Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mazda to possibly build plant in Mexico

In automotive news, Mazda plans on building a plant in an emerging market to meet demands for global car sales.

Mazda is looking at several sites in Mexico, but no location has been confirmed as of yet.

The plant in Mexico would serve the Central and South American markets and would host production of smaller models.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ingles para negocios - buscas un traductor?

Si estas buscando un traductor de negocios, llegaste al lugar indicado. A lo mejor hablas ingles, pero cuando estás en una llamada de conferencia te pierdes completamente…. O que tal si tu cliente tiene un acento del sur de los Estados Unidos que ni la mayoría de los estadounidenses entiende??! Quieres mandar un mail en ingles, pero pasas horas y horas analizándolo antes de mandarlo? El ingles para negocios no es fácil. Yo te puedo ayudar con eso para que te enfoques en lo más importante – TU NEGOCIO.

¿Que te puedo ofrecer como traductora/interprete de ingles?

-Experiencia trabajando en los Estados Unidos y Mexico

-Conocimiento de los términos de negocios en ingles y español

-Una perspectiva que te puede ayudar a entender mejor a tus socios comerciales del extranjero

No dejes escapar una oportunidad de negocio por tu falta de ingles! Contáctame hoy para ver cómo te puedo ayudar a crecer tu negocio.

ingles para negocios, ingles de negocios, negocios internacionales,

Five reasons to consider exporting to Mexico from the US

Do you have a product that you are currently only selling in the US?  Here are five good reasons you should consider exporting to Mexico.

1.  Proximity: 
If you are already selling to your neighbor to the north, why not sell to your neighbor to the south?  Mexico is a convenient export market for many reasons, but proximity is a big factor.  Shorter distances mean less money spent on freight and less time getting your goods from point A to point B.

2.  Mexico's love of foreign products:
Because Mexico has been exposed to products from the US for many years (more so after NAFTA went into effect), there is a perception of US goods being of high quality.  Use this perception to your advantage.

3.  Government assistance programs:
The US government has a number of programs for US exporters.  Contact the Department of Commerce for more information on BuyUSA and other export programs.  Also, look into your local Chambers of Commerce or Trade Associations to see if they have any matchmaking missions or free courses on exporting. 

4.  Additional revenue streams
If your domestic sales are stagnant, why not look abroad to increase your sales?  Many people get overwhelmed by the thought of exporting, but forget about the upside.  If there is a need for your products in Mexico, the sky is the limit on potential revenues.

5.  Trade agreements
NAFTA allows most American products to enter into Mexico duty free.  What does that mean to you as an exporter?  It means that you are going to be more competitive when it comes to pricing.  If someone in another country is trying to sell the same product into Mexico, but their product has a 20% tariff, that automatically adds another layer to their pricing that you don't have to deal with. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rediscover Rosarito

Today I am blogging live from Rosarito, Baja California Norte, so I thought it was only appropriate to mention a very interesting program I read about awhile back.  Rediscover Rosarito is a partnership between the city of Rosarito and Emerson College which is described on their website as an "ongoing image restoration campaign". 

The campaign aims to once again attract tourism and investment to Rosarito, a city hit hard by the effects of the media reports on narcoviolence.  Rosarito thrives on foreign investment and tourism, so when the media says it's unsafe to go to Mexico, the local economy takes a nosedive off of a cliff.  Many people don't realize that Rosarito is home to Fox Studios Baja, where movies such as Titanic and Master and Commander were filmed.

To visit the site, click here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Retail in Mexico: Cherokee to sell Sideout brand through Soriana

In this week's retail news, Cherokee, a "California lifestyle brand", has signed a 3 year agreement to sell and market their Sideout brand through Soriana.  The deal will include men's, women's, and children's clothing as well as footwear and accessories. 

Soriana has also announced the opening of 5 new stores in November.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Groupon in Mexico

Many of you have probably heard of Groupon, a Chicago based company that is one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.  Groupon has recently entered the Mexican market and has been off to a great start.

Groupon takes local businesses, mainly restaurants and other service providers, and sends out an e-mail to its members who can take advantage of huge discounts by purchasing the offer of the day.  The offers are valid for a limited time and only a limited number are available.  For example, a meal at a local restaurant that costs $200 MXN might be on sale for $40 MXN.  Groupon is free to join. 

There are a number of Groupon competitors sprouting up in Mexico including Groupalia, Cuponzote, BuzzUrbano, and OferCity. 

I've personally used the service and think it is a great idea - and one that is sure to be around a long time in Mexico. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Will pay vs won't pay - pricing your services

I listened to an interesting webinar the other night where the topic of discussion was about business ideas and whether or not they are viable.  One of the key points was people's willingness to pay. 

Many people get so caught up in the fact that they have a great idea, they don't think about whether anyone will pay for it.  Its really important to determine who your target market is and whether or not they CAN pay and WILL pay.

