The pro and cons of a digital business, and tips to set up your lifestyle business

Talking about entrepreneurship and digital nomad jobs in the same sentence may seem strange. But setting up a digital business allows you to be nomadic. And that’s a great way to enjoy a lifestyle of travel, adventure, and experiencing new cultures.

Research by MBO Partners shows that more than 7 million Americans describe themselves as digital nomads. Could this be the perfect business for you?

Is the life of a digital nomad the ultimate lifestyle business?

For many of today’s new generation of entrepreneurs, digital nomad jobs make perfect sense. You set up an online business, and can conduct that business from your laptop or Mac wherever you go in America, or, for that matter, the world.

You could visit a different location every couple of days. Or stay for weeks or months at a time. Winter in Florida. Spring in New York. Summer in California. Fall in New Hampshire. Or how about a three- month tour of Europe, earning while traveling?

Other advantages of a digital business

Apart from the opportunity to create a nomadic lifestyle, there are many other advantages of creating a business that benefits from digital nomad jobs. Here are a few.

Digital businesses can be cheap to set up

You’ll need to decide what type of business you will run. Generally, this falls into three categories:

  • Freelancing, selling your skills to the highest bidders. Typical businesses in this category include freelance writing, web design, programming, architectural design, graphic art, virtual assistant – any business that can be carried out digitally.
  • Product sales. This may be products that you have custom-made for your business to sell or an online store that you have set to take advantage of ‘dropshipping’.
  • Consultancy/coaching. Acting as a consultant or coach in your area of expertise, ‘meeting’ with people online, and providing training, advice, and coaching services. You might also sell courses, eBooks, and subscriptions.

Such businesses are relatively cheap to set up. You’ll need the right technology and a website. And if you plan to travel extensively, you’ll need to make sure you carry all the necessary tech with you. But it’s not like you need to invest in premises or other trappings of a location-based business.

You’ll learn a lot

As you travel and experience new surroundings, you will learn a lot about the world. You’ll encounter different people and different cultures. You may meet potential business partners. You’ll discover more about yourself, and probably need to learn new skills to run your digital business.

Your money could go a lot further

Earn New York fees and pay half the cost of living when you live in Bali. It’s a great way to help you build a nest egg for your retirement.

Don’t get carried away just yet

Before you get carried away with the idea of life as a digital nomad, there are some caveats.

For a start, you are setting up a business. You’ve still got all the responsibilities of running a business, and that can be difficult from so far away. You’ll need to develop a business plan, detailing costs, revenues, profits, where and how you will get customers, and so on.

While setting up your business can be cheaper than setting up a location-based business, you shouldn’t underestimate your costs. You’ll have travel and accommodation to pay for, the costs of technology, and other costs associated with a business. In those first few months, you’ll need to allow for lower revenues as you build your business.

You’ll also need to manage a team remotely – and this requires a different skillset to managing a team in-person.

You’ll still need to be disciplined. This can be hard enough when working from home, but when you are working in new and exciting places, you’ll need to make sure that your self-discipline doesn’t go out the window.

If you travel extensively, you could be extensively exhausted – and this will impede your performance, productivity, and earning potential.

Tips to build an entrepreneurial life as a digital nomad

If you’ve explored the pros and cons of being a digital nomad, and have a business idea that you can operate from anywhere, with the passion and skills to match, then you could be on the road to success. But there are some steps you must take:

·         Build your finances

Build up your personal finances. You’ll need a financial cushion that allows you to pay travel and accommodation costs, and pay for emergencies should they occur. Your business may not be turning over enough money in the early days of your new nomadic life to sustain all your expenses. A good financial footing is crucial.

·         Set up your business before you leave

Plan. Set your business up early. Get your website set up, your social media accounts working, and your new business affairs in order. Write your business plan, get a line of credit to cover business costs, and take on clients as soon as practicable.

·         Get revenue coming in

Start delivering work, and building a revenue stream before you jet off. When you have your business up and running, then is the time to start considering where you really want to be running it from.

Here’s what I know

Setting up a business and benefiting from digital nomad jobs is an attractive proposition for many would-be lifestyle entrepreneurs. But you mustn’t rush your decision or your travels.

Just as with any business idea, you must be certain this is what you want to do. If you start a business and depend upon it for your income, and it turns out to be a business you hate, you’ll end up leading a lifestyle that dissatisfies you. The opposite of your business goals.

Even if you’re away, you must deliver your products and services consistently. You must be professional. A poor internet connection and different time zones can play havoc with your ability to do so.

When all is said and done, a business that provides the opportunity to live life as a digital nomad is still a business. And this means you must approach it with the same diligence and professionalism you would approach a location-based business.

Have you considered a digital business as the answer to your lifestyle dreams? Have you carried out an analysis of your skills, and had your business idea assessed? What experience have you had with developing business plans?

Let me know your thoughts below, or get in touch with me to learn how I can help you achieve your business and lifestyle dreams.

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