Experience shows that nearly every person trying to enter the business world faces numerous difficulties. Overcoming these difficulties often proves a challenge – especially for people born abroad and who have decided to relocate to Latvia and start a business there.
Chairperson of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry Janis Endzins, Australian-born Co-Owner of ALA Pagrabs folk club Krisjanis Putnins and founder of web-tool development company Edurio Erness Jenavs share their recommendations on starting a successful business in Latvia.
1.It is easier to start a business in Latvia than it is in London or Sicily
Latvia has an incredibly gracious business environment for making the first steps – living costs are low, people a clever and TechHub Riga helps cultivate sustainable businesses and business community. State support and micro-enterprise tax model help making these first steps easier. It is much easier to realize ideas in Latvia than it is in London or Sicily.
2.Use services provided by consultants or mentors
When starting a business, it is important to consider each step in advance so they you won’t have to fix mistakes later. Consultants play a major role in business development, especially early on. The World Latvian Forum has helped create a special mentor programme. In it, high-rank Latvian businessmen and specialist share knowledge and experience with young professionals.
There are plenty of traditional goods in services in Latvia. This is why it is important to keep in mind innovations – the things that make your product or service stand out among others. Young people are creative enough to come up with brave and unorthodox ideas that later give way to stories of success.
4.Attract and value good workers
Often young businessmen find dishonest employees a major problem for their business. Remember that it is highly important to attract and value good and loyal employees. Any good employee is worth his or her weight in gold.
5.Keep export opportunities in mind
Export is Latvia’s main welfare instrument. And it is not used to its full potential at the moment. If you only focus on the internal market, your development will be limited and may stop at some point. In this case, LCCI’s network of representatives and cooperation with trade chambers of other countries can help. International forums should also be considered as well, as they can help form contacts with potential export partners or state representatives.
6.Consider options for attracting funding and investments
European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker’s plan mentions that there is private money in Europe, but is it worth considering different ways this money can be released into circulation in order to help make economic growth more rapid. Use of investments or special support programmes can help young businessmen develop their ideas.
7.The customer is always right
Never forget that your business is sustained by the money your customers pay for services and goods. It doesn’t matter what your line of business is, keep in mind the basic principles why customers would ever want to work with you at all.
8.A man and his word
Always stick to the principle ‘A man and his word’. If you promise something, you have no right to back out at the last minute. There are exceptions to this principle, but loyalty to one’s word paints a certain picture about you as a service provider and businessmen.