Understanding the local culture and people is crucial to the success of any business venture, especially when starting a small business overseas.
While being active in a beauty product shop in Hong Kong, I learned the importance of effective advertising in reaching female customers. It was only after experimenting with targeted ads on Facebook and Google that I was able to sell out in-stock products.
In Albania, my passion for certain cars led me to import vehicles that were not in high demand locally. As a result, I did not make much profit from the used car trading business until I learned what Albanian consumers were looking for.
Similarly, I struggled to make my coffee shop in Greece profitable because I did not understand the preferences of the local customers. I had been used to making high-quality coffee in Germany, but the people in the neighborhood I got the shop in, just wanted a strong cup of coffee, regardless of the bean variety.
Overall, these experiences highlight the importance of taking the time to get to know the local market and adapting business strategies accordingly. This can involve anything from conducting market research and experimenting with different advertising techniques, to simply observing and interacting with local customers to better understand their preferences and needs.