I'm sure you can think of examples from your own life.  There are things that you don't have time to do, don't want to do, or don't have the skills to do that you will pay for.  In fact, if you can find someone to do one of those things you can't/won't do and they do it well, my guess is that you would hire them over and over again as the value they provide you is enormous. 

For example, if you can't speak Spanish, are you going to spend hours or days trying to piece together (incorrectly) a letter on BabelFish?  You just wasted your valuable time to do something wrong when you could have paid someone to do it right in a fraction of the time.  

Think about the services you offer and whether or not you are providing real value.  If you are offering a service people are reluctant to pay for, don't worry - just tweak your idea or find a different market. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Temporarily Importing Your Car Into Mexico

If you've been looking for good (and correct!) info on temporarily importing your car into Mexico, then look no further.  Not only do I keep up with the immigration and importation laws, I have personally done this twice. 

The first thing I want to address is this rumor that if you temporarily import your car into Mexico, you must drive it back to the border every six months.  This is false.  I repeat:


The most important thing to note about importing your car is that your car is legally allowed to remain in Mexico as long as your immigration status is valid.  This means your FMT, FM2, FM3 must be current (not expired).  You may renew your tourist or work/investors visa at any local immigration office.

The temporary vehicle import permit should cost you around $48 USD and you can get it at any Banjercito office (or online). 

Make sure you have copies of your passport, your title and your insurance.  You must have insurance that covers your car in Mexico.  The car must also be in your name. 

Any questions?  Feel free to e-mail me!  It really is an easy process and I've seen other sites make it sound waaaay too complicated.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bimbo buys Sara Lee bakery division!

I'm a little late posting this, but last week Bimbo, Mexico's largest food company, acquired the bakery unit of Sara Lee.  This is huge news.  Bimbo has been buying up smaller bakeries for awhile now, but the purchase of Sara Lee's bakery division makes Bimbo a force to reckon with globally. 

Some details of the deal:

  • Grupo Bimbo will pay Sara Lee $959 million USD for its bakery division
  • All of Sara Lee bakery units 13,000 employees will be transferred over to Bimbo and it is reported that no domestic employees will lose their jobs.
  • The deal includes 41 US plants and the rights to the Sara Lee brand in fresh baked goods globally, excluding Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Bimbo's 2009 revenue was $8.6 billion USD
  • The deal is expected to finalize in the first part of 2011

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When in Mexico...expect the unexpected

I get e-mails from a lot of people asking me what they should be ready for when doing business or moving to Mexico.  There are so many pieces of advice that come to mind, but I think this one sums it up:


I don't care how organized you are, how well you think you know the rules, you are going to constantly be surprised.  What do I mean?  I mean you go to turn in paperwork for something one day and they tell you you are missing a document.  You return the next day, document in hand, only to be told that they only process those documents on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (and it's a Thursday).  Or you get your corporate bank account, only to find out that in order to get a check card you have to fill out another set of documents (when you assumed it came with opening the account).

The key is not to let these little speed bumps in the road of life get in your way.  Laugh it off, say VIVA MEXICO, and keep charging ahead!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work schedules in Mexico

One of the things that expats always notice when they move to Mexico is the difference in the work schedules.  While many businesses in the US require employees to start around 7:30 or 8, in Mexico it is not uncommon to have a 9 or 9:30am start time.  In Mexico City, many employers have changed the start times to accomodate for the horrendous traffic, so while they ask their employees to come in at 7:30, they let them leave at 4pm. 

If you are driving through any major Mexican metropolis at night you'll notice people in office buildings working at 7, 8, 9pm.  Again, sometimes they stay late to avoid traffic and sometimes they just stay because they are still working.  Mexico has a collectivist culture where there is a real emphasis on following the group and social norms, so breezing by your boss and coworkers' offices at 5pm and waving goodbye is seen as a big no-no. No one may say anything to you, but believe me, they notice.

Expats often ask "Why do Mexicans work such long hours?"  There are a number of reasons that the Mexican work day seems longer than the typical workday in the US, Canada and Europe.  One of the reasons is of course the traffic.  Why spend 2 hours on the Periferico when you can get some work done and then get home in half an hour instead?  Another big reason - longer lunch breaks.  One hour is standard in most businesses, but once you get to an executive level it is not uncommon to spend 2 hrs out at lunch.  Lastly, more social time in Mexican offices.  Unlike many places in corporate America, where people have their nose to the grindstone in their offices and rarely take breaks, Mexican employees like to socialize and talk to their coworkers and bosses throughout the day, thus making the workday longer. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mexico's Trade Agreements: Is Brazil Next??

As Mexico has started talking to Brazil about a possible trade agreement once again, I thought I would round up some interesting articles about Mexico trade that I've read recently.

