Californian Jeff Rerucha often travels to several Southeast Asian countries and though he loves the people, food, and culture of each, he was completely smitten by Thailand. He thought it was an extremely great place to spend his vacations at and so he found himself in Bangkok or Hat Yai more than in any other cities in the world. Although he knew he would be back soon, there was always a tugging feeling in his chest whenever he would look down from the plane flying him home.
"It didn't help that my dad had been traveling there for years and found many close friends and has a family over there. I wanted that kind of belonging, so I thought of a way to stay for indefinite periods of time without having to worry about my life, my career in the US," Jeff said.
He and his associates were opening up a textbook company and luckily, most of them were also equally enamored with the country. It didn't take much persuading when Jeff proposed that they start in Thailand. All of them agreed that the country was the best place to start because doing business there is a lot cheaper than other places. The company will start out as an online bookstore, build a warehouse in Thailand, and supply textbooks internationally.
"It's a great way to kickstart our company. We didn't have that much money to afford selling from the United States. We'll have better chances starting off in Thailand," Jeff said.
Can you update us on the status of your business?
We're still setting up the office and the warehouse. As much as my colleagues and I want to move down there, we can't, but we're at least spending lots of quality time there. Unfortunately, the setup time took quite a bit because we had to face some challenges but hopefully, we will function like a well-oiled machine this year.
What caused the delays?
Opening a business in Thailand is quite difficult. You have to know people over there to even get a business license because they won't let you get it if you weren't born there. It's a very tough process but we managed to do it with the help of friends and family living there. The biggest issue we faced was obtaining a direct line and location for suppliers of international college textbooks. They aren't the best well-known and marketed businesses so it was tough work hunting them down.
How did you find your textbook suppliers?
We didn't search! Someone else did it for us. We tried to do it ourselves but ended up in vain because first, there was a huge language barrier and second, we didn't understand how the book industry operates. We researched for a way to solve it and stumbled upon Freelancer.com!
Can you walk us through your Freelancer.com experience?
My own research took me to Freelancer.com. I was skeptical at first but really wanted to push our timeline forward. Within a matter of hours after posting the project, we found a guy from India who offered to solve our problem for a very low price! It took him about three days to find a direct supplier in Thailand. He even went beyond our expectations and found us a couple suppliers in case one didn't work out.
Why did you choose Freelancer.com?
We found the layout and the design of Freelancer.com very attractive. It also seemed, at first glance, user-friendly and easy to navigate. We wanted to quickly accomplish the task and the website looked like it's capable of doing that. Also, we found the milestone very useful as it kept your investment safe if the freelancer didn't deliver. And oh, we absolutely enjoyed the chat feature for its efficiency.
We just want to thank Freelancer.com for helping us achieve our dreams of opening up a startup international textbook business in Thailand. For US$200, it accelerated our process, and made our dreams more tangible.