Do you dream of changing it all and setting up a new life in the mountains like we did? We can show you a number of options to consider, and talk you through the process of setting up your life in Switzerland.
Step 1 – Decide to make the move
Really mean it. Start planning to exit your current situation to free yourself to follow your dreams. We met and fell in love when we had both been slaving away for large corporations for 10 to 15 years, working very hard, putting in long hours and bringing home a great salary. The timing was perfect for us to change it all and move into the next phase of life. Less than a year after our first date, we were married, had moved to Switzerland and had bought the small business that has since become 4vallees4saisons.com.
Step 2 – Choose an area to live
We chose Switzerland because it is beautiful and has a very high standard of living We chose to move within 2h of Geneva Airport for family reasons, and we chose the Valais because it is insanely sunny, has beautiful jagged mountains and plenty of winter snowfall. We chose the 4 Valleys because the ski area is huge and the off-piste almost endless. We chose La Tzoumaz because we wanted to spend our best years surrounded by nature in a small village with real community spirit.
Step 3 – Plan your finances
Unless you can afford to retire, think about what gives you pleasure, where your energy comes from and how you want to invest your time. Then find a business to buy or start up that allows you to really invest your passion into what makes you feel good whilst making enough money to live the dream. We bought our agency so that we could help people to have great holidays. Our company goal became “Many happy holidaymakers” as we just loved going the extra mile to improve things for visiting mountain-lovers. Helping people to realise their property ownership dreams gives us immense pleasure and we love to see our chalet and apartment owners sharing their piece of paradise with their friends and family, or out enjoying the mountains.
Step 4 – Make it happen
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to look at the administrative steps required to make it all happen. Having relocated internationally several times during our previous careers, we both know how important this is to get right, and how difficult it can be without someone to highlight the critical steps to you. This step also includes choosing where you’re going to live. We selected a beautiful property right on the piste with stunning mountain views so that we could really immerse ourselves in the dream that we had chosen.
Step 5 – Make it work
Once you are up and running you’ll need to focus on making it work. The first year for us was a transitional blur. Instead of leading consulting visits around European manufacturing sites, we were managing the turnover of 300 beds. Instead of writing powerpoints we were brainstorming on the chairlifts. We met hundreds of holidaymakers, plenty of locals and signed up for every community event we could find. We built a website, learned interior photography, trained as salespeople and were schooled in Swiss property law. We finished our first winter season exhausted, but very much alive. We had managed not to crash the business into the ground and could now see all that we wanted to change and improve before the summer season. We have since grown to love the changing seasons as a driver of change and innovation. Every day we wake up energised and excited to be alive, surrounded by the gorgeous and ever-changing mountain panorama and the vast expanse of alpine wilderness that we call our back garden.
So if you’re ready to move onto Step 3, here’s a selection of the local businesses that you could be running in the next 6 to 12 months:
Hotel-Restaurant-Pizzeria-Cafe – SOLD
Standing proudly over the village square, this restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike for an evening meal or a take-away. The well-equipped kitchen has a large pizza oven. The seating area spans three separate sections, one of which is a cosy enclosed space perfect for large groups. The huge terrace overlooks the outdoor ice rink in winter and the children’s playground in summer. It’s the place to be with views over the party on the night of any of the big celebrations including New Year, end of season and the Swiss National Day. The hotel rooms are spread over several floors and there is a large car park for guests.
The locals and the tourists would love to have a bakery right here in La Tzoumaz. This is an opportunity waiting to happen, so if it sounds like something for you then check out this article from bPlans taking you through the steps to starting your own bakery.
Right in the resort centre, next to the old supermarket, this impressive chalet-styled building houses a large restaurant, a cosy pub-styled back bar and a number of rental bedrooms with balconies. There is a large terrace outside and an apartment for the owners to live in. Currently serving genuine Italian home cooked food, with a bar that is popular amongst local ex-pats with a fantastic atmosphere for the big match.
The village doesn’t have a hairdresser right here in La Tzoumaz, whether you have your own salon or focus on home visits. This is an opportunity waiting to happen, so if it sounds like something for you then check out this article from The Guardian taking you through the steps to starting your own hairdressing business.
Traditional Restaurant-Chambre d’Hotes – SOLD
Situated prominently at the entrance to the resort where the land below drops sharply and overlooks the magnificent steep valley to the mountains beyond, this hugely popular restaurant serves high-quality, traditional local dishes including Fondue, “Wizard’s Hat” and autumn’s much-anticipated game menu. There are also a couple of bright and spacious rooms to rent, each complete with its own kitchenette and breakfast area. The upper floor and attic area has been developed into a wonderful family home for the owners to live in, just a very short walk from the main ski lift.
Chalet Chef for Hire
We get a lot of requests for a chef for hire, to prepare and/or serve meals in people’s chalets, either for a special occasion or for a full ski week. If this is something that appeals to you and your skills, then have a go as setting up your own business here in La Tzoumaz. Tip: it would be most useful if you set up a system with online availability and reservation for up to 6-months in advance.
Cafe-Bar-Restaurant – SOLD
Popular cafe-restaurant for sale in the main street, on the ground floor of a small apartment building. One side currently a cafe-bar that is popular year-round with the locals, and the other side that is currently a restaurant serving delicious wholesome food. A sunny terrace makes this a great place to be on one of the many sunny days that the area enjoys.
La Tzoumaz is not well-served by public transport for visitors and tourists. We get a lot of requests for shuttles, taxis, railway and airport transfers, and we currently recommend that nearly all our visitors come by car. There is an abundance of drivers in the big towns in the valley, but none who live locally in La Tzoumaz. There is a large market need for evening runs to restaurants and back during the high-season weeks, and for morning runs to the children’s ski school. A 4wd vehicle for at least 8 people, with snow tyres and chains and a small-ish turning circle would be ideal.
Contact us for more information on any of these fabulous opportunities, or just to talk through how we could help you to realise your dreams.
For further reading, try this article on how the Swiss are moving back to the mountains