Friday, 27 January 2012

Questions of the Day

This week Expat Explorer has been asking its Twitter followers about their lives as an Expat. Check out some of the answers below – and answer the questions yourself ion the comment box below!

David Kennedy, an expat from Dublin living it up on the Costa del Sol, says:

“Keep believing in yourself!!!”

This is a great tip for anyone adventuring off into the entrepreneurial world – but even more so for expats! In case you missed our last post of tips of expat entrepreneurs, here are the highlights:

Build some solid connections
Sign up to meet ups
Hire the right people
Knowledge and resource share
Develop the perfect pitch

Have you started up your own business abroad? We’d love to hear from you - what were your biggest challenges and achievements? 

Leave us a comment in the bow below!

Greg Lexiphanic, an expat living in Hong Kong, said:

“I became an expat for the lifestyle.”

Moving to a whole new country is a massive ordeal – so there must be something to make it all worthwhile! For some this is money prospects, either a better career, more disposable income or a more luxurious lifestyle. In the latest Expat Explorer Survey the country that came top for Economics was Saudi Arabia

One expat here gives a great tip:
“Bring a sense of humour, an open mind and expect the unexpected.”

If, like Greg, lifestyle is more your thing – whether that is a good social life, great food and a lovely local culture, our expats reported that Thailand is the best place to go! An expat living in Thailand says:

“Try to learn the language and take full advantage of the quality but reasonably priced healthcare.”

From Flickr

Nikki Moff, expat and third culture kid from Australia living in Durban, replied saying:

“wine & cheese night with girlfriends as husband away & no other Aussies in Durban”

Journalist Rebekka Hodges, and Australian expat living in the UK, wrote a great piece for The Australian Times about her first Australia Day abroad. She describes Australia Day as:

“a melting pot with all of the greatest elements of Australian culture coming together to form one harmonious day: daytime drinking; sunshine; water; music; and best mates. What more could you want?”

What did you do for Australia Day? Leave a comment in the box below! To compare what expats think of countries around the world, head over to the Expat Explorer Survey interactive site – and enjoy!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Expat Entrepreneurs

Expats and entrepreneurs often share many similar traits. The ability to recognise opportunities, openness to change and coping under pressure for example. For our first post of 2012, we thought we’d begin by looking at an emerging breed of expats – the expat entrepreneur. SWMG6EC26P5M

Image source: Creative Commons- The Trampery in London

Moving abroad, expats might find more favourable policies, tax regimes, economic climate and infrastructure that really help to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and inspire expats to go down the start-up route. In other situations, people actively seek to move abroad to be in hotspots where start-ups naturally cluster be it New York, Berlin or East London and be part of the local tech scene.  

For those thinking of setting up their own businesses, there is a wealth of information out there to help you get started and tap into the right resources. Here, Expat Explorer shares some our our top tips for prospective expat entrepreneurs:

1. Connections, connections, connections

One of the most important takeouts experienced entrepreneurs will tell you is that, to build a successful business, it seriously helps to know the right people. Your ability to tap into the right circles, meet the right people and make the right connections can make all the difference in whether you thrive or survive.

2. Sign up to meetups

There are lots of events you can join to meet like-minded people both formally and informally. Events like Entrepreneur Week in New York and Silicon Drinkabout in London are just some examples. You can also attend your local Startup Weekend – an event where you pitch your idea and build a team around it in 54 hours. Teams go from idea to getting a business hacked together in a single weekend, means there’s no room for talk and no action. Check out this list for other great events to join.

3. Hire the right people

Starting up can be tough. That is why finding the right people from the beginning can make or break your business. Often your first couple of hires are those who will have a big input into your company’s direction. Having a complementary skill set and being able to get on well with them also helps given the long hours involved.

Speaking at Webstock in New Zealand, Kevin Rose, founder of Digg said:

“Ensure staff are committed to and understand your vision. Passionate, committed staff have a tendency to rub off on people. There is nothing like a new junior developer who runs circles around everyone to get people hyped up and raise the bar! Stay involved in the hiring process as long as you possibly can.”

4. Knowledge share and join co-working spaces

The value of knowledge sharing with peers is massively helpful to expats setting up their own businesses. Being with like-minded people and those who are going or have gone through similar challenges can help entrepreneurs problem-solve, bounce ideas and solutions off each other.

As you’re starting out, renting a desk in a co-working space can help surround yourself with other start-ups. Collaboration software developer, Huddle has put together this handy list of cool co-working spaces from around the world. See if there’s one near you!

5. Develop perfect pitch

Crafting the perfect pitch is a critical skill for expat entrepreneurs to have, be it for raising capital or to attract new business prospects. Knowing your business inside out and perfecting the elevator pitch is also a good start in getting your foot into the door. 

This Forbes article gives some great tips on developing and refining your pitch.

We’d love to hear from you other tips you have for entrepreneurs. Leave us a comment below.



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