This week I sold a business I owned and ran for a year and half, Hostal Murali in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
It was going good, in fact, January of this year, 2013, was a record month in sales for us.
It wasn’t even really for sale.
I just got an offer and took it.
Business is business.
You can’t be too sentimental about these things, sometimes its just time to move on.
So what sticks out as big lessons learned?
Well, even if you’re the type, like me, that prefers to do things on your own, when starting a new business in a foreign country you’re not familiar with it sure helps to have a local partner you can trust.
In Murali, I had one Ecuadorian partner, a wealthy friend of mine who I had known for several years prior from a short stint I did in the country as a marketing consultant.
I probably would not have had the balls to throw everything I had into a business in a new country without having the local support network to rely on.
Of course we had our differences but we worked well together, I learned a lot, and we ended well.
You can find trustworthy Ecuadorians, just maybe not your first week or two in the country!
Also, I’d say the best way to learn a business is to just do it. You’re not going to learn it by taking courses (although universities would try to tell you otherwise), interning or consulting (you’re still an outsider).
The only way is being that 9-5 employee or owning the business.
Once you know the country a bit the local partner isn’t entirely necessary anymore, in fact, a month ago I started Quito Airport Suites as a solo operation, a small hotel near the airport in Quito, and everything is going good so far.
So if you’d like to meet stop by my new business and say hello!
So where would I invest on the coast right now in 2013? Which areas are moving and which aren’t? For that, sign up for my weekly Ecuador Insiders Newsletter below, you can unsubscribe at any time: