In the past ten years I have lived in three countries. Set up three business in Sydney, Australia, London, in the UK and Sweden. Also became a parent along the way. So lots of changes and adaptation has been required to keep running my freelance design business.
I can only talk about my own experiences I am not a professional business adviser but maybe these tips can help. You may have a partner who moves around for their profession and you have to get use to moving your family and business to a new country. I have found having my own business has been a positive experience. Allowing me to carry on working and still have time with my son. Here are my tips.
Illustration by Susse Linton
Plan, plan and plan again. Ease your mind and try to do as much research about the country you are going to live in. Will I need a visa? Will I be aloud to work in that country? How do I register for tax etc ? Finding a place to live Can. I work from my home? Working out general living costs etc Will I need to change my pricing for my products and adapt my services?
2. Get some accounting advice
First I recommended getting help and advice from your current accountant. Get some help so you can clear any tax, debts and finalise your accounts. You might have to close your current business and bank accounts so you do not end up paying extra tax bills in your new home. Having accounts to show your new bank is very helpful too. Also as you’re in a new country you might have to start your credit rating all over again.
3. Let people know you’re moving
Tell everyone related to your business your moving and you might be out of action for a while as you make the move. It took me sometime quite a few months to set up in Sweden working things out with the tax office and finding a permanent home. My studio equipment was in storage.
Don’t underestimate the cost of the move. New costs pop up . For example You might need a new phone, changing business cards and stationery, business insurances, a new website address, new suppliers, equipment but a lot of this is hard to know until you arrive in a country. Budget for these things before you move and also for roughly for the amount of time you may not be able to work.
5. Find a mentor
Illustration by Susse Linton
When you arrive find the local business advice centre, mentor or website. They can point you in the direction of business set up laws in that country and helpful advice.
6. Make friends
Get to know and make friends with local business owners. Ask them for recommendations for local suppliers, a good accountant etc. Share your tips too.
7. Stay positive
Keep positive and be kind to yourself. Moving can be an overwhelming experience with so much to organise, leaving one country and setting up in another. So many things to do like settling your family. Especially if you have kids getting them settled into a new school. Maybe you can’t speak the language need to sign up for language
If you start to feel down, home sick or overwhelmed it can have a negative impact on your creativity and motivation to keep going. So I have found get out and about and enjoy your new home, new people and try to see always see a positive future for yourself.
Use the down time to create new work. Learn new skills and think about your business plan as you may have to adapt to the situation you are in and make tweaks and changes. You will soon be busy again.
9. Stay connected
The internet is your friend keeping that open communication with your customers is really important. So really work on keeping the communication going until you get up and running.
10. Learn new things
Finally think of your move as an adventure and learning to grow while discovering new things about yourself. If you feel happy within yourself you will feel happy in any place in the world.