Episode 3 Transcript

You're listening to
the business in Morocco podcast the
podcast that discusses all things
business and all things Morocco my name
is Ryan Maimone, I'm here with my co-host
Ryan Kirk and our goal is to share our
knowledge and experiences you in order
to help you gain wisdom skills and
habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com
alright let's get started
with today's episode it's gonna be a
Welcome to episode three of the Business
in Morocco Podcast, Ryan how's your week
going what are you working on it's going
well tonight we are releasing a channel
trailer for Maroc Treasure which is
exciting because as I was putting this
together with my editor just going back
through some of the videos we've made
over the last couple years people we've
interviewed sites that we've filmed in
it was pretty exciting to kind of get
just a little montage yeah that's the
word I'm looking for it it was exciting
to get a little montage of all the stuff
we've done it was encouraging to see how
much stuff we've created it's cool so
I'm excited to release that, great what
about you what's new? well we talked last
week about deep work I've been doing
some deep work myself I've been
developing a process in my business the
goal of my business is customer
acquisition I want to find new customers
for my clients that is the value
proposition that I offer that is what
I'm trying to become an expert in so to
do that and make it scalable to the
point where I can teach someone else to
do what I'm doing I have written down my
entire process for taking on a new
client creating a digital presence a
website their Google page their Facebook
page Instagram whatever is appropriate
for that type of client whether they be
a restaurant or a doctor or an artist or
some other kind of client and I'm
creating a tutorial a guide so that
anyone can follow the guide and create
this online presence for themselves so
this is the deep work that I've been
doing it is exhausting because I want to
go step by step yeah so that someone
does not need to do any research they
don't need to learn anything else they
can literally just follow my guide and
go from nothing to having a complete
online profile yeah and
that is what I've been working on it's
not quite finished I'm building the
website which will allow people to
download the documents to follow for
themselves and it will also be a guide
that I can give to my employees so that
once we acquire customers they can be
the one that does the actual work of
building the digital profile and I can
be the one running the company instead
of working in the company. right now is
there a danger that a client or
potential client could just access your
system and not even hire you they just
use your process and do it themselves
the answer is yes but it's not in danger
because the files are going to be
download upon purchase okay
so I will be offering the files to
anyone around the world they will be
able to download the files if they buy
them I will be offering two files for
free one is how do you put your business
on Google Maps and the other is how to
claim your business if it is already on
Google Maps okay so those two online
guides will be free anyone can download
them anyone can use them I'm happy to
give that content away for free the rest
of the content things like optimizing
your Google my business page or your
Google Maps listing creating a facebook
business page advertising on Facebook
creating an Instagram account
advertising on Instagram
creating a LinkedIn profile advertising
on LinkedIn SEO ranking you have stuff
on that doing Google Ads
understanding your metrics when it comes
to Google Analytics and Google my
business all of those are going to be
ebooks that you can download for for
paying a fee so I'm not worried about
yeah in fact I'm going to promote that
I'm hoping to sell this content as a way
to help small businesses improve their
profile without me having to do the
actual work for them so it's a scalable
way yeah growing my business it's
implementing a process in my business
that is scalable so that I can train
someone to do the work I can acquire
customers and then not have to do the
work myself
so yeah that's the deep work that I've
been doing this week and I'm hoping to
finish that up in the next few weeks and
so those will be available for purchase
on your website I'm creating a new
website it's called SMBonlineguide.com
SMB what is that SMB means small or
medium-sized business Oh kind of a
inside baseball term yes it's very well
known among the the SAAS developer
community people who build web
applications for small businesses b2b
businesses yeah it's just a shorthand
term for saying small or medium business
SMB yeah SMBonlineguide.com
it's perfect and it will be available in
French and English initially it's only
going to be available in English so all
of the tutorials are in English I have
screenshots from Google and Facebook and
these other forums and and all the
tutorial is in English I do hope to one
day do everything again in French my
first goal of this will be in my native
language of English and will iterate
from there yeah that sounds good it
sounds cool now for today's topic
business in Morocco the opportunities
and challenges of doing business in
Morocco let's do a brief overview of
Morocco the population of Morocco is
about 35 million people the average
gross domestic product per capita is
about 3100 US dollars per year meaning
the the total economy all of the goods
and services produced divided by the
number of people equals about 30000 Dirhams the economy is growing
at about 3 to 4 percent per year
so that's great when you compare it to
Europe or Japan or the United States
even Morocco has a trade imbalance of
about 19 billion US dollars per year
meaning they are importing about 19
