Expat Entrepreneur: Scott Martin in Madrid
According to entrepreneur Scott Martin (Martin Media and MadridMan.com) to make any business successful, you must love what you do.
Name: Scott Martin
Country of residence: Spain
Name of company: Martin Media, S.L.
Date of company launch: 22-9-2006
Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going?
Martin Media, S.L. owns and operates a few dozen Spain-focused travel and tourism websites and sells advertising on most of them. It's going well and continues to expand and evolve. MadridMan.com, my first website 15 years ago, remains the cornerstone of Martin Media, S.L.
What do you like about doing business in Spain?
I live and breathe Spain every day of my life, and not just because I live here. I truly love the country, its people and history, the food and wine, and certainly the lifestyle.
What do you find most frustrating about doing business in Spain?
What frustrates me most are the late-payments. But I'm not sure it's fair to attribute this to the culture of Spanish clients, as I've never worked in travel and tourism outside of Spain.
What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
The greatest hurdle in setting up a business in Spain, at least for Americans, is first obtaining Spanish residency -- and it's next to impossible to get. European Union residents have it easier, however.
Without residency, you cannot A) live in Spain or B) work in Spain. I married a Spaniard and, with that, all doors were open. I also owe a lot of credit to my Irish, bilingual accountant here in Madrid. Without him, none of this would have been possible.
How has the economic crisis affected your business?
I have lost a number of long-time clients because their businesses had closed or they had cut back -- or cut out -- advertising. Martin Media, S.L. is still successful, however, but far less so than just a few years ago. Those which survive the storms will achieve greater success in the future.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in Spain?
First and foremost, obtain the services of a local accountant who knows the laws, procedures and language, and can also communicate with you in your own language. This not only gives you great peace of mind, but allows you to focus your time and mind on the business at hand.
How does running a business in Spain compare to running a business in other countries that you have lived in?
When working in Travel and Tourism, it certainly helps to be where the action is. Experiencing things for yourself allows you to better relay those experiences to your audience. Aside from that, with today's technologies, one could do what I do from anywhere in the world -- something I did as a hobby, and successfully, for 7 years from the USA before moving to Spain.
Would you like to add anything else?
In order to make any business successful, "Love what you do". This greatly increases the odds of success.
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