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I Dream of Cyprus
If like us, you run a business that is affected by season, then make sure you either have some good marketing ideas or a back up plan! Read about Ron as he takes his dream of running a restaurant to Cyprus.
By Ron Harrison
I'd always wanted to set up a restaurant or some best-kept-secret bistro abroad, just like the places I love seeking out when I'm in a foreign country. Having lived in Chislehurst for over thirty years of my life (I'd met my wife and raised children there) I wanted something with a bit of substance to grow old doing. The kids had left home and, when that happened, there was definitely a sense of vacancy that needed filling. My wife, Rita, really felt it hard. Her role as a hands-on mother had ended, and it seemed there was nothing apart from the daily 9 - 5 to keep us occupied.
Cyprus had been a regular holiday jaunt for us since the 1980s, and we used to visit every few years or so. It's one of those places that stayed salient in our minds, and it didn't take long before the idea of moving there became ever more of a possibility. And me, well, I just wanted that bistro more than ever. So, quite suddenly, we just decided to do it. It's not easy leaving your kids behind, but, now fully grown up, they wouldn't have let us stay. They understood we needed that change, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
There's me harping on. Right, business! A few of the names we wanted for the bistro were already in use, but after six weeks of brainstorming we were accepted. We then had to approach the CTO for information regarding paperwork, processes, etc. 3% of our profits actually have to go to the CTO, but business is cheap to run and tax in a mere 10%. Utility bills are also remarkably inexpensive.
One of the negatives is that the carefree and back-dated nature of Cyprus means EU directives are only just coming through, albeit very slowly. It'd be nice to see the country move forward in this respect, for the benefit of both business and the citizens. If like us, you run a business that is affected by season, then make sure you either have some good marketing ideas or a back up plan! When tourists aren't about, you'll be depending on the locals for income, so make sure you cater as much to them as you do holiday-makers. Become friendly with locals, get to know them by name, maybe even give them discounts or a drink or two on-the-house. It'll pay-off in the long-run.
The benefits of the move are immeasurable. Deep breath...the climate is great, English is widely spoken, there's a growing expatriate community, setting up is straightforward, there is a low-cost of living, tax is low, the pace of life is leisurely, and Cyprus is well-placed at the edge of Europe and near the Middle East, which makes travel and trade options much vaster than elsewhere.
For these reasons alone, Cyprus is a veritable choice for any budding entrepreneur.