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This blog is written by Charlie Cutler, a Brit who has lived in Portugal since 1999 and is owner of Westfield Technologies Lda, an umbrella business that works in various unrelated sectors of activity:

-  Carvalho Custom – makes custom cycling and triathlon clothing for export, currently the leading brand of custom triathlon kit for the combined UK/Irish markets and Carvalho Bike Tours

-  CorkLink – representing a cluster of cork stoppers and cork product manufacturers for export

-  PortoEvents – Events Organizer in Porto, northern Portugal, including corporate events, conferences, trade shows and away-days.

- Apparel sourcing from Portugal – we help overseas clothing buyers to source from Portugal, as well as providing production supervision and quality control.

These different sectors are mainly unrelated, but tying the business together is a philosophy on the way the business is done, which is rooted in the work of some of the gurus of modern business thought (such as Seth Godin, Chris Anderson and Timothy Ferriss, but also some older writers such as Michael Gerber, Tom Peters etc). This blog is about the reality of trying to put the theoretical work of these guys into practice and what a real live business run along these lines actually looks like as well as some more general views on business and in particular business in Portugal.

So what are the guiding principles of how we work?

-  No advertising, instead make positive stories and spread them online

-  Deep subcontracting, not to facilitate growth, but as means of lightening management touch and cost control

-   Outsourcing production to allow more focus on selling

-  SEO as the main route to customer

-  Cutting fixed costs of the business to a bare minimum

-  Maximizing independence for people working for the business and incentivizing them to give their best

-  Celebration of trial and error and a willingness to try new things without over-thinking them

 

My main interest in business has always been the interface between theory and practice and I have certainly never run Westfield Technologies with a view simply to make as much money as possible. Of course I want to live a comfortable life, but just as important as this is to make running a business as enjoyable/rewarding for me and equally the people who contribute to the company. I am also a Director of the British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Northern Division and generally attend the networking events on the first Wednesday of each month in Porto organised by the BPCC, which I strongly recommend you attend if you are based in Northern Portugal and interested in business.

You can contact me here if you think you might be interested in working with us or if you would like to discuss anything brought up in this blog.