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The (Untold) Costs of Doing Business in Mexico

By Hugo Prieto Cano - KRINO
CEO and Co-Founder


Saul Ivan Solis Chavez By Saul Ivan Solis Chavez | Content Partnership Coordinator - Thu, 07/20/2023 - 16:00

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Entrepreneurship is often portrayed as an exhilarating journey, filled with excitement and potential for great success. We are constantly bombarded with stories of visionary entrepreneurs who disrupt industries and accumulate vast fortunes. However, behind the scenes lies a less glamorous reality that few talk about — the hidden costs of doing business, especially in countries like Mexico.

Imagine embarking on a challenging adventure, not just in terms of administrative and business hurdles, but also on an emotional level. Starting a business means exposing oneself to personal, familial, and financial vulnerability. It is a solitary path that often goes unnoticed, overshadowed by the shining success stories. As an entrepreneur, you risk being labeled as unconventional or even reckless for daring to pursue your dreams, especially if they involve substantial investments or even harder if this is in a different city or country.

Mexico, like many Latin American countries, has a complex business landscape. While there are countless opportunities, the hurdles can be overwhelming. The struggle to find reliable suppliers, the red tape of bureaucracy, and the uncertainty of economic and political environments are just a few of the challenges entrepreneurs face. The path to success can be fraught with unexpected closures, setbacks, and heart-wrenching moments.

What is disheartening is the lack of empathy toward the well-being of entrepreneurs. Society, media, and investors tend to glorify financial results above all else, disregarding the impact entrepreneurs make and their personal development and well-being. The pursuit of profit becomes the sole focus, pushing entrepreneurs to compromise their values and lose sight of their original purpose. This relentless pursuit can erode their passion and leave them feeling hollow, trapped in a cycle of endless demands.

To navigate these demanding conditions, here are four important lessons I’ve learned after talking with several local and foreign entrepreneurs who are behind many developments in the Mexican market:

  1. Entrepreneurship doesn't have to be a solitary endeavor. Partnering with committed individuals in Mexico can alleviate the complexity of processes, such as commerce, technology, investment, and legal matters. Organizations like the Founder Institute and HAAB provide platforms to connect with potential co-founders and be welcomed into a community of fellow founders. These communities also provide more day-a-day soft-landing support for Latin American founders and those from other countries who are dealing with starting a venture in Mexico.

  2. Cultivate a support network. While business partners can become close friends, it's essential to have a network that provides support beyond the business realm. Strong relationships with family, partners, and friends offer emotional solace; if you choose to bring your partner or a close relative along, it is crucial to provide a support system for your loved ones as they navigate their own challenges and adjustments in a new environment. By offering them a network of support, you can ensure their well-being and contribute to their successful integration.

In cases where you don't have a companion to accompany you, leveraging digital tools and seeking professional assistance becomes even more important. Organizations like Amela.techclub, the Latitud Program, CompletaMente, and Fitpass can serve as valuable resources, connecting you with professionals who specialize in guiding and supporting entrepreneurs in various aspects of their journey. These resources can offer invaluable assistance, whether it's providing legal advice, mentorship, coaching, or facilitating access to wellness programs.

  1. Align your business with purpose. The arduous task of entrepreneurship demands more than just financial motivation. Aligning your business endeavors with what drives you in life can radically change your level of execution and resilience. Organizations like Cr3ador3s can help you explore the intersection of purpose and business to create ventures that make a meaningful impact.

  2. Prioritize mental well-being. As an entrepreneur, you interact with various stakeholders, make rapid decisions, and face constant pressures. Prioritizing your mental health is crucial for maintaining clarity and making sound choices. Surround yourself with a positive and supportive environment, and let go of toxic relationships that hinder your effectiveness.

Let us not forget that entrepreneurship is a journey of growth, both professionally and personally. It is an opportunity to challenge the status quo, create a better future, and leave a lasting legacy. By embracing a more inclusive definition of success, one that encompasses not only financial achievements but also personal fulfillment and societal impact, we can create a business environment that inspires and supports entrepreneurs on their quest.

In conclusion, Mexico offers excellent conditions for starting new businesses and bringing proven models from other locations to be localized within the Mexican reality. However, achieving this requires a deep immersion in the local culture, understanding internal challenges, and prioritizing the well-being of entrepreneurs and their teams.

It is crucial to promote and support both local and foreign individuals who invest in creating new ventures in Mexico. These ventures not only have the potential to transform lives and contribute to the country's economic growth but also bring innovative solutions to address local challenges. However, it is essential to recognize that success goes beyond financial outcomes. By fostering an ecosystem that values the holistic development of entrepreneurs, we can create a business environment that promotes personal fulfillment and positive societal impact.

To achieve this, it is vital to encourage reflection among entrepreneurs, prompting them to align their ventures with principled goals that address societal needs. By providing resources and support, such as access to mentorship, networks, and business development programs, we can empower entrepreneurs to navigate the challenges of doing business in Mexico effectively.

In summary, by promoting entrepreneurship in Mexico and supporting ventures that prioritize both financial success and social impact, we can create a thriving business environment. Let us champion reflection, provide the necessary resources, and empower entrepreneurs to tackle the challenges of doing business in Mexico while maintaining their well-being as a fundamental aspect of their journey. Together, we can build a sustainable and prosperous future for all.

Photo by:   Hugo Prieto Cano

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