Episode 80 Transcript

Okay welcome to Episode 80 of the Business in Morocco Podcast today
we're going to be talking about business ideas for 2020 and beyond
the world is not what it once was and things have changed dramatically
over the last three to four months and so Ryan and I
are going to be sharing
what we've been thinking about what we've been doing practically and some ideas that you can apply into your situation
and your business life so Ryan good to see you
how are you doing and what's new uh good
Ryan uh things are well it's uh we're in summertime right now so it's it's hot all over Morocco but fortunately we're allowed to travel over as of the recording of this episode
we are allowed to travel
to most of morocco and the beaches are open
parks pools so happy about that happy that a lot of these businesses that have suffered tremendously during
confinement are allowed to reopen and and are
getting restarted um for me personally uh business is still growing still restarting but slowly
some of the clients that i had going into the coronavirus they they have not restarted their
businesses yet um and some have just closed like
they're just they're done
um so you know one of the things we're going to talk about in this episode is you know maybe some
of the lessons learned from confinements
and
how to adjust our our businesses to
be more durable uh in case something
like this should
should happen again happen again but
thanks be to god our family
is healthy and um
you know we can still pay the rent and
so
you know things are not as bad as they
could be um
but yeah what about you what's going on
well things have changed dramatically
dramatically for me the last few weeks
i'm actually in canada right now
so i took a repatriation flight with my
family
we had planned on coming back to canada
for
a visit and with all the uncertainty
related to flights and travel we had
flights cancelled and pushed back
and so eventually we took one of the
repatriation flights that were being
offered with royal air morocc
and came to canada a few weeks ago
canada has a mandatory quarantine so we
were
stuck indoors again it felt like going
backwards you know after
after being locked down in casa for so
long and then finally tasting a bit of
freedom
going to the beach you know my boys were
back in football and going to the cafes
and then going back to being in
confinement was a little
little strange but it's over now
finished the 14 days
and now we're free been spending time
with my family
so thankfully it's uh yeah it's good to
be here
yeah that's good i i feel for you it's
it's so weird
all the different policies around the
world in terms of you know
who has to quarantine whether it has to
be in a specific location
or you can just do at home or or nothing
at all
yeah so you know this is one of the real
challenges of the future is uncertainty
my daughter asked me the other day she
said daddy can we go to india
and i'm like no
because i'm just not gonna go there with
the possibility of being there while all
the borders are closed
you know like i'm in the i'm in a
certain country of the world and
suddenly there's a there's an outbreak
of cases so they close all the borders
and we can't go back to where we live we
can't even leave that country
right so to me this is going to be
an anchor around the neck of tourism
until they can get this whole thing
sorted out because
i just don't really want to go anywhere
knowing that i could be trapped there
tourism and business travel i've heard
of a few corporations that have somebody
trapped
or they were trapped um outside of
morocco there was a
a guy i heard about that was in in qatar
qatar he was there for you know months
because morocco
was locked down and so his company's
paying for him to be in a hotel
and you know all his food and everything
until he could get a flight back to
morocco they're footing that bill and so
companies are going to be reluctant
to send somebody to meet a client or to
attend a conference or anything like
that
until they're confident that they'll
have freedom to travel
out and back in without any issues yeah
the world was on a trajectory
of more integration more globalization
more complex supply chains and
dependency
on trade like that was where it was
going
you know we talked about it on the
podcast you know whether it was uh
talking about china
or turkey or other uh trade relations
the the trade agreement between morocco
and the united states
and it's almost like overnight that has
gone from
a u-turn it has made a u-turn yeah
what countries are thinking about right
now is while
that confinement was terrible you know
maybe we shouldn't produce a hundred
percent of our medication in china
yeah maybe we should think about doing
something else or
companies who had disruptions in their
supply chain because
everything that they produced was in one
location
that was completely shut down um
you know if you listen to a lot of the
people who talk about the global economy
it was designed for optimization and
efficiency
meaning the best quality product at the
lowest
possible price right now what people are
talking about
is flexibility and durability
as opposed to efficiency and
optimization
um right so you think about the
opportunity that this creates with every
challenge with every problem
there's also on the flip side in
opportunity so
previously uh you and morocco may not
have been able to compete with the
prices
of someone producing something in in
spain or
in china and importing it into morocco
just the amount of volume that they're
producing or the cost of labor or the
taxes they're paying
