Becoming an Entrepreneur in a Foreign Country

Did you ever wonder what it would be like as an entrepreneur in a foreign land? Did you ever go as far as wondering, configuring and assessing whether or not it would be worthwhile and feasible to your lifestyle and the type of business you’d like to operate?

becoming an entrepreneur in a foreign country

Well, in most cases… it is! The impulse to become an entrepreneur in a foreign country has grown greatly among our population over the past few years and this has only made other countries aspire to be more accommodating to those who enter their borders trying to seize such an opportunity. Of course, your success as an entrepreneur in another country heavily relies on your determination, eagerness to learn, and ability to offer the appropriate services or products suitable to that area and your target audience. It is however possible to operate an online business such as a Shopify store in a foreign country and sell products in your home country.

It’s no surprise that many people are finding prosperity as entrepreneurs in other nations. With the continuous rise in technology and international economies, as well as the lower costs of living in other countries, it’s easier than ever to start up a business as an non-native entrepreneur. It’s even become less of a hassle to have your belongings imported in another country, whether it’s just small household items or you’re shipping over your a personal vehicle. The items you’re legally allowed to have shipped over and how much you are taxed will depend on the importation laws of that nation.

It seems that world’s present generations of people have an increased interest in the prospect of travel and experiencing other cultures while still maintaining a profitable living. This has lead to an influx of online businesses all providing services or products of their creator’s choosing. Since most, if not all of the sales are made online, it is possible for the owner of the business to live in another country successfully. Regardless, whatever business you choose to open, it should appeal to your demographics.

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Preparing to Live as an Entrepreneur in Another Nation

Preparing to live as an entrepreneur in another country is perhaps the most tedious of all the responsibilities you’ll soon face. Before you take off and move somewhere, you must first have an idea of what type of business you’d like to conduct from there. If you aren’t sure what service or product you’d like to provide, you may want to research the country you have a strong desire to live in first. Your business must be suitable to your surroundings and needed or wanted by those native to the nation. It’s extremely important to understand your demographics.

Spend time studying the demographics for the nation of your choice before deciding to relocate. Although it’s easier to get a feel for the culture as you’re submerged in it, it’s best for entrepreneurs to research the nation first. There must be a market for whatever service or product you decide to sell while you live there, especially if you plan to offer your business in person rather than online. You’ll also need to consider language and currency barriers. If you aren’t familiar with the country’s languages and currencies, conducting business will prove difficult. If you’re determined to live in the nation as an entrepreneur, it’s in your best interest to take up foreign language classes. It’s also wise to make several trips to the nation before you fully relocate. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the culture more and the ability to socialize with the natives.

When you finally decide on what type of business you’d like to start up and what country you’d like to live in, you’ll need to look into the legalities of moving there. For instance, you’ll need to provide Customs with pertinent documents and proof to obtain the proper permissions for your move there as a U.S. citizen. You’ll need to have your passport and possibly even a visa depending on the nation’s policies regarding residency and starting a business as a non-citizen.

Creating Your Business Plan

First and foremost, know the stipulations of operating a business in the nation. Taxes, banking and business practices vary country to country. You must be knowledgeable of all these aspects as an entrepreneur. In most cases, it’s best to seek legal advice from a professional. They’ll provide you with the information you need and help guide you in a lawful direction.

Another extremely important first step to creating your business outline is knowing your budget and the amount of money you’ll need to invest into the business to get it up and running efficiently. Divvy up your money into certain aspects of your business. Set delegated sums of money aside for different parts of the business such as product manufacturing, advertising, website creation, etc. You must know where to put your money so that it is benefiting your business and its rise as a startup company. Starting an online drop shipping business usually has very little overhead but requires a fair bit of work to get the website set up and the pages ranking on Google.

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Once you have knowledge of the nation’s business laws and are certain as to where your money is best spent, start writing out a thorough outline. Your business plan should showcase detail and organization. You should have a plan that addresses every aspect of your business’s growth from start to finish. Include information regarding any legal issues such as the fulfillment of obtaining the proper permits or insurance, your plans for advertising and carrying out marketing strategies, the demographics of your area including your competition and target audience, as well as other relevant details. The more in-depth your business plan is, the likelier you are to succeed as a non-native entrepreneur.

Coming Up with a Successful Marketing Strategy

One of the most exciting parts of starting a business as an entrepreneur is coming up with the marketing strategy. However, it’s not only exciting but it requires a lot of planning and attention as it’s carried out. A lot of startups spend a good portion of their budget on marketing and advertising. This is actually very clever. Without an effective marketing strategy, you’ll suffer from a lack of audience and find it hard to lure customers in. You must make sure the sale and release of your services or products are visible to your target audience, starting first by gaining the interest of those included in your current demographics. There are many ways to market and advertise your business. The key is to find the strategies that first catch the eyes and interest of all those around. To find what marketing strategies are best for your business, ask yourself these questions…

  • Why did I choose to startup this type of business?
  • What services or products am I offering?
  • What are the nation’s demographics?
  • What is my target audience?
  • Who can afford my product or service?
  • What issues are people in my target audience facing with the type of product or service I’m offering?
  • Who can afford my services or products?

