How To Succeed In Spain

How To Succeed In Spain

Moving to Spain is a big deal and a very exciting time, every year thousands of Brits who are fed up with the UK weather and daily rat race take the plunge up sticks and start a new life in sunny Spain but not all will have a happy time there.

So what do you have to do to succeed in Spain as a British expat?

Below I have included some personal experiences from people who have succeeded here and what they did so you can read and learn from their experiences.

It has now been 16 years since I too made that move from Brighton in the south of England to Almeria in the south of Spain. In that time i have personally worked for many British expats, I have run a business here and  bought and soled several properties, I have seen the way Brits live here and the way they try to adapt to their new life in Spain.

Heres what i have learned from them, their personal experiences  and my own.

Keith and Selina Beardsmore
Heres their story…

How to succeed in Spain

“I was 22 years old when i first looked into moving but i didnt have the cash i got my head down for the last 3 years and made it happen. It started as a dream We came out on holiday On 10/1/16 and sorted our NIE number which wasn’t a big problem.

I signed for my barbers Shop and house But little Did I know I was in for six months of hell trying to get the Shop open, Spanish paperwork is crazy, it will eat away at all your money while you try to get your opening license . My advice would be if you are looking at opening a business make sure you have enough money because it goes at a fast rate.

I spent the time working on the barbers Shop which I didn’t mind apart from many expats popping their head in the door to tell me how a British barber Shop wouldn’t work, Little Did they know I’m happy to say Keiths Barbers has grown into a fantastic little business with so many different nationalities using my service i feel so blessed and lucky.

How to succeed in Spain
My advice would be if you have a dream do your homework and don’t let the negative people put you off, so many people said this wouldn’t work and it Did
Yesssssssssssss im living the dream”.

Click on photo above to check out Keiths business.

Keith has worked hard to make it work and i have seen the struggles he has been through to get his business off the ground. Its not always that easy at first and does take planning and loads of paperwork to get things done here but they are now living their dream life in sunny Spain and would not think about going back to their old life in the UK.

Life in Spain. Expats at a local fiesta.

How To Succeed In Spain

On the other hand i have seen many businesses fail here.

Several years back i refurbished a bar here that was taken over by a British family. There was mum, dad, son and daughter in law. They had bought a bar right on the beach in a very popular area that was busy with loads of passers by so should have done really well.

None of them spoke spanish or did they learn. the bar did not have the right power supply and would cost thousands to install. They opted for all gas that was cheaper but difficult to set up. This took months longer than they thought all because they rushed into buying the bar and did not look to see that there was only 2 power points in the kitchen.

They did not want to do tapas as all the other bars were doing and they ended up having to employ a local Spanish guy as  a waiter who could handle all the orders and delivery’s as they did not understand.

So now they had to make enough money for the 4 of them and the new waiter.

Sure enough in 8 months they bar had to close and they ended up returning to the Uk thousands of Pounds lighter.

If they had done a little research first they would have seen that the area was famous for tapas but they didnt want to offer this and so people would walk by their bar as they could get a drink and a plate of food in the ones next door for the cost of just a drink in their bar. Not speaking the language or even bothering to learn was also a big factor here.

How To Succeed In Spain

Whether you are moving to Spain to retire or work and run a business there are a few things that you need to do even before you make the move that will can be the key for How To Succeed In Spain.

First off. 

Go there and have a good look around. Not a holiday but a fact finding mission to check out the area and ask others there what its like living there. Speak to local expats as they will normally give you some great free advice. their local knowledge is valuable.

Learn some Spanish.

As you know this is one of my pet hates here, people who live in Spain long term and dont bother to even learn Spanish. These are the ones who have to pay others to help them with letters bills and all the important paperwork you will have to fill in almost every month here.

You can start learning a few basic phrases even before you move here for free. Theres loads of free apps to download and loads of Free “MOVING TO SPAIN  INFO” online that will give you some basic Spanish that can help once you are here. This is probably the most important thing you can do to succeed here in Spain.


Research. make lists. start writing down what you think you will need to do and then go research it online. Keep a file and make lists of what you have found out , areas what is it like there in the winter months. it may be great in summer but some places here close down for the winter and are very quiet.

If you do a little home work first then you have a greater chance of learning just How To Succeed In Spain.

finding work in spain

If this has helped please leave a quick comment below thanks.



  1. Great article, we moved to Sitges from London part time last year and full time, permanentky this year. After 28 years in London its been a learning curve but we are loving it. Next year though we have decided against having a continual stream of UK damily and friends visiting, and to concentrate on integrating more fully with local Spanish life.


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