From an Idea to Establishment – How to Boost Your Business in Spain
Mr. Oscar Ramirez, who has a long experience in building ecosystems between businesses, gave an awesome presentation about business opportunities in Spain in SmartWorkPlaza last week.
WE WERE a nice group of –mostly Finnish – people and Oscar gave what folks were expecting, and much more.
On the top of being Spanish and knowing the local market, Oscar knows well how it does feel to be stranger, a new person in a country in which many things are different, starting from the language. Oscar has spent four years is Finland in order to understand why Finnish are so good in innovations!
We immediately felt he is one of us.
Oscar sees the role of SMEs (AND especially start-up companies) crucial for the economy and he never gets tired of speaking how important it is to build a proper network and promote your business bravely. He sincerely admires the innovativeness of Finnish people, normally shy and silent.
– In the middle of darkest winter, you people build up an amazing event, the SLUSH, he says.
– The openness and creativeness is breathtaking.
Oscar was also impressed by the “learning by doing” attitude when visiting the North.
In Finland Oscar saw many success stories, including Nokia and he warmly welcomes Finnish and other start-ups to Costa del Sol.
To help, he wants to share some tips of how to get established in Spain; How to utilize the Finnish strengths although the culture is different.
FIRST OF ALL, his advice is to study Spanish. It is important to understand the culture of country you want to be in and the language is one of the basic things: only things we understand, can be developed. Besides, Spanish opens also the Latin American markets.
– Spanish is quite an easy language but one must remember that there are 17 regions and many official languages in the Country, Oscar says.
– But the school Spanish is a very good start. And nowadays many people already know English, especially in bigger cities and in IT sector.
Meetings with the Spanish also differ from those between serious and efficient Finns.
– You need to warm-up your business partners at least an hour, before even starting to discuss business, Oscar laughs.
– After the negations, it is important to wrap up and agree on the next steps.
SPANISH organizational structure can feel a bit heavy and you need to spend some time thinking what level of decision makers you need to reach: local, regional or national.
-Places like SmartWorkPlaza are great to start because they have paved the way and know, whom to contact, Oscar says.
There are also several other entities helping you when establishing business in Spain: Cámara de Comercio de España, Invest in Spain, IDEA and CDTI.
Fairs and exhibitions are excellent opportunities to learn the market quickly: go and mingle, in two days you will know your competitors and major players in the field.
There are plenty of events to go and mingle. Go to meetup.com or eventprite.
Start-up weekends around the country are also very good starting point when heading to the market: see http://communities.techstars.com/spain/malaga/startup-weekend.
Yep, the business is there, just waiting for us to get it!