Ministry of Prose: making words work for your business

One in a semi-regular series of ponderings, musings and contemplations on the interaction of words and psychology in business.

Upping sticks

April 2017

Since its inception, Ministry of Prose has been geographically based in New Zealand. It's a somewhat meaningless fact since we have clients in the UK, Canada, the US and New Zealand itself. As it says in our 'about us' page, really we're based online. The work we do can be done from almost anywhere and delivered via the internet. Our physical geographical location is all but irrelevant.

Still, it's time to move. Expanding a small business internationally is difficult to achieve remotely. If you want to win new clients in new territories, it does help to have someone on the ground. People like to make deals face-to-face, even in today's connected world. I appreciate that since I prefer to do the same.

It's far easier to understand the other person's perspective and motivation when you have access to body language, nuances of conversation and facial expressions. Once the deals are agreed, work relationships can then be maintained online indefinitely, but those initial personal connections are important. Networking is much more efficient in person too.

So at the end of next month I'll be moving to Germany. Ministry of Prose itself will remain based in New Zealand and we will be retaining our existing Kiwi clients. My destination is Berlin, a well-connected city with a wealth of technology businesses keen to connect with English-speaking prospects in various territories. It's a city with almost as many inhabitants as the whole of New Zealand, so there will be some cultural adjustment to go through, not to mention the learning of a new language.

There are many things I'll miss about New Zealand and I'll probably return one day. But it's important to keep moving forward, trying new things and stepping outside comfort zones. I have two years to make it work, after which I'll review the situation and decide whether to stay in Germany or move on.

This is part of the resolution to some of the issues I mentioned in earlier blog posts.

Alex Cruickshank has been a professional writer since 1994 and suffers from acute Wanderlust.

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