The Pros and Cons of Starting a Business Abroad

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If you feel like you need a significant change in your professional and personal life, starting a business abroad could be the answer. It’s an appealing solution for experienced business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs alike, but like any new venture, it will come with its share of challenges. This shouldn’t put you off entirely, however, and if you want to make money and see the world simultaneously, launching a new company in a new country is an excellent way to do so. But is it the right thing for you to do? We’ll let you decide on the pros and cons of starting a business abroad. 

 

The Pros 

 

A Brand New Market 

Moving into a new market is never simple, but this is why it’s so exciting. You will have a brand new market for you to explore, and this could prove exceptionally beneficial for your business when launched abroad. 

If you feel overwhelmed by the competition at home, you needn’t worry about it when moving some business operations abroad. This gives you untapped potential for the future, while experimentation with new marketing strategies could be another element that interests you. 

As a brand new business, you may also be more appealing, and you’ll stand out amongst existing businesses, even if you may need to build your reputation from the ground up.

 

Foreign Investor Incentives 

Several countries throughout the world will reward foreign investors for bringing their business to the country. These countries see it as a means to stimulate and kickstart the economy, so you may be welcomed with open arms when you arrive, as long as you‘ve done so legally. 

You must research the rules and regulations behind this before applying to start a business in another country. If you apply for grants and bonuses before finalizing your application, you may be in for a treat. 

However, if you fail to do this, you may not be eligible for retroactive benefits, which can put you at a disadvantage when trying to get started. 

 

Increased Brand Visibility 

Exposing more people to your business is never a bad thing, and there are not many better ways to do this than by launching a business in a new country. If you work with the right people in this new market, you are capable of spreading the word about your business far and wide and hopefully replicating your success from home. 

Increased brand visibility will also make your business look more successful and professional. Additional branches of a business demonstrate the growth you hope for from your business, and it can increase your reputation while also building respect within your industry. 

 

You Can Experience a Brand New Culture 

The crux of any trip abroad is the experience. If you’re incapable of staying in one place for too long, starting a business abroad is the best way to see the world while also earning money and being capable of living the life you want. 

You may not be able to do it the same way you’re used to. Hostels and backpacking are out of the window, but you can look at the studio for rent Singapore options or check out Colombia, Abu Dhabi, and wherever you feel is the best place to move your business. 

Living and working in another country is a fantastic way to expand your horizons and learn more about the world, which will benefit you personally and professionally. 

 

The Cons 

 

The Language Barriers 

Unless you move to a country that speaks English as a primary language, you will need to learn the language to ensure you can get a clear and thorough idea of any agreements and deals you make. 

This is easier said than done, but if you are fluent (or at least proficient) in another language already, you’re better off moving your business to a country that speaks this language. Remember, however, that many countries will have differing dialects compared to what you know as standard. 

In the meantime, you can work with a trustworthy translator to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of when making deals. 

 

Red Tape and Bureaucracy 

You can never get away from red tape or bureaucracy, which is no different when starting a business in a new country. This type of bureaucracy is laborious even in the most developed countries, but if you move to a developing country, there’s a chance for frustrations. 

Digital processes may not have been adopted, and it’s likely you are passed over and ignored in favor of one of the locals. You may also be sent around in circles more often than you like. You’ll need the patience to get through this, and it pays to adopt the local attitude that it will be done when it’s done, as alien as that might seem to you right now. 

 

Exchange Rates vs. Profits 

If you’re launching a business in a new country for no other reason than to reap the profits and make the most of a gap in the market, you might want to stop for a moment. While there is the chance that you’ll enjoy these profits, the exchange rates when transferring them back to your home account could drain them. 

This is most likely in areas with unpredictable currency values, so make sure you monitor them and only transfer when it’s beneficial for your business. 

 

Missing Home 

Homesickness is a genuine issue that you’ll encounter, so you need to be sure that you are ready to move abroad before starting anything. It can help to go with a friend, partner, or family member, but you may need to go alone if you don’t have any other choice. 

Some people can handle this, and they slip seamlessly into their new life. However, others can struggle, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, and give yourself an escape plan if things don’t work out. 

 

Starting Again 

Launching a business in another country can be the chance for a fresh start for you and your family. However, you must make sure you understand the potential roadblocks and issues you may encounter along the way. If you feel you’re capable of overcoming these issues, you can expect to enjoy plenty of success for your business and perhaps still enjoy success at home, too. 

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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