it may not have been a viable business
in morocco
but when the supply chain is disrupted
and companies start to think wow we've
been
vulnerable because we've been depending
100
on this one supplier they may create
opportunities because now you could
produce something locally within morocco
more sustainable business model that
even though your prices may be higher
companies might be likely to do business
with you or
part of their business with you so that
they're diversified and they're not
solely dependent on one supplier and
vulnerable to a disruption like
covid so that it creates opportunities
for new businesses to start producing
things locally rather than solely
imported
yeah absolutely in morocco there's no
reason that a lot of the things that
are produced in india or china or
vietnam or taiwan
that a lot of those products can't be
produced here i'm not saying that
everything
can be produced here but um certainly
you know some of the less expensive i
like toys
um there's no reason you can't have a
toy factory
in morocco um producing
relatively high quality toys and
shipping them
out overseas i mean there's a lot of tax
incentives and advantages to doing stuff
like that
so it's definitely something to uh to
think about
uh during this it's something i've never
seen
in canada sorry it's i've never seen
empty shelves you know but even even now
we're recording this towards the end of
july and kristen and i were
in a mall here and looking for
some kids clothes and there's empty
shelves
like we were in a major major retailer
north american retailer and there's
whole sections of the store that are
kind of blocked off because they just
haven't been able to get
the supplies from the us you know
there's just
there's slow downs because american
factories are operating at a slower
capacity
but then also the imports have been
challenged and so
it's it's incredible and i think a lot
of businesses are rethinking it
yeah so this podcast is going to be
about
thinking about business solutions and
ideas for morocco
the first thing that i want to mention
is if you have a business
you should immediately be thinking about
renegotiating any kind of deals you have
with suppliers or providers of any kind
whether it's your retail space your
commercial space
contracts for provisioning supplies
stuff like that you should really be
looking at and
renegotiating them in order to keep your
business
alive um and now is
there's never been a better time to
renegotiate a contract because everyone
understands
how bad the economy is and how how bad
the confinement was for business
so it's something you should definitely
be considering and it goes into my
second point which is
i think companies have taken a really
hard look at their
expenses and they want to reduce their
fixed
cost as much as possible and
create more variable costs
what i mean by that is i think that
companies will be outsourcing more
of what they need to do business and
that creates an opportunity for
entrepreneurs we have talked about it on
this
podcast if you don't have a job you
should get your auto entrepreneur card
if you do have a job and you don't like
that job get your auto entrepreneur card
as a way to be flexible um
for example let's say you worked at a
bank
or a telecom company or something lideck
or something like that
going into the crisis and it's shut down
and you lost your job well if you had
your auto entrepreneur card
you could have started a boutique on
jumea during the confinement started
selling things on jamia
within a week or two it just would have
given you the flexibility because
one of the statutes of auto
entrepreneurship is is selling online
you can do it so
you know ecommerce is the future we've
talked about this
but there's no reason not to have the
auto entrepreneur card
and to look around the market and say
you know where can i buy things in bulk
for cheap and resell them for a bit
higher price
um and make them available online
uh so that's i think that people should
seriously consider getting our
entrepreneur
and offering services to companies
that maybe right now they have an
employee for but they don't want to have
an employee for
because maybe they believe confinement
and the economy is going to get shut
down again
yeah so thinking about companies that
are going to try to shift from fixed
costs to variable costs
to outsource some of those positions can
you think of any
any examples can we brainstorm any ideas
that may create opportunities like
i know there's people who there's
companies that have like a permanent
driver
on staff because people are constantly
going to the airport or needing to go to
meetings with clients
and then that driver was just a fixed
cost that
was being paid without having any work
for months and months
anything else that that could create
opportunities
uh sales absolutely sales um
uh potentially uh like maintenance and
cleaning and sanitation
now there already are companies that
that do
that kind of stuff uh yep and security
is another one um
potentially like provision like
provisioning like buying things
if you start a company that basically
sources materials
office supplies these kinds of things
instead of having someone in charge
of running that at the that's an
employee
you could be an outsourced company that
you know the water the snacks the coffee
like organizing lunches
and stuff like that you know that could
be
something that's outsourced i was also
thinking about commercial space you know
a lot of companies will be
more open to remote work or employees
not coming in every single day of the
week
reducing their their footprint so
they're not renting as much space