billion dollars more goods per year than
they are exporting it's one of the
reasons that the government put in place
laws and taxes that promote exports they
really want to encourage not only
foreigners but Moroccans to export goods
which is a way of supporting the
currency and promoting economic growth
here in Morocco
Morocco's debt to GDP ratio is actually
pretty good it's only about 48 percent
it's pretty comparable to Canada you
guys in Canada are doing pretty good at
about 51 percent which is far better
than the horrible United States which is
already more than 100 percent which
means that the debt the government debts
of the United States is more than all of
the goods and services produced in an
entire year and they say once you reach
that point it's not a good situation to
be it basically means that those who
hold government debt are never really
going to be paid back they may be paid
back but the value of the dollar that
they are paid back in will be far less
than the dollar they used to purchase
the debt we'll see. other fun facts about
Morocco and Africa in general in
the next 50 years Africa will be the
only continent in the world that is
growing every other continent, continents
in Asia, Europe, North and South America
all of those continents will be will be
declining and Africa will be the only
growing continent so Morocco is a great
place to be for the next 50 years
especially since Morocco has already
established itself as a gateway into
Africa in terms of technology, language,
commerce Africa is a great place to be
for the future things about the Moroccan
economy and the structure. taxes here are
actually pretty high
they're not very competitive when you
talk about the global market. corporate
taxes personal income taxes employment
taxes they're fairly high there is a 20%
tax value-added for services and
products there are some variations when
it comes to areas of tourism and basic
economic needs like food utilities
electricity but in general Morocco could
be a lot more competitive when it comes
to taxes and regulations they're quite
strict labor laws when you hire someone
it's fairly difficult to to fire them or
to lay them off Morocco has very strong
protections for for labour and if you
feel the need to lay someone off you
need to pay at least one month's salary
up to two months of salary for every
year that they work for you so that can
be a fairly large burden on a business
especially if that business is going
through tough times Ryan what do you
have to add in terms of the Moroccan
economy the culture the the general
atmosphere for doing business here? I
think there's great opportunities in
that it's an unsaturated market so it's
one of the reasons why I'm here I
recognize that if I can come to a place
like this I can be a big fish in a small
pond with what I'm doing with being a
coach and facilitator and educator with
my native language English there's
opportunities there but other businesses
are the same you know I've met guys who
have come to Casablanca to start a
business that they're originally from
Sweden and they came here because they
realized the type of industry that
they're in this was an opportunity and
where they were was completely saturated
tons of competition some of the
challenges that I can see one of them is
language I know that keeps some
companies away because Morocco has that
that added challenge of the role of
French and Arabic and when you're
dealing with a lot of international
companies they've chosen to operate in
English and to go through the hassle of
doing business in these other languages
really restricts who they can hire it
limits communication between the offices
here in Morocco and
Global offices and it really adds it
really adds an extra burden another
challenge can be the mindset there's
companies who struggle finding employees
that will do more than the bare minimum
there's a lot of people who would like
to be told exactly what their job
requirements are and then that's it they
don't plan on doing much beyond that
they'd like to operate within the limits
of their job and there isn't enough
proactivity or initiative there can also
be a lot of blame shifting people not
taking responsibility people not taking
ownership of their mistakes they're
happy to take credit when they've done
something well but not happy to take the
blame when they've made an error the
country is very stable the country has a
lot of peace and a great
recent history which gives confidence
for for tourism and for other companies
that want to come and operate here the
government has done a great job
keeping things calm and for the most
part peaceful one challenge to consider
coming coming here to do business
is Ramadan it definitely has a huge
impact on productivity there's there's
just no question that it has an effect
on what people produce you get people
every now and then that try to deny this
and try to say no no we work just like
normal during Ramadan but that is
completely untrue now the month leading
up to Ramadan is wonderful because
everybody wants to get things done
everybody wants to close deals everybody
wants to have meetings and make progress
on projects so you know the month that
we have coming up here is one of the
most fruitful months of the entire year
but the reason is because people know
Ramadan is coming and then everything
grinds to a halt everything slows right
down and that same type of mentality can
happen during summer now this is true
all over the world I've worked in other
contexts where yeah during during summer
people are more relaxed that's when most
people like to take vacation kids are
generally off school and so families are
you know
spending more time together however I've
noticed it to be even more extreme here
that when when summer comes people have
that kind of cruzy mentality and it's
