Expat – iating Business

by | Aug 7, 2012

Image via http://pinterest.com/inspiredbycharm

Are you dreaming something different for your business? Or have you decided you want to move on to pastures new?

Expats have lived with the tension of leaving friends, family, familiarity and moving overseas. However, the difference is they stopped wishing, formulated a plan and “just did it”. But how many of those principles expats consider can be applied to you and your business? If you are dreaming of something different and want to move on to pastures new, what plans are you making?

“A dream without a plan is just a wish.” Willye White

Perhaps it is time to write down that dream and create a plan? How about using Pinterest to create a Vision Board? You can add images, words, articles and links to envision your future. Start planning and create that dream; after all “someday” is not a day of the week!

Passport to opportunities  

Just as a traveller can never be without a passport, or ID, a business person should never be without a business card! How often are they in your bag? Recently in the Dentist’s waiting room I met a lady who took one of our gift cards, which is now hanging up in her Restaurant (so some free advertising!). I discovered that she is holding a Fashion Show and regularly has Bollywood nights. Perfect events for the Costa Women members (and Mira India Restaurant has great TripAdvisor reviews too!)

Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.  Rudy Giuliani  

Transport is booked and the expat is on their way. The strategic plan for the direction to set the sails has been mapped. Put together a list of what you want to accomplish for your business, milestones and goals, financial and family considerations, time constraints, who you can ask for help, or support, a picture of your customer, what’s in it for them, etc. Add some timelines and you are starting the journey!

Understanding the landscape

image via Spain-Holiday.com

There are 10 varieties coffee in Malaga alone ranging from Café Solo through to Café con Hielo! How are your sales and marketing messages? Can people decipher what you offer? What they can expect to receive as the buyer of your product or service? A good exercise is to ask a friend, or family member (i.e. someone outside of your industry) to go through your marketing on and offline and feedback what they think you do.

Connecting the Dots

Networking is extremely important when you move overseas; whether socially or for business. There are 100s of forums, Facebook pages, Twitter lists and Linkedin Groups you can join to find out more, before you even move. For your business, social media is a good source not only of information, but also of ways to promote what you do and to create awareness of the services you offer. You can also find out what competitors are up to.  Use social media, join Forums and Groups, set up a Google alerts for your Customer base and competitors. Start connecting, sharing and networking on and offline.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Even if you don’t share our vista, opportunities still abound in your world. Don’t forget to take time out to enjoy, experience and live them; if you don’t like something in your life, make a plan and change it! That’s what myself and thousands of expats like me have done - want to join us on the ride?

ali Subscriber
Ali Meehan runs Costa Women, a social and business networking group for women living on mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands, or women “dreaming Spain”

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