Expat Entrepreneur: Richard Lateano

Expat Entrepreneur: Richard Lateano

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Expat entrepreneur of Diningcity.com/madrid says the economic crisis has led companies to become more creative with marketing, and Spain is still a positive atmosphere for running a business.

Name: Richard Lateano
Nationality: British
City of residence: Madrid
Name of company: diningcity.com/madrid
Date of company launch: 2007

Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going.
Diningcity.com/madrid is an on-line restaurant guide for the Madrid area. We have been operational for just over three years and we're still here.

We have noticed an increasing awareness of the value of online businesses by both groups of clients: the restaurant owners and the visitors to the website.

What do you like about doing business in your country of residence?
The spontaneity of people in general, reactions are hard to predict, and the interest shown is often immediate and genuine.

What do you find most frustrating about doing business in your country of residence?
The most frustrating thing about doing business in Spain is the unrealiabilty, but perhaps this is just the other side of the spontaneity coin.

What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
The major hurdles were, of course, cultural differences: our original business model was based on Dutch society. To give just one example: Madrid restaurant owners were confused by the question: “Is your restaurant child-friendly?” A good gestor (accountant and advisor in one) was the key to bureaucratic hurdles.

How has the economic crisis affected your business?
Quite a number of our original restaurants have closed down due to the economic crisis However, the crisis has also made people much more aware of the need for effective marketing.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in your country of residence?

First and foremost make sure you have a good gestor and be patient and persistent.

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