Life from an outsider's perspective…

On with the business!

Creating a new business

I think the most important thing to know when contemplating new business ideas, isn’t whether you are actually capable of providing the service or not (because we all know that yes you could do it!), but weather it is economically feasible or not. At the end of the day, you invest ALL your time & energy setting up any successful business. The whole idea is that it’s a new way of life that is supposed to eventually pay for itself.

Even in the second year here, I have still put in 17 hour days, 80hr weeks, and there are some weeks I don’t earn a single blasted cent despite 5000-9000 monthly web visits. To put it another way, there are times when we have to rashion the milk. Hardly “the life”, is it?

Poverty just isn’t something you can explain to people when holiday makers say to you: “Oh you live here? how lucky! We want to move here”. In my opinion people who come here from the UK to visit X number of times per year are far better off than ones who live here full-time and can’t afford to go back more than once a year.Further advice to anyone starting any business, anywhere, is that you first have to believe in yourself. Not only that, but you have to believe that you can perform your ‘service’ better than anybody else out there. Believe you can do that, and then make it happen!

It can be very, very rewarding. Like when you get happy customers that personally thank you for existing. Other times, when you make a loss with a certain customer (when they don’t show up for example, or cancel), not just wasting money but your all-important time as well, well it just makes you downright grumpy. Especially when you get three in a row like that in one day.

Ultimately, your customers are your only source of income… essentially they’re handing you your paychecks, not your boss, so you have to really go out of your way for them.

Like everything, study included, you get out what you put in. One or two people I know here in Tenerife have some fantastic ideas (grand illusions really) because they are basically slackers. For instance, one dude is under the impression that working for yourself is easier than working for someone else. Quite the opposite in fact… nothing is more convenient than a regular paycheck! hehehe. All you have to do when you have a job is show up on time, be respectable and do a reasonable job and you get all the benefits + security.

Being self employed, especially in the beginning, YOU have to create the work. For example, if there is no demand, you can’t afford to wait for opportunities to come to you!!

If you laze about and find it hard to motivate yourself, that’s really not a good quality for a entrepreneur. I’ve noticed there are many people who work for business and don’t actually do much during their work time. That attitude doesn’t cut it when working for yourself because your net result is directly proportional to the amount of time, energy & money you put in to the whole project. You basically have to push your product… make it the best and then push push push, until it creates it’s own momentum. Think of the episode “Apples and Self Service” or the Jamaican Ginger Cake from Open All Hours… sometimes the old Arkwright inspires me!

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment