Friday, 1 August 2008

Setting up the company near a beach

When I decided to leave my job at Vodafone to work full time as CEO of Golden Gekko one of the first questions was where the company should be based? I started with a list of questions and decision parameters:
Where will our customers be?
Where can I recruit the best people at the lowest cost?
Where is it most cost efficient to start and operate a company in terms of taxes and administration?
Flight connections?
And most importantly where do I want to live?

The candidates on the list were Stockholm, London and Barcelona with the obvious choice being Barcelona.

Pros
  • Great weather all year around
  • Great standard of living with the longest city beach in Europe and more bars and restaurants than you can ever dream of
  • Low cost flight connections throughout Europe
  • Attractive city to recruit people at a relatively low cost (50% of London salaries) as everyone wants to come and visit and eventually live in Barcelona
  • Possible to keep the team together in one place thanks to low transportation costs
  • Taxes are relatively low
  • International city growing rapidly and dynamically

Cons
  • Few big brands/companies located here
  • Most of our customers won't be based here
  • Difficult to recruit local staff due to lack of English skills and poor software development training
  • Potentially dangerous city as you can have too much fun
  • Increasing living costs with property prices, food and other expenses rising


Was it eventually the right decision? YES!

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