4 Essential Tips for Running a Business While Living Overseas

The Internet is creating and introducing many new opportunities for people all around the world; accessibility is at an all-time high. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can basically gain access to whatever you need. Traditional entrepreneurs would solely conduct business in their home country but an increasingly popular trend to work remotely has entered the scene. Nowadays, it is much easier to manage and organize everything online and “work from the cloud”, often never leaving your home.

Historically, managers had to be on the work floor on a daily basis to check on the amount of stock and register this manually or ensure the employees in a company are doing their job. However, everyone from rapidly growing start-ups to significant corporations have developed software tools over the years to manage a business online, making everything automated and accessible by anyone from anywhere. You need to set up guidelines and restrictions, but these software tools even allow entrepreneurs to work while traveling or living overseas.

There are many advantages of working remotely but obviously also a few disadvantages. Generally, entrepreneurs who live abroad surround themselves with other entrepreneurs in so-called co-working spaces. These working spaces allow workers to thrive and bring the best out of entrepreneurs by increasing their motivation, sales results and productivity. In addition, it’s a great way to expand your network and learn from other entrepreneurs from sharing your own experiences. A disadvantage might, for example, be to motivate employees through face-to-face contact, but we’ll come back to that later.

In order to successfully run your business online, I’d like to share 4 useful tips:

Outsource logistics

For example, if you are running a business selling tangible products, you ultimately want to find a trustworthy third-party handling your shipments. For example, I used to sell perfumes and skin-care products on an online website. I was able to establish a relationship with a third-party handling all my orders and warehouse requirements while I ran the rest of the business operations living in Indonesia. Due to the fact that they handled the entire process of receiving, packaging and shipping to the customers, it wasn’t necessary for me to be around and I could focus on everything else that needed to be done.

Bring in project-based online freelancers

This is a tricky one. Obviously, if you search on the web for people to do work for you, it can be hard to assess their quality and value. That’s why many entrepreneurs can be hesitant to outsource work to these “short-term freelancers”. There are numerous platforms where you can get freelancers. Their services range from web developers, designers, writers, sales & marketing experts even to accountants & consultants. Upwork.com, Fiverr.com and copywriter.com are a few examples of reliable platforms to find high quality freelancers. You can check out their work history, read reviews of their & ratings from their previous jobs of what others think about the quality, value and response time.

From my own experience it can be hard to find a decent freelancer. I would still argue it’s worth the research because there are many qualified workers. When I had just launched a new start-up I was particularly looking for freelancers with a low rate. This was hard but definitely not impossible. Usually these were new freelancers on the platform. However, once they build a decent profile and work-load history, freelancers increase their rates.

Set up a framework of restrictions

As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, you have to find trustworthy third-parties; partners and freelancers. You still want to have total control of your own business, right? This is perfectly possible due to the fact that most of the earlier mentioned software tools offer different frameworks and restriction possibilities to certain users. For example, it’s easy to restrict your partners from your company’s financials or other important factors. Especially if you work with multiple different third-parties you preferably want to separate them within the software platform to ensure they are not able to see details you want to keep classified. Ultimately, you want to be in full control and allow limited access to other users; your clients and secrets to your company is where the value is!

International Health Insurance

Many entrepreneurs who decide to work remotely often overlook the importance of having a proper health insurance. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind. However, not having a good international health insurance plan can be disastrous for yourself and your business. It is always better to be safe and than sorry. In case something happens, you will be insured for any hospital or clinic expenses. This is a heavy burden for any entrepreneur, especially if your company is in the startup phase. It will take away a major possible stress factor and allow you to completely focus on your business and become a successful entrepreneur.

About Marcel de Jong — Marcel de Jong is a specialist in individual, family and business insurances for over 10 years. His passion is traveling and to deliver relevant information and easy-to-use online tools for international travelers, expats and companies. Since 2013 he’s blogging for International Health Insurance helping thousands of people to choose the best and most transparent insurance plans. Now Health International provides excellent international insurance plans.