Launching a business in your home country is already a challenge for every entrepreneur. Doing the same thing in another, and often unknown country is even harder. It goes without saying that this isn’t for just everyone. However, chasing big rewards means facing the risks in return.
Over the years I’ve spent in Asia, mainly in Indonesia, I managed to launch and built a shoe manufacturing company. If you think that building a real business and brand is easy and can be done with some “quick tips”, this article isn’t for you. First and foremost, you need an entrepreneurial spirit, commitment, dedication and most importantly perseverance. I truly believe success is reached through sheer hard work and dedication and with that, anyone can do it.
Are you that person?
Then read these tips based on my experience as an entrepreneur in a foreign country:
Time is money, true. That doesn’t mean you should rush your business and launch it as soon as possible. Make sure to be ready for a proper launch and take time to prepare yourself for this moment. Think about the research you’ll have to do, explore the network building opportunities, etc. I’d recommend establishing a small-sized network with trustees in order to set out the essential steps for the launch. In addition, registering a business might be an issue under your own name, as well as proper visa documentation.
There’s advantages and disadvantages for entrepreneurs in every country, while these also differ per country. Create a comparison model for a few countries when you’re not sure where to go, based on that it’ll give you a clear overview based on your preferences.
Briefly mentioned above, before actually making a final decision on what you want to do and how build a network. Get in touch with entrepreneurs in the area who’ve been through everything already. These contacts are super valuable and give you real examples of things you might run into. Gather as much information as you can in order to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario.
Are you struggling with where to start when you have no network at all? Check out this post for some super useful tips!
You often read one-liner such as:”You win or you learn” or “The best way to learn is to make mistakes”.
And that’s true, in some ways.
However, I’ve also learned that avoiding simple beginner mistakes where possible is better. The simple fact is that mistakes usually cost money and as a starting entrepreneur you want to save the extra bucks where you can.
3) Legal Counsel
Get in touch with a local or cross-border law firm with a field of expertise that fits your profile. It might seem an expensive investment, however, I often find it very useful. Especially due to their experience with laws, regulations, paperwork, and any other legal aspect included when launching a business.
4) Laws and Regulations
Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes down to foreign businesses and investment. In some Asian countries, you can finalize all paperwork and legal documentation within a day or week, whereas in other countries it might take several months. Lengthy procedures can be very costly and frustrating, therefore make sure not to be surprised and realize what you’re in for. Here’s a list of all the different legal systems in Asian countries.
5) Health and/or Business Insurance
Many entrepreneurs lack to give this area enough thought before flying out to a new destination. Whether you’re alone or with a family, it’s of utmost importance to have your health insurance plans figured out. It’s highly likely that you’re home insurance provider is not paying for any medical fees abroad, or perhaps partly.
It’s recommended to choose an international health insurance prior to the department to a new destination. It’ll save you a lot of hassle and potential stress knowing you won’t have to worry about anything in case of any scenario where you or a family member needs medical attention.
6) Local Political Development
Changes due to political influences can greatly impact your business or possibly a decision whether you want to relocate to a certain country. Due to the fact that many Asian countries are rather new to foreign entrepreneurs or digital nomads, regulations often change. For example, Thailand has recently adopted a new law giving digital nomads a special visa for up to 4 years, family members included. [link].
7) Market Trends & Culture
Every country has its own unique culture, a unique market and often a unique demand. In many Western countries, people tend to pay more attention to a healthy lifestyle, environmental awareness, vegan lifestyle and being fit. Such trends present many opportunities for entrepreneurs but this might not be something you’d want to chase in Asian countries.
Cultural differences, preferences, and trends resulting from these differences are important to recognize as an entrepreneur. Each market has its own demand curve and a unique market infrastructure, but also language, business ethics, networking are just a few examples of possible difficulties or unknown areas for foreign entrepreneurs.
I don’t want you to be scared or intimidated by this article, but rather motivate you to bring it with you in your backpack and use it as inspiration!
Once again, I truly believe with hard work and dedication anyone can succeed. Don’t give up and keep pushing yourself to new heights!