having more flexible working spaces
within the office
so that may create an opportunity for
more co-working spaces
you know someone might live in an
apartment and have two young kids
and so they're happy not to commute into
the office five days a week
but in order to be effective they really
need a space outside of their home
they might be able to go to a you know
co-working space just down the street
and that could be an opportunity as well
yeah absolutely human resources i think
recruiting
there are already recruiting firms that
are operating here in morocco
and you know it's a variable cost
meaning i pay per employee as opposed to
having someone on staff
someone has a salary position
who you know may not necessarily be
motivated
um and
you know may not be needed full time
so that's the example of taking a fixed
cost which is a salary
and turning into a variable cost where i
only pay when i actually need a new
person
yeah um
something else uh wanted to talk about
was
trying to make uh your business model
more confinement
proof and you know if you're
if you're in any kind of sales of any
kind of hard goods
then you absolutely need an
online footprint right now you need a
you know website
you need a boutique you don't actually
have to have an e-commerce site you can
be selling on some of these other
platforms whether it's
facebook marketplace or on instagram
or you could be selling on
on jumia i mean right now you can run
ads on facebook
and you can connect a whatsapp business
account to the ad so that when people
click on the ad it opens up whatsapp and
they send a direct message
so you as a business could be selling
your products on whatsapp
and on through facebook messaging
through facebook ads
you could be getting new impressions and
customers
and you could literally be selling your
entire catalog
of products through whatsapp and you
could be outsourcing the delivery
through glovo through amana through some
of the services that are already
available and so you could be running
this empire from your bedroom exactly
and if you're if you're doing cash on
delivery it's a little bit more
complicated but if you're
simply accepting wire transfers and bank
payments then
you're exactly right um
having someone else do the logistics is
is not actually that complicated
so you know it is still a mystery to me
why uh you know there are some of these
places that
that don't offer their products online
but that's definitely a way to to be
confinement proof because
as far as i know and i'm i'm fairly
certain about this
uh jumia did not close for a single day
during confinement like they were
working and delivering and fulfilling
orders
this entire year and if you look at the
future
and part of your business is not in
e-commerce whether it's selling items
online or providing
services online webinars
trainings classes
it's not like you were warned you
weren't warned i mean
yeah if your business depends a hundred
percent
on face-to-face interactions
you're in a very vulnerable place right
yeah one analogy that can help
illustrate this is if you imagine
a a table and it just has
one leg you know it's supported by one
leg the table is going to be
very very wobbly and unsecure
unstable and if anything threatens that
one leg
everything collapses whereas when you
start adding legs you start adding a
second
and a third and then a fourth leg
it means if one leg is chopped off you
might feel the effects of that
but it'll still stand up it'll still
survive
and so if you're even if the the
initially
the online revenue stream is small
it's a beginning and you can focus on
that if if you need to if there's
another confinement or another
disruption
in face-to-face traffic like we've just
experienced this last quarter
but this also applies to our personal
income situations you know you think
about your household income
if you have just one salary and that's
the
one source of money coming into your
household
then you personally are vulnerable or
your family is vulnerable
and so to diversify your income streams
to have your job to have your your
business that's bringing money in
but then to have other things that
you're starting to develop other sources
of income
it protects you it gives you more
security if one of those streams is
disrupted
there's still other sources of income
coming in
that's one of the things uh this
confinement's made me think about a lot
and you know my one of my primary
businesses
being able to go and offer training to
people in person
you know booking seminars even traveling
to other countries to come and deliver
deliver content that being completely
eliminated makes you really rethink
okay maybe this is i'm vulnerable
and so one of my goals well while being
in canada is to grow
my real estate business you know to
purchase
homes that families rent and then
with each home that i can purchase it
adds an income stream
that even if my personal ability to give
training
is reduced and that income is is slowed
down to a trickle
there's other forms of of revenue coming
into my life to keep my family afloat
during
hard times like confinement
yeah i've done the exact same thing so i
had my my
principal business you know business
consulting marketing customer
acquisition
that i do out of my office here but i've
rented the kitchen
in my office to an auto entrepreneur who
is
producing products out of that i have
the intention of of
renting a classroom to a teacher
um i have talked to a university
about teaching a class
and i'm now talking to a global brand
about importing their products and
selling them here so
you are 100 right um having more legs
