June 16, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Alison Johnson, Founder of Where Can I Live

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I’d already lived in six countries before moving to Spain in 2014. My UK passport (one of three that I had) gave me the right to live and work in the EU. Then came Brexit… I was worried that I’d have to leave, until a chance conversation with a friend. I found out that I was eligible for an Irish passport – I’d had no idea. I wondered, how many people could live abroad and had no idea how to make it happen. From that question, Where Can I Live was born.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Where Can I Live was first centered around a technical tool. And, like many startups, the first version didn’t work as we’d hoped. After a pivot one of the original partners left the company and my husband joined me in the business. We had a second launch in March 2020 – just as the world locked down with the COVID19 pandemic.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Useful, accurate, and current information and high quality partners. Our clients come to us for two reasons: 1) They want to understand how to move abroad. 2) They want help with the process. So, our focus is providing the best information available and to refer clients to the best immigration experts in their new home.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Like many businesses 2020 and 2021 have been exceptionally challenging. The pandemic has made global migration very challenging. In spite of this, we are steadily growing and we are very excited about the prospects for 2022. Our conversations with clients suggest there is a load of pent up demand!

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Pivot fast and then go 100% at the new strategy. We’ve shifted focus and approach several times and we are getting better and better at it. In the first version of the company, we worked too long on an approach we lost faith in. This cost us energy, money, and opportunity. When we did shift, we spend some time second guessing our decision and that also was a drain. As a startup, one of your greatest assets is the abilities to move quickly. But, you need to commit 100% to the new direction (until you pivot again!)

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

As two ex-IT geeks we love tools!
Google Analytics and Search Console: Traffic analysis
Ahrefs: SEO
INK (https://inkforall.com): AI powered SEO Content
BigScoots: Hosting
WordPress: Platform
Woo Funnels: Funnel Builder
Elementor: Page builder
Paperform: Forms
Woo Commerce: Shop
SmarterQueue: Social Media scheduler

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

My go to is other entrepreneurs. I belong to a range of Facebook groups and am signed up to a range of newsletters. Find successful entrepreneurs and see if you can access their ideas, experiences, and learnings.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Do it! Starting your own business is exciting, challenging, frustrating, and more. But, it is YOUR business. And, ask for help – people are much more generous with their time and expertise than you’ll imagine. And then, pay it forward by helping others.

Where can we go to learn more?