By answering the above questions, you’ll have a clearer vision as to what marketing strategies and forms of advertisement are most suitable. You may want to consider including a lot of the answers to the questions in your sales copy if it will help gain the interest of your audience by giving them a better understanding of what it is you’re offering to them. You will also find it easier to decide on the proper forms of advertisement to use by knowing whom you’ll most appeal to and how their most likely to see your ad. For example, if you’re selling a form of software, you’ll appeal to other business owners and computer-savvy persons, meaning that Internet ads are a great way to spread the news of your business and sale of your product.

If you wish to advertise around town, find public areas with lots of traffic, especially foot traffic. Then, find out where you’re allowed to advertise and what form of advertising you’d like to use. You may decide to leave business cards at the front desk of a local shop with a similar audience, or hang posters on the walls of a building that’s passed by frequently. Whatever, you decide to do, make sure it is lawful in the nation and that you get permission from anyone you must before you begin leaving advertisements all over the neighborhood.

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7 of the Most Effective Marketing Strategies

Social Media- create pages and profiles for your business on various social platforms especially those that are heavily used by the nation’s citizens.

  1. Create a Website- design a website that is easy for your audience to navigate and enrich the site with SEO content and strategies. Appeal to search engines by enhancing your website the right way using proven methods of search engine optimization techniques. This is an ongoing process but one that proves invaluable to entrepreneurs and long time business owners.
  2. Start Blogging- blogging has become a popular way of providing customers and your audience with beneficial information regarding your business and all that it offers. It is also a great way to keep fresh content rolling on your site as well as continuously enhancing it with SEO.
  3. Video Tutorials- it is proven that many people respond to videos. Of course, this only works if the videos are engaging, informational and visually aesthetic. Post your video tutorials on YouTube or other highly favorable video streaming platform as well as all your social platforms and website to gain the highest possible visibility.  Be sure to SEO your Youtube Videos.
  4.  Partner with Local Businesses or other online stores or social influencers- reach out to other business owners in the area for help. By networking with other businesses that reach out to an audience of the same demographics, you’ll find that word of your business spreads quicker. Whether you offer to advertise their business as they advertise yours, or you both just spread the word of each other’s offerings, every little bit helps. Citizens of the nation are likelier to trust and listen to the recommendations coming from a business that’s been around for a while.
  5. Use Online Ads- platforms such as Facebook and search engines such as Google, both offer low cost ad services to small and large businesses all over the world. The creation of the ads is simple and usually guided in a step by step process. Once your ad is ready, they’ll make your ad visible to your exact target audience. You can choose to reach out to as small or large of an audience as you please but the costs for ad services will fluctuate according to your preferences. These services provide the business owner with full control over their ads’ visibility.
  6. Email Marketing– this method of marketing allows you to send out one mass email to all of your targeted audience at once. You can even set a timer on your emails so they’re sent out at a specific time. This makes it easy to perform an effective marketing strategy ahead of time so that you aren’t waiting to release each set of mass emails. Email marketing is tricky. If your emails aren’t compelling, engaging or offering some sort of deal, it is possible that your emails will end up in the spam folders of the accounts you sent them to. Always encourage repeat business and showcase your loyalty and appreciation to your customers.
  7. Use the Classic Advertising Methods- although most forms of advertising require the Internet, there are some classic methods that have proven to remain very effective. A lot of businesses still utilize signs, posters, flyers, business cards, and other physical forms of advertisement as part of their marketing strategies. As long as these advertisements are showcased in the right locations, you’ll find that they catch the attention from the right audience.

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Get to Know Your Surroundings and Neighbors

Once you’re settled in the nation as a resident and entrepreneur with your business up and running, start mingling with the natives. Get to know your neighbors and surroundings by getting out more and making it a point to socialize and explore. Not only should you introduce yourself to those who might find your services or products useful, but get to know your competition as well. The more familiar you are with the country and its people, the more comfortable you’ll be. Make friends, network, and build relationships. Establish a positive reputation for yourself and your business.

Take the time to seek local guidance. See if there are any business associations in the country where you can interact and learn from other like-minded individuals. Find somewhere you can seek trusted counsel and ask any of the questions that might arise as you live and conduct business there. It will take some time to get completely comfortable in a new nation as a resident and entrepreneur but you’ll find that you eagerness to learn and your show of respect for all the natives will greatly improve your odds of reaching the level of success you wish to obtain in your time there.

Aside from your concern regarding your value as a business owner, you’ll find enjoyment in exploring a foreign country and all that it has to offer. By taking time for yourself, viewing new sights, familiarizing with the cultural differences, finding your personal favorite spots for food and entertainment, and making new friends, you’ll never feel as though your time in the nation was wasted.

The most exciting part of being an entrepreneur in another country isn’t the potential profit you’ll earn while there, but the overall experience you take out of it. Remember, the words knowledge and experience help create the definition of the word, wisdom. The more wisdom gained, the more likely it is that you’ll turn out to be a wonderful, diverse and successful business owner.

So what are you waiting for? What are your concerns regarding the potential of becoming an entrepreneur in another nation? Other than the fear of the unknown, there should be nothing holding you back from growing as an entrepreneur that’s residing and conducting business in a foreign country. The experience will prove invaluable as long as you’re dedicated, motivated, passionate, and eager to learn in your new surroundings.


Anthea Scordilis

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