I started with a single business listing in Switzerland. I was living in Zurich at the time, and I was looking for a job as a software developer.
I found this website called Wunderlist (now owned by Microsoft) that had 500 million users. It was kind of like Evernote, but it was made for teams to collaborate on projects.
And what they were doing is they were taking screenshots of their products and putting them on their website and hiring people to do their marketing for them. And so I wrote an email to them saying, “Hey, I think your website looks great. But if you want to really stand out in this competitive space, maybe you should invest in some beautiful photos of your product.”
And they responded back saying, “Great idea! What would it cost?” So I said $2,000 or $5,000 or something like that — and they said yes! So that’s how we got started.
- What are the best and worst things about starting a company in Switzerland?
Starting a business in Switzerland is an expensive proposition. The high cost of living and labor, combined with the country’s complex tax system, make Switzerland a difficult place to run a business.
The good news is that the Swiss government makes it easy for foreign entrepreneurs to obtain residence permits if they are willing to invest at least $100,000 in one of the country’s cantons.
What are the best and worst things about starting a company in Switzerland?
Low corporate taxes (see below)
Easy access to capital from Swiss banks (although this may change following Europe’s financial crisis)
Low unemployment rate (3.4%) means there are plenty of workers available for hire at reasonable rates
High cost of living makes it hard for companies to compete globally on price
- Do you feel like the business culture in Switzerland is different from other countries?
Business Culture in Switzerland
As a country that has been around for hundreds of years, Switzerland has a unique business culture. If you are thinking about starting a business in Switzerland, there are some things you should know beforehand.
Do you feel like the business culture in Switzerland is different from other countries? Yes, it is! It’s important to understand how Swiss people think and make decisions so that you can create better relationships with them.
Swiss people are not always open to sharing information with others. They take their time making decisions and don’t like being rushed into something before they are ready. This can be frustrating when trying to get work done quickly, but it’s important to remember that this is how things work here – they don’t move fast! You will have to be patient if you want results from your efforts.
The Swiss are known for their punctuality when it comes to meetings and appointments. If someone says they will be somewhere at 10am, then they will definitely be there at 10am (but probably not on time). If someone calls you at 9:59am asking if you can meet earlier than scheduled because they have another appointment at 11am, this isn’t considered rude or disrespectful –
- How do you feel about the business culture in Switzerland?
The business culture in Switzerland is quite different from the United States. In this country, people are more formal and punctual. The Swiss take their time, and that can be frustrating for Americans who are used to rushing through things.
If you’re a newcomer, it’s important to understand the difference between being polite and being rude. If you ask someone how they are doing and they tell you “fine,” don’t try to make them talk about their feelings or problems.
In Switzerland, there is less emphasis on individual achievement than in the US or UK. People here tend to focus on working together as a team instead of competing against each other. You’ll notice that if you go out with Swiss people, they won’t compete or argue over who pays the bill at dinner—they’ll split it evenly among everyone at the table.