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Starting a business in Spain or moving your business to Spain Image

Starting a business in Spain or moving your business to Spain

May 19, 2021

The adventure has begun with you moving to Spain and moving your existing business or starting a new business in Spain. The children are in school, your laptop is humming, you have removed yourself from the calling of the golf course, or beach and you are ready to share your business with the local community. Now what?

 

Before you take that first leap of faith from living in Spain is to adopt the mindset early on that Spain isn’t wrong it just is… whilst your business principles remain the same, the culture, environment and tax requirements in Spain are very different. If you fight against them only you will get stressed. Take a deep breath and get yourself a good Gestor (Accountant in Spain).  If you are not sure who to use, ask for recommendations for people who are already here and working with them.  Why do they like their Gestor, how long have they used them, how long has the Gestor been in business?

 

It is all about the research

 

Next be super specific about your target market. Are you just launching first within your own country folk (who speak your language, get your marketing messages and you understand their pain-points), or are you selling to other foreign nationals, or are you wanting to launch into the Spanish community? Each community needs a deep dive into understanding how it reacts and responds to your sales and marketing tactics in Spain. 

 

Is your product or service already in Spain (don’t make the mistake in thinking that Spain is backward in what is already available in the market)? Who are your competition? If there is no competition why not; it may be that other businesses have tried and failed? 

 

Where do your ideal Clients hang out? Are they on different social media platforms than you are used to? Facebook has traditionally been widely used here as Expats in Spain use the tool to connect with their friends and family in their ‘home’ country as well as make sales and promote their businesses. If you join Facebook groups with the sole aim of promoting your business, what are the rules first?  You are wise to become known as someone who helps support others in the group first, rather than someone who just ‘spams’ the group with their business promotion and moves on to the next group.

 

Do remember we don’t own social media data so once you have found a business concept that sells, open a website of your own to lead Customers/Clients to. 

 

It’s in the “Who”

 

Network like crazy and then network some more!  Networking is essential if you want to research, build and grow you and your business in Spain. Depending on where you are living will depend on the types of networking communities there are around you. They can be vast and varied, charge a monthly, annual fee or no fee at all. 

 

You may be used to the Business Network International (BNI) model.  Spain has a branch of the international business network, organised into local regional groups with the opportunity to connect within the Spanish community.  Or British Chamber of Commerce in Spain which promotes itself as the only independent bilateral business network in Spain.  Meet Up is another good platform for finding locally based business events in your area and of course Linkedin which is widely used by all and every nationality.

 

There are a plethora of groups to choose from whether you want groups specific to individual professions, or ones which only accept one type per business category.  Some are online, some are in-person events, some a mix of both.

 

business-networking-spain

 

Women in business might be interested to join one of the membership-based networks supporting business Women in Spain and women wishing to start their own business. The majority offer training and networking opportunities.  Costa Women is one such network which covers the whole of Spain and has been around since 2010 hosting training, networking both in-person and online, as well as collaborative events with other Women’s networks across cyberspace. In 2020 some of the Women’s networks such as IWBB have gone ‘international’ as the world the other side of your screen became far more accessible.

 

5 Top Tips for Networking in Spain

 

  1. Bring your business card (you might want to add a photo so people can put a name to a face after) and make sure your card includes ways for people to connect with you
  2. Ask the organiser to introduce you to two people when you first arrive at an in-person event so you are immediately at an advantage
  3. Spend more time listening than talking
  4. Have a neat way of introducing your business so its memorable. Moving from “I am a real estate agent” to “I help people find their forever homes in an area suitable for their lifestyle” has a more memorable ring
  5. And my final and top tip with any networking is follow up! Ask the best way to connect with the person after the event and even if the person you just met may not your ideal Client, they may know someone who is. A good first impression is a good lasting impression.

 

Article by Ali Meehan

 

Ali Meehan is Social Entrepreneur and Founder of award winning Costa Women, the largest social networking community for Women living in, or planning on moving to Spain.  Ali was also highlighted as a top Twitter account for expat advice by The Telegraph and has a social media reach of 30,000+

Working as a certified Avenue Growth Coach, Ali supports primarily women in business to help them understand, plan and activate growth in their businesses.

Spain is where Ali has now settled after travelling the globe since the 1990s and working in Australia, the Middle East and Asia.