really hard to get things done to move
things forward during summer yeah I
would completely agree I feel like the
month of Ramadan and for good reason
people are fasting during all the
daylight hours so I completely
understand why you would have low energy
you have trouble doing deep work yeah if
you're fasting and then having big meals
late at night and and staying up late
and getting up early I can understand
why that would be a very low productive
time yeah but for an international
organization or even for a business
that's doing any kind of work
internationally if you're here in
Morocco it poses a huge challenge I
would say that the month of August is
almost worse than the month of Ramadan
I would feel like if you expect to get
anything done in the month of August you
are going to be disappointed yeah I
found that the month of July is okay
yeah but for sure the month of August
don't be expecting a rapid response
don't be expecting contracts to be signed
excited what you should be expecting is
that all your contacts are unreachable
yeah because a lot of Moroccans they
travel they go there's a family that are
far away its cultural and it's normal to
not be able to be reached during the
month of August if you're talking about
a 12 month year and you're talking about
two months of that year are unproductive
that is a challenge with being here yeah
because all your expenses are ongoing
your employees still need to get paid
you're still paying rent you still have
all your costs but your income is
severely reduced and so businesses that
are just starting up or that are running
on a tight margin there that's a huge
challenge to go these two of the twelve
months being starving for dollars
starving for Dirhams right one of the
ways you can minimize this impact is by
offering your employees all of their
paid time off during the month of
Ramadan or during the month of August
and even as an incentive offering them a
bit more to take it all at once as
opposed to during the other ten months
of the year where you really need to be
productive what you don't want is to
have an unproductive business during
Ramadan an unproductive business during
August and then an unproductive business
when your employees are then taking time
off during the other ten months of the
year yeah that's true
so incentivizing your employees to take
their time off during Ramadan and in August
is is a good way to overcome some of
these challenges have you heard of that
being done yeah yeah that's brilliant I
know that a lot of people in France do
the same thing they save up their paid
time off and they basically take it all
at once in the month of August
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now back to the show all
right let's make this a little more
specific what are some of the specific
industries that are coming in to Morocco
recognizing the opportunity that's here
with this unsaturated market right well
clearly the number one opportunity is
exporting so Morocco has a trade
agreement but both the United States
and Europe and there are a wide variety
of products that you can export to the
United States and the tariffs or the
taxes are very low for some products the
taxes are zero you can go to
marocexport.gov.ma to find a list of these
regulations and the details regarding
the trade agreements but things like
finished goods agricultural products
leather goods crafts Argon, the
essential oils there are many
opportunities to to export these things
to the United States and Europe Moroccan
government also has very favorable
situations towards those types of
companies you can get tax breaks there
are areas in the country that if you set
up your business there to do
specifically do exporting you can get
tax breaks and other incentives becoming
an exporter is definitely an opportunity
here in Morocco not only because of the
favorable government and trade relations
but because the cost of labour and the
cost of goods is actually fairly low
here so if you can take and agricultural
products and you can refine it and
package it you can create a fairly good
margin if you're going to ship that to
the United States or to Europe there
business in the United States you can
send your finished goods directly to
them and they will get them on Amazon
all the work that you really need to do
is producing those products and shipping
them to the United States and they will
do the rest
yeah and we'll put some of these links
to these resources on our website
Moroccopodcast.com - Ryan what other
opportunities are you seeing here
well those those opportunities are
taking advantage of physical products
and and labor opportunities but I even
see opportunities within the Moroccan
market so when you're selling to
Moroccan customers but with industries
that are that are undeveloped some
countries are are ahead of us in certain
areas and companies will recognize this
is the trend
this is the direction things are going
and we can be first movers or we can
take advantage of this lack of
saturation by entering the Moroccan
market so we're seeing this happen a lot
in the major cities in Morocco with
delivery services so Jumia foods and
Glovo are two examples of companies that
are really fighting over market share
right now because there there just isn't
the same kind of competition that there
is in other markets around the world
that are more developed people quickly
adapting to using smart phones and being
more comfortable making online purchases
and the technology catching up there's
an opportunity there these are companies
that are based in other places that have
come here to capitalize on the Moroccan
market yeah you mentioned technology
companies and and the implementation of
technology whether it's Careem or Glovo
or these other application mobile
application based companies we should
mention that there there is fairly good
