Edward Hamilton - Green Beans
Life's little adventure is my passion. Brought up in the UK I moved to the US for college and then worked in New York and London investing in businesses for two investment banks.
While moving back to Europe I travelled extensively on my own and then with my wife to find the place to settle down and start my own business. We have never looked back since moving to Barcelona at the beginning of 2009. I started Green Bean Business & Financial Coaching. We coach people to succeed and reach their next level in business and personal finance. We work with business owners to increase their profits and tackle their greatest business challenges through forming rewarding relationships linking their industry know-how with our business expertise. With our personal finance courses we create the awareness in order to make the plan to hit your money and wealth objectives. It has been a great journey so far starting up a business and working for myself. My personal business goal is to be the Premier Business Coach in Barcelona.
Where did the original idea come from?
Time and time again I have seen hard-working business owners with strong products or services under performing their potential. Why? It is often due to poor time management, cash flow issues, a loathing for finance & numbers or under-performing employees. However all of these issues can be solved by implementing certain proven business techniques and principals. Larger businesses seldom have these issues and so I decided to use my experience, skills and knowledge in business and finance to bridge the gap and bring those successful techniques and practices from larger companies and coach entrepreneurs and small business owners so they can reach their potential. The idea is founded on exporting the knowledge and know-how from high finance and business investing and import it to small business owners in a format that empowers them.
How long did it take to get your business off the ground?
It took me three months to finalise my qualifications, research the industry and current market and create a website with marketing material. After that it has been about spreading awareness, building relationships and growing the business. With a service business there are less steps to starting up a business. However, one needs patience, drive and a clear vision.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
Not to focus on a big launch with everything perfectly finalised and in place. Yes, you need to be prepared but as soon as you start is when your education really begins and you find you have to be flexible and make many changes. Trying to get everything perfect before you start works out as being a lot more work with some time wasted.
How easy was it get the financing for your business?
Fortunately for my business I did not need financing, I am self financing through putting the majority of my earnings back in the business to make sure it grows. It is important in the first couple of years to focus on marketing and growth to reach a critical mass that is sustainable.
Did you find the paperwork difficult?
In Barcelona it is incredibly easy to start a service company as an autonomo, so no I haven´t found the paperwork difficult. I found mentors in the community that could help me or at least give me seasoned advice. Also, when I started I went to Barcelona Activa which has a lot of information, free classes and know-how about starting a business in BCN.
What is your business experience / background / qualifications?
My background is investments and investment banks. I worked in both New York and London analysing and evaluating business for investment purposes. I have also actively managed my money successfully since 2000. I have a business degree with a focus on finance from the Haas School of Business, Berkeley, USA and other further qualifications in investments and finance.
What are the positive aspects about having a business here?
You are in the city of your choice working for yourself. There is a very developed and supportive networking system in Barcelona. The city is a good size for starting a business. It is a wonderful lifestyle once it is up and running.
And the negative aspects?
The business culture is not as open as in the UK or the US. There are traditional customs that you need to get your head around, however I would say that the newer younger Barcelona is becoming more international and are taking up some of the positive business practices from other countries while still keeping their own individual identity. One new international trend in particular is the acceptance of business owners to outsource some business knowledge and experience through coaching and mentoring.
Are there any other useful contacts, tips or information you think would be useful to other foreign entrepreneurs in Barcelona? Please describe:
Network, network, network. Honestly the more hands you shake the more opportunities will open up for you. You have to buy the lottery ticket to win the lottery so go for it, work hard and have patience. Also, it can be a lonely place starting up a business so make sure you build a support network and find other people going through the same thing as you. Create an active forum where you discuss ideas and issues, remember two heads are better than one.
Green Bean Business & Financial Coaching
Spain Tel: +34 932 689 544
Spain Mob: +34 693 94 07 01
UK: +44 20 7993 6346