With more and more people harnessing the freedom of online businesses and passive income streams, it’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs are choosing to run their businesses from abroad. It’s a tempting prospect for those who are able to do so too. Millennials are known to be a generation at working age who are setting up businesses, growing their brands through social media, networking online and keen to travel.
Being in the position to earn money while travelling and seeing the world is a way of life that appeals to many people. We’ve all seen those captions on social media “All you need is Wi-Fi and a dream” and those images of business owners sat on tropical beaches with their laptops. You certainly wouldn’t be the only one if you admitted to wanting a piece of that! But how do you go about running your business while living overseas or travelling and how easy is it?
How to Determine Whether or Not Running Your Business from Overseas is Possible
The word ‘business’ can refer to an individual business owner, as well as a larger company with a team. If you run your own business as a freelancing professional, such as a virtual assistant, writer or social media manager then this type of enterprise could easily be moved to another country and still work effectively. In this case, the only two factors you’d have to sort out are informing your clients (if necessary) and deciding whether you need to register to pay taxes in the new country.
On the other hand, if your business is a larger company and you have a team of employees working with you, you will need to get your business in good shape before you pack your bags and jump on that plane! In general, online, service-based businesses are more flexible than businesses that function on meetings, deliveries, manufacturing, or other forms of in-person interaction.
That’s not to say that it can’t be done, provided that you delegate any tasks that might require you having to be present. Of course, this can be expensive and therefore it is up to you to decide whether your business is ready to take this leap, whether or not this change is worth it, and if you want to go ahead.
Prepare Your Business
Planning and preparation are essential. However, in order to ensure that your business can run smoothly while you’re overseas, you need to make sure that your company is in a fit financial position and your operation methods can withstand your absence.
For this to happen, you will need to analyse every detail of your business. You will need to build a solid team of trusted and reliable individuals who can keep things running smoothly even when you’re not there. This might mean putting in extra work prior to your departure to guarantee that your business will be in safe hands.
Create a Plan
Plan, plan, plan. Before relocating abroad or heading off on your travels, you must have peace of mind that you’ve thought of every possible scenario or troubleshooting issue that could arise so that you don’t have to keep coming back every five minutes to sort out problems. What will you do if a staff member quits? How will future meetings be conducted? How will your team report back to you? What about if a client has an issue that needs resolving? What will you do if a supplier stops working with you?
Don’t let this put you off but as you can see, planning to relocate overseas either temporary or on a more permanent basis is perhaps not ideal for a newly founded company, a start-up or a business with no fixed strategy in place.
It’s also worth finding a good removals company that can deal with both your personal move, as well as being on hand for if and when you need to transport any of your commercial equipment too. A company such as Rancho Cucamonga long distance movers can not only manage your overseas relocation, they can also take care of relocating your other goods too, such as office equipment and other furniture transportation services. Having a company that can provide you with all of these services will make it easier to keep everything in one place. It also ensures that communication between different service providers remains simple and efficient. Big Deahl's Movers has some excellent professional tips on how to organise your goods ready for when it’s time for them to be relocated. Take the time to create a packing system by labelling everything correctly and even colour-coding your boxes so that you know which room or purpose they serve.
Build a Strong and Reliable Team
A strong and reliable team is everything! If you’re already running your own business then you’ve probably taken the time to build a hard-working team that are dedicated, trustworthy and reliable. As soon as it’s confirmed that you will be leaving to spend time abroad, inform your employees and keep them in the loop on how things will run going forward. Being transparent with your team will earn you their respect. Plus, if anyone did happen to have a problem with it for whatever reason and decided to resign, you could sort out a replacement while still in the country.
It might also be worth putting together a training program for your staff before you leave, taking into consideration any new strategies or ways of working. Perhaps throw in some exercises on team building too. It’s just as important that your team work well together as it is for you to get along well with them.
Invest in Valuable Tools and Technology
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck without an internet connection or your phone breaking all of a sudden. It’s even worse when you rely on these tools for running your business and communicating with clients and colleagues.
Depending on the nature of your travel, it might not be so easy to get your hands on a new laptop, phone or other technical device so easily. In order to avoid any potentially stressful situations, check through your tools and technology before setting off. If your laptop needs to do updates, your phone could do with replacing or you think you’d benefit from additional external memory then sort out these things now! Have a think about what you will need in terms of software, tools and technology and start setting them up.
Put Together Good Communication and Organisation Systems
Finally, put together good communication and organisation systems so that you can keep an eye on workflow and keep check on what’s getting done. Be sure to give a few different contact options to your team to make it fast and simple to get in touch with you. Sometimes straightforward, direct communication is best, such as via telephone, email or instant messenger. However, for day-to-day tasks, such as monitoring projects, shipments or sales, it would be more convenient to set up a group work board by using a tool such as a Trello or similar. This way you can keep an eye on the progress of every aspect of your business and raise the alarm only if you notice an issue. Not only will this give you the reassurance you need, it’s the most convenient way for an entire team to communicate and navigate workflow.