New Life in Spain

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09 Feb 2008 00:00 by Ger&Mick Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi everyone

Myself and my partner have decided we are going to try a new life in Spain.  We have no children so have nothing to lose except money of course. Our aim is to give it 100% after which we will hopefully be happy with our decision or if not we can return home.  Our motivation for moving country is a combination of the following:  We would like to live in a warmer climate.  No, we're not expecting it to be perfect but perhaps more suited to living a more outdoor lifestyle. We love all outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, water activities and socialising with people.  We'd like to make friends, join clubs, go dancing. Yes we know we still have to work, probably very hard, and do all the same mundane things as we're doing at home and the novelty of living in a better climite will wear off somewhat.  What we need at this moment is good honest advice and information on anyone who had the same idea as ourselves and how they got on etc. We need both good and bad experiences.   We aim to take our time and at least try and go about the move in the best possible way.  At the moment we havent a clue which area we'd like.  We thought it might be better to buy a business, work hard and learn the language before trying to go down the "get a job" route, buy a house etc.  We'd appreciate any information on recommended locations. 

Thanks a million

G & M

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09 Feb 2008 15:29 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6933 posts Send private message

morerosado´s avatar

Hi Ger & Mick. This forum is chokka with help & advice on every topic you can think of. Forum is divided up into sections so you really need to look at lots of posts. We get hundreds of questions same as yours. What works for one won't work for another.

Do you speak Spanish well ? (Sounds as if you don't.)

What are your lines of work ?

Catch you later.









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09 Feb 2008 15:54 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6933 posts Send private message

morerosado´s avatar

G & M...Excuse me copying your PM to me to all but, as you've not answered on forum, no one else sees it & it's relevant.

Thanks for your reply.  No we don't speak spanish yet.  We found a very good Spanish course called "Rocket Spanish" on line.  Yes it is Latin americian Spanish and so there is slight differences but having researched many different courses and tried various ways to learn, this course will hopefully give us some knowledge before we go over to live.  We both work in our own Coffee shop at the moment.  We're used to hard work which we're sure doesn't vary from country to country but would like to make a bit more use of our free time, besides huddling up in front of the fire for 9 months of the year.  I guess what we're just looking for at the moment is other peoples ideas and experiences.  Yes I know we are all different but it's nice to hear how other people got on? 











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09 Feb 2008 18:00 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4275 posts Send private message

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You should be aware that employment opportunities, even if you achieve a reasonable level of Spanish, can be severely limited, and comparatively poorly paid, which is why many in your position opt to make a go of running their own business when first moving to Spain. The vast majority also opt for something in the catering field, largely because your target market is inevitably going to be other foreigners (ex-pats & holidaymakers alike) since you will find it hard to compete with the Spaniards for Spanish trade, and the most obvious thing to offer to other foreigners in Spain is catering. Also, it's easy to get into with little or no experience, and usually relatively low cost. Fortunately, you already have experience, which is a big bonus, because so many couples try it and can't stand it (or worse, end up not being able to stand each other!) which makes settling into a new life in a new country that much harder.

If you decide to go down this route, as with any business, do as much research beforehand as possible. Location is everything! Find your business, then look for your permanent home accordingly, rather than the other way round. Search sites like and Daltons for ideas of businesses available. Renting an apartment first is always a good idea too, until you are sure you have made the right decision.

Pretty obvious stuff really. Like Morerosado says, trawl through old threads on this forum also, it's a fantastic resource for information. Most of your questions will already be answered somewhere, but if not, don't be afraid to ask anything. The more info you can gather the better, before hopefully making your well-informed move. Good luck!




"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain




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09 Feb 2008 18:32 by jane b Star rating in Bedar, Almeria. 222 posts Send private message

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Hi G&M

I think you definitely have the right idea in looking to buy an established business if you can.  As I am sure you know from your UK experience, it takes years, not months, to build a business and start really earning from it, so how much harder when you also have to deal with a completely new system, not to mention a language.

When faced with what looks like a big price for a small business, consider how much it might cost to set something up (including initial promotional costs etc, not just the rent and fittings and stock) and to run it for at least two years before you make a profit.  Assuming you can establish the real level of profitability through proper due diligence, you will probably find it is cheaper (and certainly less stressful) than setting up on your own.

However, if you can't find a business you fancy running and you want to plough your own furrow, think about investing some serious time and effort in research.  Choose an area, go and live there (preferably renting unless you find a real bargain property) and thoroughly research the gaps in the market.  Develop a circle of friends and you will discover what is lacking in the area.  If you want to succeed with a new venture you have to avoid the type of business which has lots of established competition.  I wish I had just €100 for every business I have seen set up in the last seven years in our part of Spain which were doomed to failure from the outset.  There really is no substitute for thorough research and hard work, and spending time in an area will help you make the contacts which will tell you which businesses are really successful and which are probably on their last legs.  We all know, for example, of locations which have had three or four incarnations under different management in almost as many years (the triumph of hope over experience) and seem to have some sort of jinx.

Finally, unless you are buying an established business and the owners are willing to work side by side with you for a few months, it really is advisable to stick with something of which you have some experience.  I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who come and open the kind of business of which they have no experience at all, and then are surprised when it fails.  You would surely not open a pub in England if you had no experience at all of bar work but the costas are littered with the broken dreams of literally hundreds who have done just that.

Sorry to be so long-winded but I hope this is helpful.  While writing I can thoroughly recommend eastern Almeria, but then I am prejudiced!  The economy is still growing and there are definitely opportunities for people willing to work.







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