Another website for a UK client, and another milestone. I love working with folks in London and part of my dream has always been to be paid to visit London once a year for six weeks to service my clients… and visit Wimbledon to watch tennis! I’ve gone to the UK a few times on personal travel, and only Wimbledon once, but there is such a wonderful synergy for South Africans and Brits to do business together. I’ve read almost nothing on Brexit, and hardly done research on how best to do business with the UK – in terms of banking, VAT, and what else but I will do that down the line. 

Here are some reasons why I’d highly suggest we collaborate between the two countries:

A similar culture and shared history. Yes, a lot of it was negative, but the positives outweigh the negatives. You might think we’re very different but I see more in common than not. Just contrast Japan and the UK, or South Africa and Yemen, or the UK and Guatemala. 

Language. Man it’s tough communicating with folk in another language. I’ve done my fair share of it in South Korea, France, Italy (places I’ve spent a decent amount of time) and then of course on my travels through Asia, and Africa. In fact, Americans with thick accents are also highly tricky to chat to, but I digress. A lot of folk want to outsource work to India/Pakistan and I’ve found it so frustrating to work with language barriers and I’d strongly advise people not to.

Time zone. I have a client in Colorado, and another in Brazil, and a past one in Australia. The time differences are more disadvantageous than advantageous. There are some scenarios where it’s helpful to have a few hours extra to do things when they’re not online, but the fact that often you only have a small window to communicate is mildly frustrating. What is worse is when they ask you to do something (or vice versa) and then you wait a full day for a reply, and projects take that much longer to complete.

Currency. Of course, the main one everyone mentions. 20:1 conversion rate, more or less. Sure sometimes the Rand is stronger and it’s down to 18:1 but that is still a huge difference. Yes, I know, it’s not like a Coke or meal is 18 times cheaper but I’d say our labour here in South Africa can be 3-4 times cheaper for the same quality.

Speaking of which… I feel we work harder! This is a massive generalisation, but I’d go so far as to say that in most cases we’re more hard working, culturally. Eish, good thing comments are turned off so I can’t hear all the arguments.

But, we’ve gone massively off topic. Make Zero Coffee is a tiny, new project that will begin in the best way: small budget with a basic idea of trying to grow the business. Start with a website, add Analytics, and wait for more marketing budget so we can begin Google Ads, then SEO work, and over time grow it into a successful business that helps employ folk, and make the world a better place.