on the table makes it more stable and it
makes you less vulnerable to
things like confinement but ryan let's
talk
a little bit more about your expertise
in real estate
tell us what you you want to do and what
your vision is
um while you're there in canada
well one of the things that's important
to understand
with your personal finances is you need
to have assets
so when you first start out graduating
from university
you have knowledge you have time you
have energy
but you don't have any money right and
so you begin
usually trading your time for money
and you have income you have money
coming in now
with that you have the option to take a
portion of your income
and set it aside to purchase assets
to purchase something that will bring
some money back
into your pocket to invest it somewhere
so there's there's some moroccans that
invest in a business
you know they might just give money to a
friend as a loan or
to own a portion of the company that
they're starting up and to expect to
earn a share of the profits
you can invest in the in stocks there's
a you know a small
but possible stock option and then real
estates
um so there's there's these
possibilities to buy something
that will bring money into your pocket
there's also the opportunity to create
assets
so people build websites they start
their own businesses
they you know you might write it write a
book
or some sort of online training course
and you've created this asset that can
then be sold again and again
now for buying assets one of the the
strategies that i've used
is to purchase real estate and then to
rent it out and it's
like a small business now i'm wanting to
expand this
but i'm limited in my resources i only
have so
much money now what i can do is create
joint venture partnerships so i have
some time i have some expertise i've
done this before i've bought a house
i've renovated it i've gone back to the
bank and
refinanced it taken some more equity out
with the new value of the home
and rented it to people and so the the
renters are covering all the expenses
and over time it appreciates in value
and it's a very very good investment now
there's others who think
yeah i'd love to invest in real estate
but i don't know what to do i don't know
what to purchase i don't have time to
deal with tenants
to manage it what do i do when there's a
plumbing issue
i don't want to get that phone call and
they might have money but they don't
have the expertise or they don't have
the time and so together we can form a
partnership
where we're both winning and so i'm
looking to
find more joint venture partners that
want to invest
passively in real estate so that we can
have a win-win agreement
but in order to do that i need to give
investors confidence that i know what
i'm doing
and that their money's going to be safe
with me and that they're going to
earn a good return they're going to
they're going to make profit in the long
run
and in order to do that i need to
establish myself
as an expert i need to have some
authority
in the real estate space now this
applies to anyone who wants to
to have some sort of business like this
where you need to consider
how can i establish expertise and
authority in my
field that when people are looking for
somebody to give advice
or a place to put their money or they're
looking for a product or service
i come to mind my company comes to mind
how do i establish expertise and what
i'm planning on doing well in canada is
interviewing some other experts in the
real estate industry here
and by hosting them by asking them
questions
some of their authority and expertise is
associated with me it kind of rubs off
on me
i'm in this space just like we're doing
on this podcast
you know we're we're inviting guests who
are experts in their field we're
interviewing them
and we become associated with them the
brand business and morocco podcast
gets to kind of be associated with with
their authority in the space
and their network hears about us and
over time our authority grows
and anyone can do that in your field and
in your industry
yeah i immediately think uh of
how to apply what you're saying to
morocco and some of our listeners
may be saying well you know i don't have
any money and i don't have any
contacts you know how am i going to get
involved
in real estate here in morocco the first
thing i would say
is the the rental
especially the rental of property here
morocco is a terrible
customer experience and and it's
terrible for everyone almost everyone
that i've talked to it's always a
terrible experience
so when you identify a terrible customer
experience there is always an
opportunity
well what can i do they may be thinking
what can i do to get involved well
here's one thing that you can do
there are literally people with with
spaces for rent
in morocco that they put a listing on
these websites
and there's no pictures and there's no
description
there's just like a phone number yeah
and i'm thinking like are you serious
like is this how you want to represent
your property like this is how you're
going to attract people to come and rent
it
so let's say you're an entrepreneur and
you're thinking how do i get into this
industry
well what i would do is i would go onto
a veto and mubawab
and maracanals and saruti
and i would start contacting these
listings that have terrible listings and
i would say look
i'm an entrepreneur i take professional
photos and i write descriptions and i
will publish your listing on all
of these different platforms and might
charge a flat fee of 100 neurons
something like that and just start doing
that and guess what's going to happen
eventually people are going to reply and
