Remote work and location-independent businesses have been around for some time. However, these terms became common during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Working at a corporation from 9 to 5 doesn’t attract many as much as it did years ago.
Many people are giving up their 9 to 5 office jobs, no matter how good-looking the office is or the number of table tennis tournaments organized in the office annually. These amenities made all the difference a decade ago. Nowadays, however, employee satisfaction is driven by something else: flexible working hours, comfort, and of course, pay. As a result, many folks have given up their 9-to-5s for independent work in a freelancer capacity or choose to join location-independent businesses.
Although working as an independent contractor has perks, the income isn’t as stable as full-time employment. As a result, people choose location-independent workplaces to enjoy income stability and a flexible work environment from anywhere in the world. This trend has given rise to location-independent businesses. This is the right resource if you’re considering ditching your hectic corporate job to work on your side hustle full-time. Here are seven tips to remember when creating your own location-independent business.
What is a location-independent business?
As the name suggests, a location-independent business is one without a location – a brick-and-mortar shop or office. However, it can be a job or career that isn’t dependent on a physical location. Usually, tech-driven companies are location-independent. They have the necessary technology to work from anywhere and only rely on office spaces like The Executive Centre for in-person meetings if needed. Location-independent businesses can operate worldwide, given a good network connection and other amenities. Whether you own a digital marketing agency or working on launching your SaaS business, location-independent professionals are called “digital nomads.” Thanks to technology, they can work from anywhere, whether it’s their home, co-working space, or travel destination.
Tips for location-independent businesses
- Know your niche
The reason why most businesses fail is that they don’t narrow down a business niche. A niche is a category within which your company operates. It’s a specific area of your target market. Instead of focusing on a wide range of target audiences, narrowing down your niche helps focus on one segment of the target population. This way, you can focus on that specific group, tackling their pain points and persuading them to buy from your business. For instance, as a freelance digital marketer, you can specialize in providing services to specifically B2B clients that work in the tech field. By narrowing down your niche, you have a clear idea of “what” your business is, “why” you’re offering services or products, and “how” you’re going to differentiate from the competition. Focusing on a specialized business area gives you a higher chance of capturing more clients and increasing revenue.
- Set business goals
Goals are what keep your values aligned with that of your business. Mindlessly setting out into the market without predefined business goals, you’re putting your business up for failure. As a location-independent business, you might have different objectives from a competitor working in an office. Your revenue and marketing goals would differ as your budget and planning would vary. Before setting out a plan, work on defining your goals – is this business a side hustle or your primary source of income? Do you want to achieve high numbers in getting projects and clients or keep it lax as you travel while working? Outlining business goals helps you decide how much money and time to invest in each business operation or task.
- Develop a business plan
Once you’ve defined your primary business goals, break those down into smaller milestones. You can also assign deadlines to these milestones to track your progress. One of the primary aspects of planning for location-independent businesses is deciding how you want to work. For example, do you want to work from home and occasionally hold meetings at a co-working space or travel as you work? When picking a location, be mindful of internet access and other amenities essential for your business operations. Once you’ve dealt with the location aspect, focus on other areas like service or product offerings, how to get the word out, and hiring new team members.
- Get insurance
Buying insurance for your business is one of the smartest things you could do. Specifically, invest in health and travel insurance if you travel alongside running your business. You want to ensure your travel and medical needs are taken care of regardless of where you are. For example, you can get gadget travel insurance if your business requires traveling with heavy machinery or technical equipment. There are plenty of travel and healthcare insurance companies for location-independent entrepreneurs. You can also book insurance for your team members.
- Invest in the right business tools
As a business owner always on the go or someone who doesn’t work in an established corporation, investing in the right tools will enhance your productivity. For instance, you need software or tools for communication, security, project and task management, and storage. Task and project management software like Trello and Asana are helpful if you work on multiple projects simultaneously or need to collaborate with remote team members. As a location-independent business, you must invest in secure cloud storage solutions like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Various HR and financial management tools are out on the market, with varying pricing packages.
- Arrange your finances
Financial management is the key to success for every business. There are two ways to structure your business finances. First, create a system to record business cash inflows and outflows. Secondly, define the methods for paying your employees, receiving payments, and securing investments. Since you are a location-independent business, deciding how to hold business funds is tricky, considering you might be operating from different locations frequently. For instance, if you partake in international transactions, you may have to invest in a service like Wise or Payoneer to receive and release payments.
- Give your business structure
The best part about running a location-independent business is that you get to decide how to operate your business. Whether you work as a freelancer or run a digital business, you can choose which clients you work with and what projects to take on. Thousands of freelancers and digital agencies are fully operational globally. Yet, every digital nomad has a specific way of carrying out business tasks and processes. Experiment with different tools and business processes to understand what works for you. Keep a strictly sales-focused strategy and revamp other business processes and areas as needed.
Becoming a digital nomad is exciting for many, but quite a few can master it. It’s more than just “being your own boss” and “working in your PJs.” Sometimes you have to wear all hats and juggle everything from product development to marketing and finance. It’s not easy running a location-independent business; however, it’s not impossible if you’re passionate and driven.