Many entrepreneurs are choosing to live a location-independent lifestyle these days. Some people may like being able to live in a tropical paradise while they run their business. Others are moving so they can reduce their living and operating costs.
Some entrepreneurs may want to have easy access to certain markets or be somewhere where the skill they need is abundant. Whatever the case may be, living in a foreign country while trying to start and manage a business is tough and comes with many challenges. Here are some of the challenges of living abroad as a solopreneur.
1. Medical Emergencies
You will need to first look at the state of the healthcare system wherever you’re going to be living. It has to be a priority for you. You never know if you’ll need to go to a hospital and it could easily turn into an absolute nightmare if the local system is in shambles.
The next step is looking for insurance.
You need to understand how medical insurance works first and what is and isn’t covered in most plans. You also have to find a good provider and know your plans for the next few months. Some insurers will allow you to get coverage for multiple destinations, while others will have restrictions.
This shouldn’t be an issue if you decide to stay in one place the whole time, but it could become one very fast if you want to move around. Know that you can also decide to buy medical insurance in the country you’ll be staying in, and it will usually be cheaper, so consider the option.
2. Workforce Issues
You might also have trouble with recruiting when starting a business abroad. You may have to jump through all sorts of hurdles before you can hire local employees. You may not be able to find people with the skills needed and the local government may have specific rules that are disadvantageous for you if you want to hire people from abroad.
This is why you must understand the local job market before moving. You should also know some of the rules regarding employment there, such as special taxes and fees, what percentage of people in your organization have to be locals, and some employment etiquette rules as well.
3. Lack of Support Back Home
One of the worst mistakes solopreneurs make when moving abroad is cutting ties with the people they have back home. And, if they don’t cut ties completely, they severely cut their interactions. This is a very bad idea as you need an emotional and possibly financial support system back home if you’re in distress or something goes wrong. You might be at the end of your rope one day because things aren’t going as planned.
You could also end up losing some important documents, hardware, or becoming a victim of theft. This is why we would suggest you keep a few phone numbers of people you know will be there for you if anything happens. One of the things you should do is ask them to download a money transfer application so they can send you money in case of an emergency.
The RiaMoneyTransfer app is a great option. This could help you get out of trouble if your cards end up being lost or stolen, or if you unexpectedly run out of funds. You should also set times when you’ll get in touch with your home base. This will let everyone know that everything is alright, but will also keep you grounded and could be helpful if you’re going through a rough patch.
4. Poor Infrastructure
When you’re coming from the West, you have to be ready to deal with some level of culture clash if you’re going somewhere completely foreign. Many destinations will advertise themselves as digital nomad hubs and will often have great infrastructure and internet access.
However, you shouldn’t expect that standards will be as good as where you live right now. Internet connection and speeds might be great there, but the electricity service might be horrendous. Don’t be surprised if you go somewhere and you get routine service shutdowns with no explanation. This is why you will need to always have a backup plan and choose where you’re going to be staying wisely.
5. Travel Disruptions
Disruption on international travel is part of our reality now, and it will be a major challenge for people who want to live a digital nomad lifestyle from now on. You will need to stay on top of inoculations, but you should also always stay in touch with your local embassy to know about new restrictions and warnings that may have been issued.
You might get stuck in a country for longer than you imagined, or have to cancel business travel plans. These are all things you’ll have to think about when living abroad as a solopreneur and you’ll have to reassess how you run your business to keep travelling to a minimum.
6. Paperwork and Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy might be one of the most frustrating parts of doing business in another country. Not only will you have to think about things like visas, but it might take weeks before you can even start operating your business lawfully in that country.
This is why you need to look at how tough it is to get permits in the country you are thinking of visiting. You should also look at things such as tax laws, opening a bank account, and the rules regarding foreigners and property in that country. Depending on your status, it might be more difficult or outright impossible for you to own any kind of property, so that’s something you’ll have to prepare for.
Learn if partnering up with a local would make things easier, as well as what the procedure is for forming a partnership in that country. As you can see, working abroad as a solopreneur is not that easy. However, if you have a good plan and know what to expect, you’ll have a much easier time getting your business off the ground and surviving.