It took Paisley and his former business partner six to seven months to set up a German office for their company, GRS Group. “We’d alternate, each spending one week in Germany and then one week in the UK for that time to get the office up and running," he admits. "It was difficult but that says much about the German attitude to entrepreneurialism and risk as it does about us.”
But Paisley says opening the company’s next overseas office, in Hong Kong, wasn’t as tough: “Opening the other ones was much easier. The Hong Kong venture was fairly straightforward.”
Paisley sold his stake in the business earlier this year when it was bought by management for £18m. He already had something else to go to as in September 2007, Paisley started ProCo Global, a recruitment company focused on mid-to-senior level procurement, supply chain and logistics employees.
The company has already opened an office in Munich and Paisley plans to expand ProCo Global’s international footprint.
He reckons other entrepreneurs should do the same. “Go for it,” Paisley advises. “It’s not as difficult as people think it is if you get yourself a good advisory firm and a good accountancy firm who can walk you through the minefield of legislation you’ll face.”
Paisley also recommends hiring locals to start with as they will have a better understanding of the market you’re entering.