The power of the media.....especially television

Would you be brave enough to appear on TV to promote your French buisness and talk about your new life?
Before we came to France we were searching for the paradise spot and then we would leave
our London property and buisness to make that big change.
We were offered, even persuade by one production co and the BBC to highlight our
adventures. We even did the screen test! But chickened out.
Forgive me for being honest but I have to say that not all of the properties are glowing gems
and most of those participating are just people en route to heaven on earth.
They see the chance and they take it.
And it works…most of the time!

I enjoy watching Bienvenue Chez Nous on TF1. Overall I believe that far more of the contestants do themselves real harm by appearing on the programme than get good publicity by appearing.

Is it power of the media or are an increasing majority just ‘thick’?

Yes in some cases that can be so but I have proof of the opposite effect.
Going back today to a restaurant/b and b which appeared on a TV programme and
about 2 years ago…and they have not stopped to think since then…they have been so busy.
And I have noted the b and bs and gites which are happy to be full this year and with bookings
ahead for 2019 and they put their success down to the TV appearance.
It does depend upon the production team and the participant how they are projected.

1 Like

Are back from vacation…hope you had a good time.
Thick? Well maybe !
But if the product is wanted/desired then great that it is sold.
Are you in the rental buisness? Surely good media coverage makes
money for your clients and yourself.

Reality TV progs such as ‘A New Life In The Sun’ etc are cheap to produce and very popular because people are led to believe that moving abroad and starting a business (whilst not always easy) hardly ever results in failure.

We get enquiries every month to do changeovers etc as there are now less and less people here doing the work we do.

Great then you are making your buisness work.
And others are too…not hiding the fact that it is hard work…
we know that it is.
However people want to leave UK and come to France…I did it, you did it.
New life in the Sun began very well and was entertaining and informative.
The production has changed recently and lacks what it once had…DIY for the
people who want to be builders.

We do not intend to manage the gites for much longer as it is physically too demanding and we’ve found that the rental season has become stretched so that we now have very little time to have any sort of a break. We’ve also found that some clients will not accept that when we are away we have the right to not be disturbed, one in particular plagued us with emails almost daily whilst we were in the US.

Over the last few years we’ve seen many working families move back to the UK as they simply cannot make a financial success of running a business here, unfortunately a tv programme about failures would not be a good watch.

That sounds a little disappointing.
Band B running is not as simple and easy as some people think.
It is true that not all people who start buisness here can make it work.
And, for sure it is possible that they may not be able to make them work
in UK. Not everyone has the makings of running a buisness.
Some times the ego is bigger than the ability.
I was having lunch with a friend of mine and we discussed a visit which
she had from a lady who came with her husband who was interested in
working as a gardener for her.
The advise came from the accompanying lady who said that there has to be a red
cushion in the middle of the bed.
This was free advise from a lady who was running her b and b for a few months
in France and was offering my friend her experitise
My friend had run her chateaux /vineyard with B and B for 10 years and had
moved on to down size.
Lets face it we ae not good at being a builder, a bank manager or chef.

the problem is that people will open up a business that they are good at based upon people saying things like Oh send me your details that sound amazing.

Our friends 2 years ago started a business here based upon feedback on social media from fellow Brits and soon after opening realised home many of these people were full of hot air. (I did warn her)

Luckily she was not reliant on it to survive but more as wanting something to do and earn some extra cash.

Another lady started up a diet group and a dating group both failed badly because of allthe people who said ooh i’m so interested and even signed up but never turned up to both. (I think only 1 guy ever turned up to the dating)

She closed both and opted to return to England with her son. I gave her info that there was already a huge expat dating group and a diet group of similar standards, both which struggled with membership renewals as less and less single Brits came over and the diet groups costs and menus were out of allot of folks budgets.

Another couple opened a kennels and cattery up north and I spent months working with them, giving them ideas, they even came down twice and spent the day with me, speaking to my clients and one thing I said to them one the only key thing is get your licence first. They assured me they had it all sorted and had an agreement to take a translator on the course with them. which worked well till they got there and were told only translator you can use is a dictionary. They had invested allot of money into the place already too. They both failed the course luckily they found a nice lady with a licence willing to back them and come and work for them which bit into their small profits. They last month sold up and have returned to England (funnily enough to the lady who worked for them as she decided to tell them she was leaving and would leave them unable to run their business) (the course in french his really tough even for the French and when my wife did hers there were 6 fails on first exam and 4 fails on the retry in the afternoon,) My wife passed first time.

Same as builders. I actually know personally over 30 different people who claim to be builders of varying degrees. Now most were not builders in the UK. I know a few who are bloody brilliant too.

Same for removal companies. they buy a van and seem to think oh off i go and don’t worry about insurance, registration and licences etc, stating for fuel only. (my friend asked for a box to be taken over and it was a crazy price I think this one van was running on super grade rocket fuel he said to me).

It all goes on. I do know a great deal of folks who have succeeded at creating a good business too.

Some things are really very hard…diet things…works where there is a lot of vanity…cities.
Dating…very difficult…rules/regs. more complex than we think.
Cattery well hard work…lots of cleaning and what is the rent 15 euros per day.
With dogs it is more complex because they need to be walked etc.
What happens if the cat is sick…is there a vetinary nurse on site.
My friend runs a cattery for people in UK.
She works very hard.
Builders well are you a builder or do you think that you could build houses,
So many would be builders.