be like oh yeah that sounds like a great
deal let's do it like yeah
go ahead and meet me uh at this location
and you'll start getting a portfolio of
places that you have
you know created these online
announcements and you're going to get
your start to meet
these property owners and you're going
to meet these agencies
and you'll start developing these
networks and these relationships
because one thing is true
if you can just take good photos and
write good descriptions
and make your appointments meaning be on
time
you are already in the very top the
elite
of the real estate industry here in
morocco because everyone knows
it's very common to make an appointment
then they don't show up
or they don't answer their phone or
you know the apartment or the the villa
is not where they said it was
it doesn't you know it's completely
wrong so
there's a lot of opportunity in this
industry and if you do a really good job
at that
eventually you'll get noticed by one of
these people that you're talking about
that has a lot of money that wants to
invest in real estate
and doesn't have the time or the
expertise and you can say hey look at
all this that i've done
right exactly yeah gary vaynerchuk talks
about this as like
you host the party you know if you want
to become friends with the cool kids in
high school
you host the party you know invite them
hey you guys can come over and party at
my house
and then you become associated with
those cool people
and it's just a simple funny way of
describing what what we're saying that
it's a way to
get into the space start rubbing
shoulders with the
the key players the key stakeholders and
you become one of those influencers you
become an authority
in that industry so it's a way to to
grow a brand and you can begin
even when you know nothing and no known
one
you know you can begin yeah and it
really all comes down to
uh courage you know
are you willing to be rejected
yeah are you willing to go and talk to
someone
and offer them something and have them
tell you no
yeah because honestly most people
they're not willing to do that
yeah yeah it takes some grit so
you know it's the same thing for me with
with morock treasure youtube channel i
i approach all these other different
influencers or business people and say
hey i'd love to come and make a video
with you
tell us about what you're doing the
majority of people say no because they
look at my channel and they think oh
you're you're small time you you haven't
done this with anybody before
but eventually someone says yes and you
do the interview and you do the best job
you can you make them look good and
highlight what they're doing
and now the next yes will be easier
because they can look and see okay yeah
i can see an example and someone else
said yes
and so maybe i'll say yes too and you
start to gain momentum
but you got to be willing to to
persevere through that rejection
and approach a whole bunch of people and
i'm going to repeat the process in the
canadian real estate space here
yeah uh a fear of failure really stops
people from doing
anything um and
you know if you're desperate enough then
then you'll do it um you know i see
uh moroccans that work hard and are
created courageous
you know all the time and so i know that
it's out there i know that there are
good examples
but you know psychologically it's the
thing that you really have to get over
and understand that the best sales
people in the world
have like a 10 success rate
like if you work for a company and you
close like 10
of leads like wow
right that's amazing yeah
so that's nine out of ten that's a
let's say no yeah exactly
yes i i heard somewhere the yes
lives in the land of no meaning you have
to travel
through a lot of towns and villages you
have to you have to hear a lot of no's
before you get to that yes
and so just like a little saying that
helps
encourage me when i'm facing rejection
just keep going because
you're you're entering into the land of
no and that's where yes can be found
it's the key so it's the one thing that
all successful people have in common
they just didn't give up they kept going
they kept working they kept engaging
um and they never stopped yeah and
hopefully our listeners are picking
up these themes in the stories that
we're sharing with all the interviews
we've been doing
so since confinement started we've
really doubled down
on the guest interviews and we're
bringing in such
incredible moroccan business leaders
entrepreneurs
courageous startupers and you can see
some of these principles that we're
sharing lived out don't take our word
for it
listen to those interviews and see it in
action some of them
are early on and they're still figuring
things out and they're
they're taking risks they're starting
things they don't know if it will
succeed
but we've also had lots of guests who
have succeeded
and can share the risks that they took
10 years ago or 15
20 years ago that have paid off and so
if you haven't been
listening to those interviews make sure
you're not missing them because they
bring these principles to life
absolutely all right
partying thoughts 2020 is a year of
transition and change
and we need to be able to adjust and
and pivot and do new things things that
we weren't planning on doing
and so i i hope all of our listeners
will
diversify their their income sources uh
diversify their their suppliers their
sources of revenue within their business
and become more durable
become recession proof become
pandemic proof and be be able to
succeed in the long run no matter what
the world throws at us
that's great advice

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