infrastructure here when you talk about
mobile networks when you talk about
Internet access when you talk about that
kind of infrastructure it's fairly well
developed and it's fairly fast yeah so
if you need a reliable T1 or DSL
connection those are available here it's
very popular to have a call center here
Morocco and have very reliable stable
internet service you can get that here
and you can get it for a fairly
reasonable price mobile phone usage is
fairly widespread so if you're talking
about or you're thinking about doing a
business that's involving technology
it's involving internet access you can
absolutely do that here in Morocco
another thing I'm excited about with
Morocco is is the push towards renewable
energy I I follow a little bit of the
you know electric car and companies like
Tesla and I get excited about that that
possibility Morocco because they haven't
made oil a major industry here you know
some will tell you it's because they
don't have any some will tell you because
they haven't developed it but because
they haven't made oil a major industry
here they've put in the infrastructure
to to build these huge solar plants and
to me that's an opportunity for the
future that renewable energy could be
become a huge export here in Morocco
that solar energy pretty
the Sahara Desert could be powering much
of southern Europe that could be
something one of the major exports that
that Morocco has to balance that out all
right the other area where there's a lot
of opportunity here in Morocco as
tourism Morocco is a beautiful country
it has oceans it has mountains and has
deserts Casablanca is in many ways an
international City has the restaurants
the infrastructure that you would expect
in a lot of the first world type cities
the costs here are relatively low when
you talk about traveling and talk about
tourism Morocco loves tourism they
encourage tourism it's like exporting
they love that as well so if you have a
business here that encourages foreigners
to come to the country and and stay here
and travel here and spend their money
here they love that you can put together
packages for let's say people from the
United States you advertise and
promotes Moroccan tourism in the United
States charge those customers in their
native currency like dollars you bring
them here to Morocco and you take them
on tour whether it's a desert tour or a
mountain tour you provide them lodging
and sightseeing and meals and you cover
all of that and there's a there's a
great opportunity to do that here the
other niche tourism opportunity is
medical tourism the medical
infrastructure here Morocco is fairly
good you can receive some of the best
treatments in the world here the doctors
many doctors are well trained and very
capable and they will provide services
at a fraction of the cost of what you
would pay in the United States or in
Asia now I know that Canada and Europe
have different kinds of health care
systems in terms of government
reimbursements but there can be wait
times mm-hmm yeah you could come to
Morocco and you can get first in line
yeah to have a hip replaced to have a
knee replaced
other kinds of voluntary surgeries
cosmetic surgeries dental surgeries you
can get greatly reduced high quality and
immediate service here in Morocco when
it comes to medical and dental tourism
so that's another great opportunity here
in Morocco yeah even having tests done I
mean sometimes in Canada sure it's free
but you might be waiting months and when
you could potentially have something
that requires treatment you know you're
waiting for months to get some kind of
scan or or results it's a real incentive
in some situations to to come over here
and get the tests done
same day or next day and get your
results right away because it's a
service that's offered and you're
willing to pay for it and the prices are
very reasonable yeah it was one of the
businesses I actually thought about
which was medical tourism recruiting
people in the United States and in Asia
that want knee or hip replacements
basically selling them a complete
package yeah airfare the surgery the
rehabilitation lodging food everything
in one package a six to eight week
package so they literally come here in
need of a replacement of a joint they
get that replacement they get the rehab
they get sent back and it's a one price
one-time fee and they don't have to
think or worry about anything else
while they're here I thought it might be
especially attractive to people who live
in cold climates in the winter yeah if
you want to get a away and you want to
come to a mild climate like yeah we have
here in Casablanca or Morocco you could
have 20 degrees Celsius weather in
January in February and you could get
your joint replaced and you can head
back to your native country just in time
for spring so yeah we have a lot of
Canadians that spend the winter we call
them snowbirds they travel down to
Arizona or they travel to Florida choose
to escape and we see some Europeans
doing that here will you go down to
Agadir you're gonna find French people
you're gonna find Dutch people
they're typically older retirement age
and that's a great opportunity rather
than going to Florida this summer let's
go down to Agadir get the hip replaced
and still get our warmth and rest in
you've been listening to the Business
in Morocco Podcast my name is Ryan Kirk
here with my co-host Ryan Maimone if you
enjoyed this episode be sure to
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cover on the podcast fill out the form
on Moroccopodcast.com or email us at
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theme music is Lovely Day by Bill
Withers used under Creative Commons and
we hope you'll have a lovely day doing
business in Morocco and we'll see you
next time

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