Let’s face it, France is a pretty nice place to visit.
Everything there is old. All the buildings, the roads the monuments, the ruins (obviously) and even the businesses. It makes it a great place to take a vacation. There are small shops there that have been in the family for decades and generations.
But does it make a great climate in which to start a business?
Most would argue that all this history actually makes it very difficult to start a business is France.
It’s one of the most foreboding places in all of Europe to consider taking the entrepreneurial plunge – which, ironically enough is where the term Entrepreneur comes from!
France is well known for having high taxes, suffocating protectionism and excessive bureaucracy.
From the outside it looks like France would be a terrible place to start my journey searching for business ideas.
But maybe that’s exactly why it’s a great place to start.
Due to the burdens imposed on these businesses, an import/export type of scenario might just be the breath of fresh air they need. Maybe help to grow outside of their current market is just what some of these businesses need.
If nothing else, I’m certain that operating under these terribly unfriendly business climes will create opportunities for out-of-the-box thinking. That’s why I’ve picked France as the first place on my list to research and where I will be travelling in the coming weeks.
Here are some of the things that businesses in France currently face:
- Strikes and inefficient use of resources. The workers in France aren’t known for being the most helpful to their employers. They all look for opportunities to “stick it to the man” any chance they get.
- France has found a great niche in electricity production. They have a large, and productive, nuclear business which leads to opportunities for ancillary businesses. While regulations and red-tape might abound, there might still be opportunity.
- The labor population (employable workers) is set to increase through 2100. Many other developed countries are feeling the pains caused by the aging populations as the Boomer Vortex starts to kick in and boomers leave the workforce. France is growing somehow. That presents opportunities (and maybe potential for impending changes).
- France’s government is actually known for being fairly efficient and it has a streamlined tax collection process. Outsiders view their government as burdensome and cumbersome but once you get to know it, it’s actually pretty good (not from a political standpoint, but from an efficiency view).
- France has over 30 businesses in the top 500 companies in the world… so they must be doing something right!
- Tourism is HUGE – they average over 82 million travelers each year making it one of the top destinations in the world. A tourist oriented business would do well here – even for non-France related items (tour guides, travel packages, walking tours, etc.) But this number has decreased in recent years due to terrorism concerns.
These are just a few of the things that France has going for it. So I think this makes it a prime spot to hunt for business ideas.