As the year draws to a close, in between Christmas parties and Christmas shopping some people will be making plans for 2020. I know some people be thinking of moving to Bali and starting a new business, so I thought it would be good to give people some ideas of what might work and what to avoid.
Hot Areas for Growth
Non-plastic goods and recyclable products
Since plastic bags and straws have been banned this year, there has been a shift in attitudes of people living and coming to Bali to be more mindful of single-use plastics. Selling alternative items to consumers and businesses like hotels is sure to be a growing trend.
Bali has a huge problem with trash. The rubbish dumps are full, many people still burn rubbish in the villages or dump it into nearby rivers. Anyone that can make a business out of turning trash into new products is not only good for business but will help the environment. Indosole is one great example of a company that turns old tires into fashionable shoes.
It is not uncommon to go to a restaurant and find more Grab delivery drivers waiting for food orders than actual customers. The food delivery business is a growing trend. The former CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick, for example, is starting a new company Cloud Kitchens. The idea is to rent commercial kitchens to entrepreneurs to make food to be delivered to people’s homes, removing the ‘dining out’ experience all together. I believe this idea could work very well in Bali. While food delivery is already a growing business, the experience could be better. I see many complaints about all of the plastic food containers that are used and problems with payments.
Instagram-worthy Attractions and Experiences
While I do use Facebook, I am not a fan of Instagram. It does seem that the motivation for many people has changed from having personal experiences to taking iconic Instagram pictures. Many businesses have been successfully doing this, such as the Bali Swing, which has of course been copied many times over now. Not so long ago the Handara Gate was just an entrance to a golf course, but now it is one of the most Instagrammed places in Bali. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is more profitable than the golf course itself.
Chinese and Asian markets
China recently overtook Australia as Bali’s biggest tourism market. Whenever I see any mention of Chinese tourists in Bali, I see many comments about how Chinese tourists are rude and only visit Chinese owned businesses. International travel has only recently become more accessible to mainland Chinese. While they might be in the minority right now, there are some Chinese that travel independently and this market is likely only to grow. There certainly are business opportunities there for entrepreneurs ready to do some research into the opportunities available. Pre-wedding photography is one example that seems to be popular with Chinese.
Few people can live without the internet these days, whether it is for work or entertainment. While internet speeds and reliability have improved dramatically, many people still seem to have trouble with slow speeds and connection problems. I am not sure what the business idea is, but there is a definite need to possibly help people get set up with mobile internet or at their villa. The different internet options and packages available and how to use them is not particularly clear.
Other Potential Ideas
- Skincare products made with locally sourced natural ingredients
- Family-friendly restaurants with activities for kids
- Educational tours and activities
- Healthy snack foods using locally sourced ingredients
- Fitness activities and gyms – possibly saturated market, but there is always the potential for new ideas and experiences
Businesses to Avoid
While I believe there are many ideas for different businesses in Bali, whether it is a lack of experience in Bali or people being risk-averse, many expats (myself included!) move to Bali and start a hotel or restaurant. This market is so saturated with both local and foreign investors. While tourists will always need places to eat and stay in Bali, I believe unless you cater to a specific niche, you will only see lack luster results. Any businesses that use captive animals as part of the attraction are also on their way out.
Are there any businesses you would like to see in Bali? Leave your ideas in the comments.