Happy new year! As the clock chimed midnight it brought me hope a fresh start is on its way for all of us. I’m excited to see my blog grow and while I don’t want to distract from the reason I started my blogging journey, I am keen to let The Expater bloom into its own small business. With this in mind, I’ve been reaching out to some successful expat business women, entrepreneurs and life coaches for their guidance on making a business thrive. For anyone else looking to set up shop abroad, here are their tips for starting a business abroad…
10 tips for starting a business abroad
- Work on your mindset. When you are starting a business it is important to do everything consistently, especially working on your mindset. Often limiting beliefs can arise that hold us back and stop us from taking action on the things we are working towards. Naturally entrepreneurs are big dreamers and not everyone always buys into your dreams. Consistently work on your mindset and your belief in yourself because then you will be able to bring your vision to life and create the reality you are working towards much faster. Rebecca Lockwood, award winning Neuro Linguistic & Mindset Coach and Founder of The Female Entrepreneurs Network
- Build a team. For me the number one advice would be to make sure to build the right network of people who can support you around yourself. Alexandra Kraft, is Founder of La Belle Maison interior design, Colombianas hats and Chill Out electric boating.
- Remember your own personal development. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to focus entirely on the customer journey, and neglect your own path as a business woman. Be sure to allocate time to discovering and learning from your own professional development. Whether you do this through journaling, working with a business coach or a regular walk outdoors, it’s essential to disconnect and really think about yourself and where you’re going. Taking the time out is often the best you can do for yourself and your business. Katrina Borissova, Founder of Little Danube vegan, all natural vegan soaps.
- Network locally. Create a network locally. This gives you advice, emotional support and connections to grow. I don’t think I would have got any where close to where I am without my network. Natasha Mason Kennedy, Founder of Language Education Training Spain
- Research your niche. Identify your tribe and niche market, and determine if they are viable and profitable in your new country. Some niches don’t translate as well into other markets, so it’s important to do your research and gain a deep understanding of the needs, wants and desires of your potential customers. Sandra Klettermayer, Career & Entrepreneurship Coach for Expat Women, happydailycoaching.com
- Network for support. Setting up a business is a rewarding process, but it can also be lonely. If you’re setting up abroad, look for a local business network that you can lean on for support. As your business and experience grow, you’ll be able to give back to that community too. Some examples in London include the ICE List, Foundrs, The Supper Club & Snowball.- Natasha Guerra, CEO of Co-Working Spaces Runway East
- Don’t assume, listen. When expanding into a new territory/country, leave assumptions behind. It is easy to try to measure another country or culture against our own ore ideas of how things should work. Instead, spend time watching, listening, learning and appreciating that everyone is different, and that different is not necessarily wrong. When we have a better handle upon how we can operate in a new territory then, with the support of our new friends on the ground, we should keep listening and it might just turn out to be a success. Kate Jolly, CEO, Briars Group, a business outsourcing service operating in over 50 countries.
- Discover your inner wisdom. Find that source of inner strength and wisdom within you – that pure essence of you. Speak to it, ask it questions, and watch what happens as you begin to listen to its advice. And if you’re unsure, talk to an intuitive coach, a spiritual advisor, or a really honest friend to help you uncover it. I had no idea I had so much power and capability inside me until I really began listening to my inner wisdom, and the perceived “complications” of building a business in a foreign country became insignificant. Char Tamason, Founder of Health by Intuition, intuitive healing and coaching, online and in person in Madrid.
- Embrace uncertainty – you’ll never know for sure where the next sale comes from, whether your idea will take off, where the next challenge is – and most importantly, trust your ability to figure things out. Learn the language but be prepared for funny and not so funny misunderstandings until you get the subtle cultural differences. The path unfolds as you’re walking – don’t overthink or over-plan, Anke Herrmann, Business Coach & Online Tech Mentor, ankeherrmann.com
- Think outside your budget. If you don’t have a huge budget but need quality support, consider using a smaller company or a freelancer. A self-employed woman like you who understands your situation and doesn’t charge big company prices might be a better fit for your needs. Also consider a skill exchange in lieu of payment. Once I wrote copy for a tax advisor’s website in exchange for her doing my tax returns. That suited us both and we both got quality work. Joanna Styles, Founder Guide to Malaga