as in circle of freinds,

Or as in "Circle Jerk" or "Vicious circle" or "Going in Circles" !


need peeps who can add something, i.e. of value

I'd be glad to provide a discount for project management and investment portfolio software, that will undoubtedly prove to be invaluable !

allice
27-01-2004, 13:52
Originally posted by moscowmail
RE krysha/security, I have that one solved.


He he I'm sure you do ;) :D

Well... If you ever get the thing started, I don't suppose you'd be in need entertaining young female hostesses, would you? I know some very willing young ladies.. :agree:

DJ Biscuit
27-01-2004, 13:54
MM, 'consumatsia' would bring the guys in!

allice
27-01-2004, 13:57
Originally posted by DJ Biscuit
MM, 'consumatsia' would bring the guys in!

DJ, what does that word mean? I've been trying to figure out for ages I think. :shame:

moscowmail
27-01-2004, 14:13
Originally posted by DJ Biscuit
MM, 'consumatsia' would bring the guys in!

Nah, just learnt the hard way that to do biz here you need 'security' but hey, if your is bigger than mine :) bring it along :)

Allice, mwah

Guys, this is a bit of fun, that could turn out real, you just never know :)

allice
27-01-2004, 14:20
:mad: had to look it up online :eek: 'cause no one's gentleman enough to explain.. Buggers..

Len, I don't know what your krysha is but mine is no less that's for sure :D and you know what krysha is my krysha ;)

DJ Biscuit
27-01-2004, 14:23
It's when the management of a club/bar has girls who 'befriend' men in the club and the men buy them drinks, usually expensive cocktails or gin and tonic which is really soda water, and then the girls get a percentage of the guy's bill. Aggressive selling!!

MM I think you got confused.

moscowmail
27-01-2004, 14:47
I am always confused :)

I know your Allice :) ;)

enrico palazzo
27-01-2004, 15:04
We have them here in Korea! But they're just called "juicey girls" , and they are Russians to boot... and no one makes it a secret that it's...

4000 won for your drink
10000 won for hers

When I was in Moscow, many of the girls I bought drinks for wanted orange juice..even with pizza. Definitely noticed a pattern...

Teutonic Deity
27-01-2004, 16:48
Originally posted by allice
you know what krysha is my krysha ;)

allice
27-01-2004, 16:52
Sumtin like that TD, sumtin like that! :D

DaveUKagain
27-01-2004, 19:03
Thanks, folks. Yep, an often thought about idea brought out in the open. Point taken, DJ, it`s "bring money" time, and on top of that, wages have got to be factored in, along with utility costs - 101 things. $250k may seem an awful lot, but - well, in business terms, it`s peanuts so long as the idea is viable. If you expend $250k to make a large profit...... then the idea IS reasonable, but the question comes up, "How can you be SURE that it`s going to be a worthwhile venture ? "

I reckon it would be, to be honest. Simple reason being that it`ll be the only place of it`s kind in a city with a relatively high expat population. Also, as Allice says, you`ll get, er, quite a few Russian ladies coming along, too. However, proof of the pudding is always in the eating, so really it`s finding someone to bankroll an experiment, which all startups really are.

Look at it in these terms - any restraunt opening up in Moscow has a potentially large client base but massive competition. Any cinema, sports facility, bar - ditto. And with an expat population of 100,000 and more Russian nationals besides, well, if only 2% of the expat population visit on a semi-regular basis, you have a clientele of over 2000 members. Regular clientele too, I should think. Show me a comparable bar with that many regulars.... and it`s not JUST a bar, as TD and others say, it can be whatever you want it to be. "All human life is there".

Yep, I reckon it really IS a goer, and I`d love to see something like this spring up. I`m sure a lot of people here would too - any comments ???

DJ Biscuit
27-01-2004, 19:10
Too low odds for HORECA business set up. Customer base and especially target base too low. Plus by making it all the things initially suggested, creche, etc you are limiting it. Better to found a business/expat club and organise meetings in someone else's place. To run a place daily for a potential 100,000 clients, a percentage of whom go out very rarely, others never etc etc, would be too costly. Rent 18,000 USD per month, salaries could be as much as 15,000USD utilities taxes etc another 5,000 USD produce (cost priced at 3.2 mark up) $10,000 per month. You are looking at over 100 ppl per day at an average check of $12 just to break even. That's a lot of covers for a private club.

And this is without building in set up costs and depreciation, a lot of other costs I have missed out as well.

Teutonic Deity
28-01-2004, 00:19
My list of ideas would work great if the building was donated by a wealthy philanthropist and the venture was run on a non-profit basis... :-)

DaveUKagain
28-01-2004, 00:41
Depends if it`s a gigantic set up or not. ;-)) The old church hall approach works fine to begin with - don`t need it to be spectacular !!! ;-)))

rigatoni
28-01-2004, 08:58
Hi Dave,

Are you sure there are so many expats here?

I hope there are as I am opening a hair salon for expats in March. May I ask where you got the 100,000 figure?

Good luck with your idea. I agree with the poster that subletting a place once or twice a week is a good way to test the demand.

Thanks,
Toni

moscowmail
28-01-2004, 10:15
Hmmm, the non-profit thing could work.....


