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Expat Comedy Business Names

By Mr Grumpy - Thu 8th Sep 2011

I am not, never have been, never claimed to have been and never will be an expert on business marketing. But I do like to think that I have a reasonable amount of common sense and business experience to know when something is fundamentaly wrong with somebodies business plan.

Don't get me wrong - I honestly belive that some of the most succesful and shrewdest businessmen are expats. Having to not only operate a succesful business, but do so in a foreign enviroment and language, and one where your client demographic is continually changing - not to mention the currency exchange rate - must take flexibility, motivation and dedication. I take my hat off to many businesses that fall within this category because I know it can't be easy.

However, on the other side of the coin there are hundreds of businesses opening up in Spain every day by expats who are newly arrived and don't have a plan - let alone a clue ! You see people who were Admin staff in the UK opening Bars, Dustbin Men becoming Builders and worse still, in the property boom years, everyone wanted to become an Estate Agent.

Some managed to learn through their initial mistakes and end up making a decent go of things. Others folded pretty soon after hitting the first few hurdles and went back to the UK wiser but poorer.

But sometimes, you just know by looking at a Business name when somebody hands you a business card, that they haven't really thought things through ....

If there is one thing that creates a lasting and positive first impression about a business it's the name. And as you only ever have one chance with a first impression it's an important choice to make.

Now, I know that it is traditional to name your business after oneself, but you would have thought that if your name did not have a 'positive association' with your trade, then you may be justified for having a re-think to come up with a name that was both memorable, and put you in a positive light.

Or at least you may have thought so.

Just a few of my favourite business names that I have noted over the recent months are as follows (and I kid you not, these are genuine !) :

A.J.Short Windowcleaner (Must either have VERY long ladders or specialise in bungalows)

Crook Specialist Cars (Why not just go all the way and call yourself "Arfur Daley" ?)

Breakwells transport (Wonder if they specialise in fragile loads ?)

Messi Pools and Gardens (Seriously. I wonder if he does a good job ?)

Drips and Leaks Plumbers (Is that what they repair, or what they leave behind after the job has finished ?)

We all know that the economy of Spain is tight at the moment, and focusing on doing business with the British expat community is going to severly restrict your market and therefore your turnover. Still, it wouldn't surprise me if this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Any odd business names down your way ?

Comment on this Blog

I saw a "Box Bros" Funeral Directors earlier today. I swear to God. I would have laughed out loud if wasn't at such an inappropriate moment.
Mr Grumpy - Wed, 24th Oct 2012
Just got back from doing the weekly shop : Decided to avoid the Expat "Family Butcher" - In these difficult economic times, I can not for the love of God understand why any businessman would market his shop with a tag line that could give the impression that they were a serial killer.
Mr Grumpy - Sat, 28th Jul 2012
Some people just can't be helped. And from my experience this is something that isn't unique to expats.
Gulliver - Fri, 23rd Mar 2012
There used to be a Carpenter in my Town called Chislet (Chisle -it ?)
Mekon - Sun, 29th Jan 2012
I agree with you in that I´m not well-travelled in this country either. I´ve focused my energy on seeing bits of Europe rather than Spain, where everybody goes on holiday! Part of the problem is that Spain is a big country too. Bringing up a kid also anchors you a little. Now however I´d like to see a bit more of Spain in the hope that it´s never too late.
Mo - Sat, 17th Sep 2011
I can't say that I have ever been to either of your Alacalas,which only reminds me just how badly travelled I am within my adopted country.
Mr Grumpy - Sat, 17th Sep 2011
Yes Señor Gruñón, we are Alcala-Holics but I like her village better than mine! And I don´t believe for a minute that it took your witty brain 12 hours to come up with this epithet! 12 seconds morelike - and yes, I´ve decided that should be one word! I am the Translatator and I will be obeyed! (Faint grrrr).
Mo - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
Honestly, you pair of Alcala-Holics need to calm down... (See what I did there... ok, it's taken me the best part of 12 hours to come up with that, but I'm proud of it... )
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
And mine, Alcalaina was named after a ....actually I don´t know what so for now you win but I´ll be back!
Mo - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
Right Mo, you have a new follower. Let the Battle of the Alcalás commence! Mine was named after a particularly belligerent Berber tribe, so watch out ...
Alcalaina - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
Mo : The link to Alcalaina's Blog appears 2 above yours on my 'Expat Books v Expat Blogs' post... (I see what you did there with the 'REAL' bit... most clever)
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
Got two points here. 1. Am about to change my name to Mumbles, though might add Waffles to make it double-barrelled. 2. Where ARE you Alcalaina? (I know, none of my business but your name hits me right in the solar plexus, moored as I have been for 15 years in the REAL Alcalá).
Mo - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
None down my way I'm afraid. All the businesses here are either Rodriguez or Romero.
Alcalaina - Fri, 9th Sep 2011
Alba Language Services sounds fine to me. Although I think it is crying shame your surname wasn't 'Mumbles' - I think it would be cool to have a business called 'Mumbles Language Services'
Mr Grumpy - Thu, 8th Sep 2011
Ha, brilliant! As I am a lone Brit in Alcalá de Henares (well, apart from that other woman I fell out with) I don´t think there are any guiri owned businesses. We´re called "Alba Language Services" though we´re barely a business (yet). Does that sound OK?
Mo - Thu, 8th Sep 2011

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