The city of San Miguel de Allende is nearly smack dab in the middle of Mexico. Located north of Mexico City, it doesn't have the same beach vibe many destinations in the country popular with tourists have. However, when you're looking for a business destination, you may not want a tourist-centric location. There is much to enjoy when it comes to San Miguel de Allende, both for a new location to live and as a location to potentially run a business. So, if you're considering Mexico as a business destination, consider San Miguel de Allende and what it has to offer.
San Miguel de Allende | Your Business Destination
If you're looking for a new destination for your business to call home, San Miguel de Allende may just be the perfect location to you. When many think of business in Mexico they either think of a tourist draw or a border town. You don't have to be in either to grow your business. And there are many benefits to moving further inland.
The city holds a considerable amount of historical importance not only to the region but to all of Mexico. Nestled on the eastern edge of Guanajuato, the city is less than 300 kilometers from Mexico City. Despite this proximity, it is far enough away to maintain its colonial charm. The city boasts a design combining both Spanish and more traditional native means of architecture, which often uses the Spanish style of architecture with local building techniques. As a World Heritage Site city, it is a beautiful landmark with historical importance around every corner.
The city of San Miguel de Allende has a major international draw when it comes to art. The handicrafts in this area of the country are known throughout the nation as some of the very best. It also helps bring in visitors who are looking for more than just sun and surf. In the city center, you'll find a combination of cafes, boutique shops, and art galleries. Foreigners are even setting up shop here to sell their own arts and crafts to take advantage of what the expanding region has to offer.
Why Choose San Miguel de Allende?
There are several reasons you need to consider the city of San Miguel de Allende as a destination for your business. If you end up moving here, there are schools that teach Spanish to foreigners, which should help improve your communication skills.
Lower Cost of Living
One of the main benefits of moving a business to Mexico is the cost of living. However, major tourist destinations such as Cabo San Lucas and Cancun are expensive, with prices similar, if rarely higher, than what you find in the United States. In the center corridor of the country though you'll experience some of the lowest prices in the country. This makes finding a destination like this much more valuable.
Close to Mexico City
If you're looking to expand, you will want to be near a major marketplace. Mexico City is the most populated city in the Western Hemisphere (even more than New York City), so there is major potential. A car or bus ride of a few hours will get you to Mexico City, so it's a short trip, yet you'll have the less expensive city to establish your business in.
One of the most important keys to creating a business anywhere in Mexico is to make sure the infrastructure is there. While this depends somewhat on the business you want to open, you will find well-established infrastructure here in the city. From utilities to Internet connections and roads, everything you need will be taken care of right here. This makes setting up a business in San Miguel de Allende that much easier than in other areas around the country.
5 Keys to Running a Successful Business in San Miguel de Allende
Before you head out to San Miguel de Allende (if you decide this is the perfect business destination) there are several variables you need to consider when it comes to running a business not just in San Miguel de Allende, but in Mexico in general. To become successful as a foreigner, you need to take advantage of these five keys to running a successful business.
1. Know the Language
Understanding Spanish is important. The more you know the easier it becomes to communicate with locals. In Mexico, personal relationships are important. Not everyone will speak English, so the ability to at the very least communicate with locals in Spanish is paramount to a successful business. While it's not impossible to run a business in San Miguel de Allende if you don't speak Spanish, knowing the language does drastically improve your chances of success. So before you visit San Miguel de Allende and Mexico now is the time to learn the language.
2. Understand the Culture
Every country has its own unique business culture. What takes place in Germany or Japan or the United States differs from what takes place in Mexico. The more familiar you are with local customs the easier it becomes to work with locals. In Mexico, you will only speak with someone at the same business level as you. The CEO of a large company will not hold meetings with a low-level employee. So trying to organize meetings with elevated professionals likely will not work.
In Mexico, meetings are longer. This is because there's more small talk during the meetings and discussions about everything from family to sports will intertwine with business talk. You may want to cut directly to the matter at hand, but to be successful in running a business in San Miguel de Allende, you need to understand that meetings, like just about everything else in Mexico, moves at a slower pace.
When in a business meeting, if you're offered a drink, no matter what the drink is, accept it. It's poor form to turn down a drink. So, if you're meeting someone for coffee in San Miguel de Allende, or if you're offered a sip of tequila, accept the drink and do so with courtesy.
In San Miguel de Allende, show up on time for your business meetings, but assume the individuals you're meeting with will show up late. Again, life in Mexico is slower, so people often show up a little late. You still need to arrive on time but schedule your day accordingly.
3. Personal Relationships
You can't move to San Miguel de Allende and assume you'll make a big splash because you're from Europe or the United States. Tossing money around may attract a few employees, but it's not the way to do business in the city. Developing personal relationships is a much better way to conduct business.
People want to work with others they like. You don't need to be best friends with the people you work with (although it helps). So don't go about running a business in San Miguel de Allende in only a professional manner and disconnect yourself from local life and culture. Embrace everything and be open to developing these personal relationships.
4. You Will Likely Be Tested
You're an outsider in the heart of Mexico. Before many do business with you they want to make sure you're worth doing business with. They don't want to invest their time and money into someone who will just fold and leave. So you'll likely be tested. You might be pitched services at outlandish prices (at least outlandish prices in the region) to see if you'll accept the inflated prices or not. People will also be curious, so you need to put on your best face. What you do early on will carry a large amount of weight for the future. So be prepared to be tested, but also keep your cool and always put your best foot forward.
5. Word Is Bond
If you say you're going to do something, do it. Don't flake out or back out. Your word needs to be your bond as not everything is settled with paper contracts. So when you tell someone you're going to do something for them, don't make up an excuse to get out of it. Do what you can to always make it happen.
There is much to consider when choosing the right location for your business. From the cost of living and local infrastructure to the quality of the local labor force, there is something to look into around every corner. The city of San Miguel de Allende comes with its own substantial benefits. With its proximity to Mexico City, there is a quality workforce that may not want to live in one of the world's largest cities. Add on that the cost of living is lower here than in tourist-heavy destinations and you're close to major transportation hubs, there is much to like when opening a business.
You just need to make sure you follow the five keys to running a successful business in San Miguel de Allende. As long as you do, you'll drastically increase your chance of success.