My company is just about to buy a biggish building, depending on location maybe I can grab a few hundred square meters spare for the venture :)

DJ Biscuit
28-01-2004, 17:10
Originally posted by rigatoni
Hi Dave,

Are you sure there are so many expats here?

I hope there are as I am opening a hair salon for expats in March. May I ask where you got the 100,000 figure?

Toni

In what way will this salon differentiate itself from others in order to be for expats? Are you Toni from Toni and Guy? :D

How come you don't know figures about expats if you are opening a business for them? Do some research. Just a friendly suggestion. How much to get a barnet shawn?

jules
28-01-2004, 18:37
Originally posted by DaveUKagain
Almaty, Kazakhstan. If you`re an expat there, apparently, you can pop down your local embassy and have a paaaaarty. ;-))))) ...... and apart from the Boar House, there doesn`t seem to be an "Expat club" in Moscow.

I guess the bar scene in Almaty hasn't quite reached the level of Moscow yet! ;) :D

Actually, a few of the embassies in town do have bars where their citizens can go (British, Australian) and when I lived here back in the early 90s, the Canadian embassy club was the place to go on Friday nights. The Canadian club is still going, but now that there are so many other places to go, there aren't anywhere near the number of patrons as there used to be.

There was an Expat bar opened a while back, but I never went and I have no idea if it's still going... There are just too many other places around, and Moscow's hard enough to travel around anyway so I tend to stick to the same old places...

:)

xt-tsi
28-01-2004, 23:12
An ex-pat club won't work as a business. It isn't needed any more. There are too many other choices out there, places to meet, things to do, free sources of info (this site for example). It would have to be built around a central theme (gender, sports, food, etc.) - something more specific than "ex-pat". My opinion...XT

stefania2003
28-01-2004, 23:37
I read quite a while ago that there were at least 100,000 expats here so I reckon there are more like 150,000 here now but the thing is, as was said in this thread, not everyone goes out in the evenings. I suppose it would be better if it was open in the day but as the last poster said, there is a lot of competition re places to go. Most of the Embassies have something; the British Embassy has a Tuesday morning women's coffee morning (not that I've ever been). What MIGHT be a good idea is an expat counselling and advice service (me being first on the list as a client!!!) as many people here need help and advice. If you have an expat club that is mainly an evening bar, then (I think) you run the risk of turning it into another whorehouse like BH as the professional ladies here have long regarded foreigners as a source of income. If this started, it would drive away families and females and thus the 'community' point of it all, if that is to be the point of it, would be lost.

Czechmate
29-01-2004, 09:56
Originally posted by jules
Actually, a few of the embassies in town do have bars where their citizens can go (British, Australian)
:) [/B]

Czech Embassy has even two... with genuine (not licensed!) Pilsner Urquell on tap for half the cheapest price I saw here... But definitely a "melting pot" club would be a nice idea...

moscowmail
29-01-2004, 10:15
We had a little chat last night over a beer r three in the Hard Rock, and Allice came up with a great idea... more later, we will explore it and get back to ya'll ;)

stefania2003
29-01-2004, 10:37
Anyway, I think the fact that people like UKDave and MM are trying to actually do something for the community here is very commendable and I hope they succeed in it and wish them luck!:)) Certainly, it's all a question of finding a 'niche' and as Czechmate said, a 'melting pot' is quite a different thing from the Embassy's social clubs. It's nice to meet people from other parts of the world. The only thing that I said was, just to make sure it doesn't become another target for the local hookers!

xt-tsi
29-01-2004, 18:26
with something like and ex-pat sports club. No facility, costs, overhead to start with. Just meet at someone's home via this web site and set up week-end outings. First one might be skiing, in spring hiking or orientation, sailing in the summer and so on. If it catches on, turn it into a non-profit. XT

DJ Biscuit
29-01-2004, 18:39
Wherever you sell alcohol and tobbacco you will need a license and you must have contracts with suppliers and they must supply full documentation, you cannot simply buy from a shop or for yourself. Even if you are non profit, which you surely will be even if not intentionally, you will have to be careful and you will need someone to take care of this kind of thing.

allice
29-01-2004, 18:41
Originally posted by DJ Biscuit
Wherever you sell alcohol and tobbacco you will need a license and you must have contracts with suppliers and they must supply full documentation...

I can take care of that part DJ

Len will get us a krysha

DJ Biscuit
29-01-2004, 18:57
I am not talking about krysha.

DaveUKagain
29-01-2004, 19:51
So krysha`s dying out in Moscow, DJ ? My word, goodness gracious, how things change... ;-)

I think you`ll probably find the local hookers can go anywhere, too - hotels, "new Russian" hangouts - if New Russians haven`t gone the way of krysha, too - "face control" time. ;-))))

Yep, I honestly think that a small venue`s possible - but - all comes back to numbers and profits, of course, so the question is - how many people would turn up, what could you charge ? - and the problems` one of knowing how to guess that with any reasonable degree of accuracy - so - starting small is the better bet. Better have a small op - full - than a near - empty room. Plus, smaller the venue, more easy it is to control...... start big, lose big, potentially. Start small, work up in an intelligent fashion - and look at it for what it is - an experiment.

xt-tsi
29-01-2004, 22:59
and it's free and from the heart. Makes no money but gets people out doing something. Then you have something real to talk about.