You have a dream, you have expertise and new technologies exist that can make this a viable option. I am talking about running your business from overseas.
Endless beaches of the Banana Coast
Now more than ever it is possible to make your dreams of living and/or working abroad a reality. It just takes planning and motivation to put the steps into place.
Recently I read an article on Bloomberg Businessweek in there small business section that showcased some stories of people doing exactly that. Paul McTaggart saw an need and filled it. He understood that many americans need dental work that they cant afford but that is accessible in other countries, at a high quality level but with a lower cost. He found a way to bridge the gap for people looking for this service, with places to accommodate them. This concept is similar to the growing industry of medical tourism.
For the past three months, Paul McTaggart has run Dental Departures from Bangkok. In the 10 months before that, he operated the three-employee, $1 million business from various cities in Mexico. Dental Departures connects Americans, Canadians, and others who can’t afford out-of-pocket dental costs locally with dentists in 27 countries where quality dentistry is cheaper.
McTaggart founded the company in 2010 while consulting on mobile payment technology for Microsoft’s (MSFT) retail outlets. In October 2012, as Dental Departures gained traction, McTaggart, his wife, and their two young children rented out their home in Seattle, sold most of their possessions, and hit the road. “If my company is going to connect dental patients with dental clinics in other countries, I want to see them with my own eyes,” he says. “There’s no substitute for being on the ground.”
It makes sense: Being familiar with what you’re selling is crucial. High-speed Internet connections and free tools such as Dropbox, Google (GOOG) Hangouts, and Skype help make the case for relocating to where the action is, too. Sites such as Small Biz Abroad, Transitions Abroad, and Expat Women are worth perusing, as is the U.S. government’s Export.gov, which offers detailed “Doing Business In” guides for more than 100 countries.
Paul eventually packed up his family in Seattle and moved to Thailand (previously also spent time in Mexico) to do his due diligence and to change his lifestyle.
We aren’t saying that doing business in another country is easy. Any time you are talking about doing business in another country there will be risks and challenges. The same can be said for doing so at home but if it’s a dream, then it’s worth doing your homework to try and make it happen. Technology doesn’t fix all of your problems so make sure you understand such things as the culture, language barriers, legal issues, taxes and other such problems specific to your particular country of choice.
There are many resources out there to help people get started on the homework process. The internet is an easy place to start…for example Small BIz Abroad (for US citizens) and Living Abroad.
The challenges are also obvious immediately, McTaggart says, including language barriers and working across time zones and in countries where infrastructure is not reliable. “We have the luxury of everything being online in the U.S., but that’s not so in other places,” he says. “The Internet goes down often in Mexico. The fastest mobile data speed I have here in Thailand is 3G, and there are power outages on a regular basis.”
Legal systems and varying tax laws are also a challenge. “Trying to do business globally is very complex,” McTaggart says. “We have to find a good tax accountant, bookkeeper, and lawyer in each one of these countries, where contracts are in a foreign language and can’t be read accurately using Google Translate.”
You can read this article in it’s entirety here.
Living your dream is completely possible. The more you prepare, the more success you will have. So take those first steps. Make plans, start educating yourself about your chosen business and country. Take of the rose coloured glasses and make sure you understand both the pros and cons. Visit the country and town of interest beforehand. Seek out people that can help with your transition. The more you prepare, the better chance of success. Geeze, that sounds a lot like starting a small business anywhere? It’s common sense advice.
Trujillo, Honduras on the Banana Coast is a great place for small businesses. This area has been quietly emerging from sleepy village to the newest tourist destination as their Cruise Terminal nears completion. Tourism is expected to start booming in 2014 with Trujillo now on the cruise ship radar. Business opportunities to meet this demand are appearing. Development is currently taking place for investment and living opportunities that will surprise you with their quality and beauty. Jaguar Construction is one such company. Owned by Canadians who live and work in Trujillo, their stunning homes will give you peace of mind, inspiration and stability while you grow your business here.
Casa 15 in Alta Vista Beach
Jaguar Construction is a premium builder in Trujillo, Honduras. We build homes to the North American standards standards that you have come to expect and maintain the highest level of customer care as we guide you through the construction process.
Jaguar Construction is proud to be the exclusive builder for Desarollos Vision de Vida (Life Vision Developments), Trujillo Bay area’s premier and largest developer. Please visit their website to view their past and current projects.