Finding the perfect location, the perfect property. Selling up, saying heartfelt goodbyes to friends and family, heading off to start a new life. Calling your own shots and doing things your way.
This adventurous, entrepreneurial spirit is at the heart of eviivo. We’re proud to provide dreamers with the tools they need to make their fantasies become a fulfilling reality. That’s what Adrian and Sharon did, when they made the move to France and opened Hôtel de France et de Russie.
Crossing the channel, they settled on the idyllic Dordogne in eastern France as their new home, and haven’t looked back since. Their inspiring story has been captured by Channel 4, as part of their “A New Life in the Sun” program.
We caught up with them shortly before the episode aired, to find out more:
How did you get involved with the show
We had already had the hotel for six months when we saw an advert on Facebook asking for people who were moving to France or Spain to open a business to contact A New Life in the Sun with a view to appearing on the show. We did a skype interview and two weeks later the camera crew arrived. I think we were of particular interest as they had not covered a hotel before and we were about to go into partnership with a French Chef who was looking to open his first gastronomique restaurant in his hometown.
What prompted the move?
We had often spoken about maybe buying a Bed & Breakfast in the Dordogne, I mentioned it to a friend who was visiting a friend who had a hotel in the Dordogne. When my friend returned she said to give her friend in the Dordogne a call as she was considering selling the hotel. We flew down, fell in love with the Hotel, returned to the UK and put our house on the market. We essentially swapped a 5 bed house in Norwich for an 11 Bed Hotel in the Dordogne.
What advice would you have for anyone that wants to make the switch and set up a B&B abroad?
1. Learn the language, we had a very limited knowledge of French and this makes communicating on a daily basis difficult and exhausting, we are much better a year down the line but still use Google translate daily.
2. Buy an existing business with an established reputation that you can see further potential in. Make sure you look at the previous accounts in detail so you know what the profits are like, it’s easy to talk about sales but many costs can be very expensive in France.
3. If you are running a small operation try to do the work yourself, it’s very expensive to employ people in France. Work hard in the summer rest in the winter.
4. Give great customer service, the French are blown away with good old British customer service, be unique find those small points of difference that the corporate companies cannot achieve.
5. Use Eviivo as your channel manager! It makes the admin side of the business so much easier and it pays for itself many times over and you don’t have to worry about double bookings anymore!