Advice for Expat Entrepreneurs

By jwatkins, 29 June, 2017

Finding a job in a new country is a chore, especially if you haven’t moved yet. Many people use their move abroad to completely restart their lives, and for some people, that means starting their own business.


Most people know business ownership isn’t a walk in the park, but working in a country where you might not be familiar with the regulations is an added complication. Below are some things for expats to consider before taking the entrepreneurial plunge.


Is there a Community Need That Isn’t Being Met?

Before you start a business in a new area, you need to do your research about what that area needs. The first step in this is finding out what businesses already exist in your new locale. The second step is to find out what businesses exist in similar cities and find out if your new city has a need for those services. This can be done with lots of internet research, talking with small business associations, and visiting major cities to scope out the business landscape. Moving to a new country often comes with several trips. If you plan carefully, you can plan flights so that you have a free afternoon or weekend to spend in business-rich cities like Washington DC or San Diego. Comparing several cities with similar populations to your new home will help you gauge what steps you will need to take to build a successful business.


How Will Working Across Borders Affect Your Business?

As an expat, you might feel you’re uniquely qualified to work with people in both your new home and your country of origin. This can be a great way to craft a niche, but it can also come with lots of complications. Check invoicing and data protection rules for every country where you’ll be doing business. If you plan on hiring employees or contractors in different countries, you’ll need to make sure you’re up-to-date on all the regulations there too.


How Can You Reach Your New Audience?

It’s not news that people in different countries communicate differently. Advertising is no exception. Research successful advertising methods in your new country. You’ll also want to look into what hasn’t been done a lot yet. If you jump early with advertising methods like using video in digital signage, you may catch people’s attention before everyone else starts using the same methods.

These are just a few considerations that expat entrepreneurs need to think about. Can you think of others? Share in the comments!