Israel, Austria...Mexico? from The Economist

Mexico, Brazil Start Trade Negotiations from BusinessWeek

Texas Reaches a Milestone in Trade with Mexico from The Houston Chronicle

Cuba and Mexico Sign an Agreement to Boost Bilateral Trade from the Cuba News Agency

It's a very encouraging sign to see Mexico in talks with Brazil and Cuba for trade agreements.  Mexico is one of the countries with the most trade agreements in the world.  As Mexico becomes a bigger player in the international markets with its exports, it will certainly help to boost the Mexican economy and hopefully lead to more job creation. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

How to Keep Yourself Motivated as an Expat Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is not always easy.  Especially if you have worked in a big office all of your life and break out to start working on your own, the transition can be difficult. 

Here are some ways to keep yourself motivated if you are working alone:

1.  Music - make a playlist of all of your favorite songs, songs that get you motivated or make you want to work harder (Eye of the Tiger, anyone?)

2.  Take breaks - just because you are working on your own business does not mean that you have to do it 24/7.  Studies show that people take breaks are more productive throughout the day.

3.  Connect with people outside the office - if there are meetups in your town or groups that you would be interested, go out and meet people!  Connecting with people online is great, but don't forget about the real world.  You never know who you will meet!

4.  Make a vision board - we all have things that we want to accomplish, but when we get overwhelmed with projects in our professional and personal lives we tend to lose sight.  Take a posterboard and clip words or pictures of goals you want to accomplish.  You will be amazed how much you accomplish if it is right there in a place you can see it over and over.

5.  Get a coach - If you talk to successful people, most of them will tell you that they all had someone who acted as a coach or mentor for them during their career.  I don't care how organized or focused you are, there will be times where you will need someone else to hold you accountable.  Life or business coaches are great because they can provide objective advice based on facts and encourage you to get rid of your limiting beliefs. 

6.  Remember how miserable you were at XYZ Company - Whenever you have a rough day or the doubts about being an entrepreneur start creeping in, think back to your worst day at a job you hated.  Think about the time where you had to stay late on your loved one's birthday, think about the time someone with less experience beat you out for the position you wanted, think about the time where you made the company millions of dollars and all you got was a pat on the back... Now breathe.  Appreciate the fact that you are no longer at your soul crushing job and get motivated to make it happen!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Border Crossing Opens in Mexico

The new border crossing is a 4 lane, $70 million dollar project, which was built to help alleviate congestion. 

The crossing is officially called "San Luis Rio Colorado II" and is located in San Luis Rio (the Mexican State of Sonora) and will connect to Yuma, Arizona. 

It is estimated that 220,000 vehicles will use the new border crossing on a daily basis.
The new port is approximately 5 miles to the east of the original "San Luis Rio Colorado" border crossing. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weekly Currency Update: Mexican Peso

The Mexican Peso is trading at $12.30 MXN = $1 USD

Events in the Mexican economy:

  • US Fed unveiled a new stimulus plan which helped strengthen the Mexican Peso
  • Mexico's central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, announced he will not rule out cutting interest rates
  • Many Mexican firms came out with strong 3rd quarter results this week

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Narco Violence and Americans

I try to keep these blog strictly about what's going on in the business world in Mexico, but today I wanted to point out something that is not often talked about. 

Today, while reading the news, I saw a few headlines that said "Americans killed in Mexico" or "Canadian man found dead in Acapulco".  These headlines are instilling fear into foreigners and making people think twice about traveling to or doing business in Mexico.

Here's what you don't hear...most of the "American" citizens are Mexican-Americans who were born in the US, but still live in Mexico or have strong ties to Mexico.  If you do some deeper digging into the stories most of the time (not all) you will find out that the person killed either had some ties to someone involved in organized crime or had a family member who got involved with the wrong crowd. 

I saw tons of stories about the Canadian man who was killed in Acapulco, and today it comes out that he had a criminal record in Canada.  He also had a business where he employed ex-cons to make eco-friendly purses. 

Don't get me wrong - I don't wish harm on any of these people and I think that any murder is tragic, however, I think the US media is creating an unnecessary fear in travelers by making them think that the drug cartels are now targeting Americans or Canadians.

There is a popular phrase in Mexico - el que nada debe, nada teme - which roughly translated means he who owes nothing has nothing to fear...

Take everything you read with a grain of salt, because more times than not there is more to the story. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Puentes and Holidays in Mexico

Anyone who is trying to do business with Mexico this week may have a hard time tracking down their Mexican counterparts because of the puente.  What is a puente?  Puente, which means bridge in Spanish, is another way to say "three day weekend" or "four day weekend".  Whenever a holiday falls on a Tuesday, many companies give employees the Monday off as well.  Holidays can vary from company to company, but this list for the remainder of the year should help you out:

November 1&2: Día de los Muertos
November 20: Mexican Revolution Day

December 12: Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
December 16: Las Posadas
December 25: Navidad, Mexico celebrates the Christmas holiday.