Lisbon, Portugal is a place that blends the old and new, modern and historical, concrete and whimsical into a heady blend that enchants people from all the world to visit time and time again. It’s a city known for being a bustling metropolis while maintaining the charm and history of something straight out of a fairytale. In such an idyllic setting it’s no wonder that Lisbon attracts businesses from all over the world.
Covid-19 took the globe by storm and Lisbon was not spared. Startups from Lisbon and large corporations alike were affected by the resulting economic downturn left in the wake of the virus that had non-essential services closing their doors and everyone staying in lockdown for months at a time. However, as the world is slowly beginning to go back to a state of normalcy, this is a chance for many of us to start a new chapter in our lives.
Covid-19 had many of us realizing the need for multiple sources of income. As many of us got stuck at home, we also began discovering (or rediscovering) hands-on skills such as baking, sewing and other craft skills. Some of us may have realized that there is a potential market for our skills and may even be considering opening up a small business as a secondary (or even primary) source of income. While starting a startup may seem daunting, here’s some ideas that may be helpful to land your business on the map:
Make It A Piece Of History
Lisbon is chock full of gorgeous historical sites such as the Alfama district and S. George Castle that not only attract visitors from all over the world but are also greatly loved by the locals. This doesn’t even count the many museums to be found which specialize in seemingly everything from ancient tiles to modern paintings. Everything from the architecture to the food and music practically screams of a city imbued with a rich and complex history.
So perhaps if your knitting skills were learnt from a beloved grandparent, or if your uncle was the one who taught you how to carve your first wooden figurine, this is a boon for your business since you can connect it to the long history of the city’s residents. Even if your skill doesn’t have such an illustrious history behind it, don’t fret.
Oftentimes, people from such rich and varied histories can appreciate a good story, and sooner or later you’ll find your niche amongst the locals. Getting your story out there and trying to get it to connect with the locals can sometimes be enough to earn you a place in the city’s heart and soul. If the service you’re offering has a distinctly modern flair (for example, a small business dealing mostly with selling masks and phone cases), then consider imbuing your goods with the flavor of the city’s history.
Not only might this be a legitimate way to attract the attention of tourists looking for potential souvenirs, but if done in a tasteful and respectful way, may very well even earn you a local customer base. The most important thing is to be genuine and sincere when putting yourself out there!
Burn The Midnight Oil
Lisbon is also known for her lively and vibrant nightlife. While many other cities all over the world have gained the moniker of ‘the city that never sleeps’, perhaps none do so as colorfully and stylishly as Lisbon. With many bar hopping areas like Bairro Alto, the thrum of the city remains as colorful and whimsical at night as it does in the day.
As such, regardless if you’re selling food, scented candles or clothes, it may be worth staying up a few hours past the usual closing time of most retail outlets. After all, you never know who may wish to stumble into your shop after a night of drunken revelry, and this may be a way to make your business stand out. Furthermore, there’s likely to be less competition at night when most businesses have closed their shutters for the night.
In a bustling city like Lisbon, daytime may be the time for shopping centers and tourist destinations to shine. However, the calm of the night might actually allow for small businesses to better show off their goods and services. If staying up for a few nights a week could potentially land your service on the map for tourists and locals, this may be an idea worth taking. After all, why not take this gift that the city has so generously offered?
Lisbon is a beautiful city which has a variety of opportunities available to those who wish to take them. Whether you’re planning on opening up an artisanal bakery or a modern clothing boutique, it is possible to find a niche for yourself amongst the crowded sidewalks. While opening up a business may seem like a daunting task, a city like Lisbon with culture and foot traffic to spare (no matter the time of the day) may very well be offering the opportunities you’ve been looking for.
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