Best business ideas for success abroad

If you’re considering relocating abroad then you could well be weighing up your options when it comes to running a business. There are positives and negatives for every kind of start-up, particularly in the current economic climate. Here we consider a few of the options and which ones might work for you.

1) Opening a restaurant
Many chefs and entrepreneurs decide to open a restaurant abroad, but there are many factors to consider. Even if you have a fantastic business plan, you need to assess the local market and ascertain who your target customer would be. If you’re considering setting up in a tourist hot spot then don’t forget the seasonal changes. Many resorts will have very quiet periods, so if you’re targeting tourists then you’ll either need to minimise your out-of-season costs, or also target locals. Otherwise the quiet times could be far too costly. It’s also important to consider the competition; many resorts already have an abundance of restaurants available.

2) Running a hotel abroad
Life as a hotelier can seem the perfect choice, but again you need to think of your target market. It could be worth directing your hotel at a niche, such as families with young toddlers or people who are interested in a particular sport. You need your business to stand out from the rest, so if you do target a niche then your marketing needs to be spot on. It’s also incredibly hard work, and you may not get to relax as much as you might think.

3) Shipping and international trading
If there’s a definite market for your product overseas then it could well be worth adding shipping abroad and international trading to your portfolio, but local knowledge is a must. Unless you’re intending to sell exclusively online, it could be worth employing a local agent in your destination countries. They have the local knowledge required, as well as information on local markets and trading laws. Otherwise there can be too much crossover, and no-one wants to spend all their time going back and forth.

4) Property
Property is an excellent choice when it comes to business overseas, but you must have knowledge of the local economy. Do some research on up-and-coming areas, particularly those with the facilities already in place. There are too many horror stories about properties not being completed due to financial issues. Similarly to the UK, it’s worth snapping up a ready-made bargain and waiting it out, particularly in popular tourist resorts. These can attract a reasonable income in the short term, as well as serving as a holiday home for the owner. Plus, once the economy picks up, you can sell the property on for a tidy profit.

5) Investment holding
Investing in foreign markets can be lucrative, as long as you know what you’re doing. It takes some research, but if you can identify which method works for you then it can attract a good amount of profit with very little time invested. Going for a mutual fund or exchange traded fund is the simplest way, but will take a lot of consideration and research before going ahead. If you’re more knowledgeable about the stock market then purchasing individual stocks can be a lucrative addition to your portfolio, though the exchange rates can make it tricky and there’s little opportunity to travel as a direct result of investment.

Starting a business overseas requires a lot of the same considerations as starting one anywhere else, with the added issue of local knowledge. However, if you’re familiar with the market in your destination then you could find it an excellent way of boosting your income, as well as traveling. If in doubt, you could always contact a company to help you set up your business abroad.

Image of beach restaurant by echiner1