Where was your business born?

There are 5 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Splinter.

  • On La Nación there is always a ton of articles about Argentinian enterprises that were born by following a crazy idea or because a group of friends or two spouses had a brave moment.

    I think some of these stories are fictionally rewritten to sound easy and appealing and to encourage people to start their own business, however I would be curious to know your experience. I have often heard of frustrated expats saying that they eventually gave up and brought their business (and family) elsewhere.

    Did you bring your business here or did you start it here? Or did you leave your business home and you manage it remotely?

    Some example of articles in LN:

  • I share your skepticism about the success stories touted in the La Nación profiles. For starters, how much initial cost would be involved in government inspection and permits for selling meat? What kind of startup capital would be necessary for the research necessary for a line of cosmetics?

    Still, I have the feeling that Argentina, with all its economy’s problems, is still a country where entrepreneurs might not be at an insurmountable disadvantage in competing with established businesses. Any country whose capital city still has such a preponderance of ‘mom & pop’ stores, despite the worldwide trend of the past half century, must be entrepreneur-friendly.

    (My own business doesn’t really qualify for this discussion because it is strictly US based. When we are in Argentina, I simply work remotely, as I do from any location outside of the US.)

  • There was this famous expat-owner bar in Palermo Soho which closed all of a sudden. Rumors has it that the owner just got fed up of having to bribe policemen/inspectors to keep his business running.

    I wonder if this is the downside of owning a street-facing business or if this is the norm for any business. In which case, what percentage accounts in bribes? That's one more item in your business plan!

  • I started my computer business at home in 2008, fixing friends' and neighbours' machines. After a while, the kitchen and dining room began to fill up with boxes and computers until the following year when Adri needed to find a new office. She eventually found one with two floors, so I used the bottom floor as a shop quite happily for three years when the USD was $3. They jacked up the rent, so I moved to a smaller shop in La Lucila for another three years and all the while, selling online was becoming more cost effective. The rent was hiked yet again, so I moved four doors across for another three years and soon realised that 90% of my income was from online sales. At the end the that rental, the new owner doubled the rent which made renewing the contract unviable, so I moved everything into my workshop at home without the spiralling overheads.

    I specialise in commission sales now through Mercadolibre and Facebook groups as well as computer and laptop repairs. It's not a huge success story like those embellished ones in La Nacion, but it keeps me out of mischief.

  • I specialise in commission sales now through Mercadolibre and Facebook groups as well as computer and laptop repairs. It's not a huge success story like those embellished ones in La Nacion, but it keeps me out of mischief.

    Do you think that selling exclusively through online channels can be profitable in Argentina? If so, what would be the markup one should be able to apply?

    I would love to sell something without having to sit in a store all day. There are a bunch of items I am interested into, but of course I have no idea if this is a viable idea in Argentina just to resell or if it is possible only if I manufacture them directly.

  • I've been selling other people's goods for a few years now on Mercadolibre, mainly because they don't want the exposure. They don't like strangers going to their homes.

    It started with customers wanting to sell their PCs when they'd upgraded to a laptop or tablet and then I was asked by expat friends to sell their belongings as their children got older. I prefer to deal mainly with tech and currently charge 15% commission. That may seem quite a lot, but with PCs and laptops in particular, they need to be checked for damage, have a complete operating system reinstall as well as numerous photos taken and a full, professional description of the products.

    So to answer your question serafina , yes it is viable as long as the commission is right and that you have plenty of products on sale.