Members on the move – interview with Izaskun Gurruchaga
Members on the move
Izaskun Gurruchaga Marketing and Strategy Consultant
By Theresa Mills
“Disastrous. Catastrophic. It’s a great time to start a business!” This is how marketing and strategy consultant Izaskun Gurruchaga views the current state of affairs in Spain.
Izaskun moved to Barcelona 12 years ago after a successful marketing career in the Basque Country. She spent nine years running successful businesses with a partner, then, after a change in personal circumstances, ventured out on her own. Izaskun decided to use her experience in large corporations and small companies to help other people set up their own businesses.
“I help ordinary people start small businesses. Having worked in large companies, I understand how businesses work, but the information can often be complex and confusing for the average person. I help them understand this advice and teach them how to put it into practice.”
Gurruchaga says that, despite the crisis, many small businesses are actually growing at the moment. “We have a saying inSpain– ‘tener cintura.’ This basically means that you must be agile and flexible and able to adapt to new situations. Business owners who are willing to adapt will survive. Imagine if you have a current that is constantly pulling you left, but you want to go right. At some point, you must rethink the direction you are headed in order to succeed.”
“I think that in hard times, people become tougher and start to use their minds more. They realize they must do things out of necessity. After the civil war in Spain, many people started their own businesses, very much like now. In Europe, we have always had a security net, but this is running out for some people and they’re forced to react differently.”
“The most important thing to do right now is to be aware of what is happening in the market and adopt new strategies. Small business owners must revisit the basic principles of marketing: place, product, promotion and price. If one of these areas isn’t working, then they must change the way they are doing things in order to get a different result. The product La Vida Es Bella is a perfect example of this. Clever entrepreneurs took a product that travel agents have been selling for years – weekend getaways. They repackaged the product, found a more effective method of distribution and, as a result, they have been hugely successful. You see them in shops all overBarcelona.”
Izaskun believes that the crisis can actually be good for people. “People are used to having a secure job, but now many realize they can’t sit around at home waiting for opportunities to come their way. They have to get out there and create opportunities. This is why networking events are so valuable. Events like the Business Lunch are a great way to make contacts and to create a professional exchange where people help each other. Networking events are also great for word of mouth referrals and to establish a positive reputation in the community, which now, is more important than ever.’
For more information on Izaskun Gurruchaga, visit her LinkedIn page.