Many people become expats because they have had job offers abroad or have been moved across continents by their existing companies. However, this is not always the case. Often expats who have taken the plunge by moving countries also break free from the confines of working for an employer and become self-employed in their new country. If this appeals to you, here are some tips to help make working for yourself a success.
Four tips to become a successful self-employed expat
1. Create a wide-spread network
To get referrals and business, you need to work hard at establishing a network in your new country. You could consider joining a professional networking organisation like BNI or you could look online or in your local newspaper for local business events you can attend where you can network and swap business cards.
Consider reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any support groups for small businesses in your area. Not only will you meet people who could become potential clients, it will also give you the opportunity to socialise and bounce ideas of other people.
2. Find your ideal ‘office’
A happy work environment goes a long way to ensuring a successful business. As you are self-employed, you have the luxury of creating your ideal work environment, whether it is an office at home or a desk in a local work-share space. Consider what equipment you need to work successfully, it might just be a computer and a mobile phone. If you’re that flexible you can become one of the ‘residents’ at your local coffee shop – many of which have free WiFi to assist their patrons.
3. Understand all the financial implications
Working for yourself in a new country can be very different from your home country. Familiarise yourself with the local business and tax laws and consider how to structure your finances, so you can benefit from them. In many countries, you can enjoy tax breaks on things like your workspace and equipment.
4. Structure your workload
One of the most important things to learn when you are self-employed is prioritising and structuring your workload. You may be surprised to discover you can actually have too much work. If you find yourself in this situation, you can either choose to expand your business and hire someone else to help out or you can learn to say no. This involves looking at the work that brings you the most money, the most enjoyment and takes up the least of your time. This is the work you should be aiming for.
Say no to the work that drains your time and doesn’t pay as well. It sounds like simple advice, but you’ll be surprised how many self-employed people become overwhelmed and destroy their quality of life by taking on everything in the belief that all work is good work.
If you’re busy planning on immigrating and need advice about your financial migration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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