Last week I had a great experience in Sofia, where Nikola invited me to be one of the speakers in a seminar called How to sell successfully in Romania and Greece. I gladly accepted and looked at as a great opportunity to meet quite a few smart and dynamic small business owners seeking to expand their business in Romania.

Obviously I was invited to speak about tax implication in Romania and especially VAT. I therefore anticipated lots of questions and a high interest into our (Romanian) tax framework and prepared accordingly, as if I was offering a face to face consulting service, for a client starting the business the same day. Together with Metodi (Bulgaria) and Nikos (Greece) we covered all they need to know to sell in Athens, Sofia or Bucharest and stay compliant with the local tax rules.

What I did not anticipated was how educative such event could be in return. Thanks to Nikola, the organizer, the content was very technically oriented, focused on relevant and valuable information shared by more than 20 speakers, highly qualified in logistic services, IT, tax, marketing or payment platforms.

If I would want to develop an online shop now, I do not necessarily know everything to be known, but I know the right people to ask and work with. It seems to be a difficult business but if you choose the right services your chances of success are high. All the solutions were on the table: sales platforms and integrated logistic/courier services, content marketing, specialized translation (culturally adequate), outsourced call centers, online payment vehicles.

The event definitely answered the question in its Title.

The second lesson I learned is not something new, but something we are tempted to easily forget.  Most people I talked to during the coffee breaks were telling me that they need to find new markets as the local one cannot cover their potential. For many, selling to Romania was not an option until they had no other opportunity to develop locally and reached the limits there. This is a fine example of how a very tough competition could be the basis of future business development.

Now, thanks to those circumstances, their business may enter a completely different age and moves to a much larger scale. The lesson: it is all about you and how capable you are to adapt to any kind of environment. Opportunities are everywhere, such as a great masterpiece can be hidden in just a piece of rock, you just need to be smart enough to find it. Of course, this is applicable in our relatively free world.

To conclude, I had a good week, a great experience, got to talk with many smart people, hope to do it again soon.

By Eduard Pavel