Sunday, December 6, 2009

What does 2010 hold for Spanish businesses?

I am no fortune-teller and in these uncertain times (is this a recovery or not?) making predictions for 2010 might be foolhardy but I am feeling a bit more positive about the year to come, as far as Spain is concerned. 2009 was a year to forget for most businesses based where mine is - on the Costa del Sol. The wider economy has suffered with unemployment nearing an incredible 4 million and the usual mainstays of construction and tourism way down from pre-recession levels. For Brit-focused businesses have had particular problems:
  • The pound has stayed on its knees
  • Many Brits have packed up
  • Of those that remain many are struggling with their mortgages, reduced pensions, lack of work etc
  • The steady flow of new arrivals needing property, goods and services has slowed to a trickle
There are a few grounds for optimism although I am not holding my breath for a recovery in sterling or a sharp rebound in the property market. I am looking at things like mortgages which reset once a year in Spain so by now everyone should be on low rates and that will make life a bit easier. As I commented in an earlier post about increasing numbers of British property buyers in the latter part of the year, people who haven't been wiped out by the recession are returning to Spain to buy or rent. It's still a great place to be and hopefully 2010 will see many people who put their plans on ice for 2008/9 get on with a move. Cheap rents, while a problem for many, will encourage others to stay.
Businesses should also benefit from less competition now that some weaker competitors have gone to the wall but marketing, particularly on the web, has got to be good. See Advoco's 31 marketing tips for Spain.
Finally, we should emerge from 2009 stronger and leaner for the experience and thus better equipped to deal with opportunities that do arise in 2010. Besides reviewing marketing, most businesses should have their cost bases under control and have their staffing at appropriate levels now (see Guide to Employing Staff in Spain). If 2009 was about survival, let's hope that 2010 is a time for expansion, putting delayed plans into action and looking forward.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I would like to add that the Spanish economy can only recover if people here start being creative and start entrepeneuring and NOT want to be a civil servant! I'm just starting up my Internet marketing company Solutum S.L. and I see lots of possibilities!


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