I don’t have UK television so haven’t seen these programmes. I believe that if too a rosy picture is painted then people arrive thinking they can just open a gite, kennels, b&b, whatever they decide to set up as, and the clients will be knocking at their door.
There is a lot of work involved in any venture, the administrative/legal side must be a nightmare. There are a lot of people ‘under the radar’ who have relied on getting by without being official. I’m sure we all know those who, as you say, buy a van, know a bit of DIY etc; and think they can offer various services without doing any homework.
I wouldn’t like to throw cold water on anyone’s dream but France isn’t the UK, the regulations are different and after Brexit it will be harder too.
As Timothy says a programme about failures might not be a good watch but it would be more realistic IMHO.:thinking:

1 Like

id not say vanity. works there are lots of fat people like me who have the time to go to slimming groups, alas i do not and have to diet how I can.

Cattery like a kennels is very easy work. going in spending time with cats doing cuddles feeding and changing water and bit of cleaning. also 8€ is a more reasonable price for one cat 10 and 12€ for 2 and 3 (my old prices). I charge 15€ for 1 dog and 23 and 31 for 2 and 3 which i’m also told is extremely well priced for what I offer time wise. which if i’m full of totally individual dogs i e every guest paying me 15 (rare as most of my clients have 2 or 3 dogs i’m working for 9€ an hour before any tax or anything based on my being up at 7 am and finishing at midnight with a short lunch break. I love my job though and often dogs are still up gone midnight although this morning no one got up till gone 8 am bases on my current guests and i’m full where other the places have just 1 or 2 guests. i’m on 107€ a day before tax so a whopping great 7€ 13 cents an hour and that is for both my wife’s and my time from 11 am to 10 pm and me alone the rest of the time.

As for sickness no vet nurses are not on site that would be very expensive but the french certificat de capacity which is required to run kennels / catteries / pet sitting is the qualification that tests to ensure you actually know what your doing along with insurance, hence why its important to ensure your kennels / pet sitter has one as its required by law in France.

For us if there is any doubt about an animals welfare its off to the vets and I absorb the vets bill depending on the outcome ie me being silly, vets bill to me. (yes ive gone a couple of times and been told false alarm) Another time a dog arrived to me and within a couple of hours the dog was very sick and i rushed them to the vets. Turned out in the rush the owner had given an full bravecto tablet instead of a measured dose as required and stated on the packet, they footed that bill. Another dog on a walk caught themselves on a nail / wire in the undergrowth and i footed that bill even though owners wanted to pay it was not their fault nor was it mine but I was responsible for their welfare at the time even though I could not control what was in the undergrowth that was not my land.

We have a french dating club near us and we are rural and it works very well. my mother in law met her partner there many years after her original and only husband died of cancer.

a mixed bag would be good.

Yes i have had 6 different folks email me about opening kennels over the past year and i’m open with all of them, tell them as it is, holidays are prime time so kiss goodbye to holidays if you have kids, kennels in general operate of 17 weeks a year full, rest is ticking by. None bar one that contacted me ever open ed up as yet the only one who did sold up.

Getting the certificat without written french is impossible. (used to be easier but they closed that cheaters loophole )

the last night out we had was in December for Christmas meal cost me 70€ for a pet sitter with a licence for 5 hours.

We have arranged for a week befre school officially breaks to take kids out for a few days so we can have a holiday as potentially 1 week off in school holidays when full impanct anything from 1 day either side to a month or more booking.

ive pmed you something private @anon89172871 too.

Agree

It might be quite hard to make - not sure how many people would want to admit their failure on a TV show.

My wife and I have discussed moving to France on an off for about the last 20 years, it has always struck us how hard it would be to make it work - especially as we are both employed in fields where transfer of qualifications would be impossible. Well, my IT skills and qualifications would probably transfer (but I’m too rusty and too crusty these days) but that would mean working, and probably living, in one of the larger cities.

In the end it is why we bought a holiday home rather than made a permanent move.

1 Like

id happily discuss my mess up on our new place and how things went wrong but not on TV not for the fact that its tv but for the fact that its always spun a different way. my friend was on “the midwifes” along with her colleagues and honestly they made it sound so different and edited stuff to make it change the meaning of things and omitted other stuff. This is the reason why id not do tv.

A girl who worked for me years ago, her x won some money on the lottery, not a super millionaire but some money in the millions. the papers wanted to do a story on her as he dumped her not long after but they didn’t run her story as she had nothing bad enough to say about him and that their relationship had been on the rocks before the win. he bought her a nice car. they didn’t want the nice stuff they just wanted dirt. she recorded the interview herself so as t ensure they did not run a bullshit story.

1 Like

I think you are totally correct.

I suppose it boils down to not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

thats always the problem with the media a twisted story with a good edit makes all the better story and because you aid it even though they misrepresent it they are allowed to as its in the fine print you sign.

Well yes I do hear you all and I agree with most points. Not at all easy here
but I will remind every one that it is not so rosy in UK. Most people go back
to be with their family and the comfort of the family bond.
Making a success of building houses or creating a good holiday home is another
story.
Why would you be good at doing it here in France if you were not good at doing it in UK?
If we ran a holiday home/b and b , cattery or kennels would the working hours be less in UK?
Would it be cheaper to hire part time staff there?
Would you have as much land for your money?
But of course you do have to build up your reputation which may be harder to do
in little village than Kensington High street London.
Getting back to the TV shows …well they are really about entertainment and not
about a potion for dreams.
Not all TV viewing needs to develop our intelligence spectrum and we do not have to
prove to others that we only watch the documentaries and Gone with the Wind seven times
a year.
Appearing on TV programmes really can work for the some buisness projects.
You do need to feel confident in yourself and that you communicate with the
production team. It will be invasive and take up a lot of time but the rewards
can often mean full seasons of reservations.

It’s ‘dumbed down’ tv and is what the public crave now and not just in the UK.

Many families that move here work in a different area to that which they did before, can’t speak the language and have no back-up plan or safety net.

1 Like