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Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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Why You Should Start A Business Overseas

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Narrow-minded views of the world are everywhere, even in today’s globalized era. Western media is littered with stereotypes about “third world countries” and how bad it would be to live there. 

However ignorant the West may be about the rest of the world, you can still use such ignorance to your advantage. While all of your friends and colleagues are crawling over each other to get VC funding for their “pre-revenue” app that is likely to fail, you can go another direction. 

Instead of fighting for a small piece of the cake, take advantage of the largely untapped emerging and frontier markets to stake your claim and build a legacy.

What makes Nomad Capitalist different? We are all about helping our clients go where they’re treated best. We don’t believe in following the herd, and we are all about paving your own way by taking a holistic approach to offshore planning. 

Apply to become a client, and we will help you create a holistic Action Plan tailored to your personal and business needs, not a one-size-fits-all package.

Why You Should Look Outside The West

You already know that today’s world is different. We’re connected in ways like never before. Yet many businesses don’t act like it. 

In the United States, you will find many small business owners who have not given any thought to sourcing products from overseas or selling to overseas customers.

Westerners tend to be narrow-minded when it comes to business. We’re told that our country is the best, and we figure there’s no reason to bother going anywhere else.

The Western job market is not so hot these days, especially for recent graduates. It costs a large company a lot of money to hire a young graduate. Compare that to South East Asia, where the cost of a young hire can be as much as 40% less. You’ll quickly see why American and European companies are not in a rush to hire young, unproven talent.

The good news is that you still have the option to go into business for yourself. However, while being an entrepreneur is increasingly popular among ambitious youth in the West, they face several challenges. For example:

Excessive Competition

In markets like the US, so many young people want the allure of being a Silicon Valley entrepreneur that competition is outrageous. It’s a dog-eat dog. And that’s fine. But, emerging and frontier markets are much more open to new ideas and are much less competitive. You’ll have a lot more room to focus on actually building a business and not just staying in business.

Limited Thinking

It’s true that big businesses like Google, McDonald’s, or H&M make aggressive pushes to move into any and every market they can. However, most small businesses don’t.

Focusing on a core audience can make sense, but demographic changes make the rest of the world very attractive. With the world’s income and population growth happening outside of the Western world, your customers in a Western business will be increasingly old and poor.

While many poor people can’t afford your products in emerging markets, the same is true of the United States. At least in emerging markets, everyone has a chance to come up.

High Cost of Doing Business

You can hire English-speaking staff in Kuala Lumpur for $1,200 a month. You can eat for as little as $10 a day. You can rent a room in the city center for $500 monthly.

If you’re bootstrapping a business, all of these savings can go back into your business. In many cases, you can legally eliminate taxes in your home country and the country where you’re running your business.

Opportunity exists where you least expect it. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you know you have to look outside of the box. So why not look outside of the geographical box, too?

The world’s emerging markets are crying out for more options, better service, faster fulfillment, and greater product selection. Consider starting and basing a business overseas. It will give you the flexibility to live cheaply, hire affordable labor, potentially save on taxes, and tap into fast-growing markets.

True, you will need to learn about a new local culture, and there will be a period of adjustment. 

One of the best pieces of advice we could offer on adjusting to a new culture is to avoid being dogmatic. You can’t assume that another country is “worse than” where you come from just because they do things differently. If you can master that, we believe going overseas can greatly increase your chances of success.

How To Get Started Overseas

One of the biggest obstacles people face as they move or start a business overseas is knowing how to get started. Go get on a plane. It may sound cliche, but the reality is that the world isn’t as different as you’ve been taught to believe. 

People everywhere have many of the same needs and wants as anywhere else. The business strategy in selling them what they need may differ, but the needs are very similar.

Our honest piece of advice to anyone looking to get started is to identify a region of interest to you and just go. Do a little market research — as well as a personal inventory of which countries are most appealing to you — and go there.

Many of our clients can personally attest to the number of opportunities you’ll see almost immediately in many of these places. It will blow you away.

No matter how unsophisticated your business experience may be, you could easily spot opportunities. Simply hit the ground in three or four countries in your desired region.

Which Countries Are Worth Checking Out?

They say that if you want to be successful, you have to do what unsuccessful people won’t. Most Westerners love the creature comforts of home and would never move to Africa, no matter how many millions they could potentially make.What is the Best Country to Set Up An Offshore Company

In general, the more frontier a market, the greater the risk and the greater the reward. If you identify an opportunity in a frontier market, your chances of success are much better than they would be in developed markets where competition is fierce. Consider these regions as among your best options:

Southeast Asia

It’s not just for backpackers; Southeast Asia is an up-and-coming region with a rapidly growing middle class. Cambodia is among our favorites for open markets and wide-open opportunities.

Laos is good but is even more of a frontier market and less open to foreigners. More developed countries like Thailand come with many regulations and a lot more competition.

The Middle East

Believe it or not, I’m a huge fan of doing business in the Middle East. Much as we love Asian culture, places like Mainland Chinese tend to believe that Western businesses are overpriced and seek out local alternatives.

Conversely, those in the Middle East are more open to doing business globally. There is a tremendous amount of wealth there for those who want to build a business catering to the high-end.

Latin America

There are lots of gems to be found in Latin America. While I like the idea of investing in real estate in Nicaragua’s beach towns, you may see a lot less in the capital city. Look further south to more developed Panama or the highly underrated Colombia.

Africa

For the true adventurer, Africa holds a lot of opportunities. The entire continent is in a transition period now. We particularly like Botswana and Western African countries like Nigeria and Ghana. Ghana is currently ranked 6 in our Nomad Real Estate Index 2023

Diversify Internationally and Start a Business Overseas

A quick glance at history reminds us that no empire lasted forever. Those who put all their eggs in one basket were often wiped out. While such a thing is unlikely to occur overnight, we believe being ahead of the curve is best. Get in on the ground floor (or at least a low floor) on the “next big thing.”

Not only will your business have a greater probability of success, but you’ll also have a better chance to exit your business. For example, one venture capitalist who makes investments in frontier market companies trading at book value because the demand for investment isn’t there yet. In one case, he bought an Asian brewery at book value, just months after a huge global corporation purchased a brewery in a more developed Asian country for 12 times book value.

This investor plans to “front-run” companies that want to acquire quality assets to add to their brand portfolio. He is taking a “sit and wait” approach, just waiting for those companies to deem a country like Laos or Morocco important enough to invest in.

We can tell you that the future in the world’s emerging markets is bright. We help seven and eight-figure entrepreneurs and investors legally go where they are treated best. 

The Western world often pushes back on people wanting to come to their country with their wealth. Places like Thailand want more people coming and spending their dollars. 

If you make the choice to open up to all the countries that are welcoming, even if it requires more openmindedness and a few adjustments. Countries that want and need talented people. 

We have helped more than 1,500 clients incorporate, bank offshore and acquire second residency or citizenship in more than 38 countries. 

Contact our team at Nomad Capitalist, and we will help you go where you are treated best to acquire the ultimate personal and financial freedom.

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