For most entrepreneurs, building a business in a physical setting used to be a publicized norm. But as we transition to the digital age, so did the evolution of this ideology. Digital nomad startups, a term for location-independent entrepreneurial ventures, are fast sprouting in this quick-paced and highly competitive digital landscape. In a world of Silicon Valley talents left and right and endless elevator pitches from aspiring startup founders, where do you find the grit to stand out? Here, we’ve written an informative guide on building and establishing your own startup, no matter where you are in the world.
1) Write a business plan
For digital nomads who feel that business is their uncharted territory, start with the essential roadmap. Research the market for resources for digital nomads and look for consumer trends that require a solution. Find a specific niche where you’ll focus your products and services and learn from the industry professionals. As a template, a business plan requires the following information: Executive Summary, Company Overview, Market Analysis, Marketing Channels, and Financial Forecast. You don’t need to have a complete laid-out plan for each specific field, but having a backbone or structure works to maintain for you to stay focused on your vision.
2) Bootstrap if you can
There are several funding options for you to kickstart your startup: grants, business loans, investors, bootstrapping. Each has its pros and cons, but bootstrapping is highly recommended for most digital nomad entrepreneurs if you’re starting out. Many successful companies started out with bootstrap funding before yielding returns and eventually bringing in venture capital. However, relying on your money can be a tough call as you’ll need immense confidence and work ethic to build yourself from the ground up; but once you succeed, the fruit of your labour can be incredibly fulfilling.
3) Join communities of digital nomad entrepreneurs
Being a digital nomad allows you to network with like-minded individuals whose views and experiences you can resonate with, so leverage that. The great thing about these communities is that you are most likely to meet individuals in the same industry and various parts of the world. Travelling as a digital nomad allows you to expand your client base to the places you go to, which is an excellent strategy if you’re looking into growing your market. Aside from it, you can also try your luck into acquiring some angel investors through strategic elevator pitches. Just make sure to come prepared and mean business at every opportunity presented. Attend conferences and events focusing on digital nomad entrepreneurship if you must!
4) Use social media tools for marketing your business
As more and more brands are accelerating into the digital world, ensure that you’re making yours lucrative by building strong followings in popular social media networks. There are different marketing niches that you can utilize to create a steady online presence, some of which are affiliate and influencer marketing. Depending on the kind of services and products that you offer, rely on launching a tailored marketing campaign to reach your audience and generate sales.
5) Work on acquiring customers
Starting your startup from scratch can mean working with a minimal budget, so establish a marketing strategy that lets you focus on reaching your target customers with the lowest cost possible. Ask help from friends and family, do brand ambassadorships, concentrate on strengthening editorial content in your own digital nomad website, and establish partnerships with brands. The great thing about launching a business online is knowing that’s also where your target customers are, so bank on that.
6) Build your remote team
Building a remote team is crucial to your business’s success, especially when you start to grow exponentially, so it’s essential to be on top of everything: whether it be gaining your employees’ trust, building a culture of transparency, or fostering team communication. Hiring the right people for the right roles can be of make or break to a startup, as each function is significant and yields significant effects on the rest of the team. Because of this, consider hiring professionals to do recruitment for you. If you have enough time, you can vet the candidates yourself, starting from extensive background checks to proper skills assessment.
7) Leverage online tools that help you work remotely
Working from different time zones can come across as a challenge when running a remote startup, so establish fixed working hours for the rest of your team. Nowadays, various online tools make remote collaboration a breeze for most employees. Whether it may be design collaboration, project tracking, file sharing, or setting up meetings, there’s undoubtedly software intended to help you navigate the constraints of not being in a single location. Fret not as there are already success stories comparing the productivity of remote teams versus onsite ones, stating that the former fosters a more efficient and relaxed culture that results in a more successful working setup.
8) Launch a minimum viable product (MVP)
One key learning in the world of digital nomad startups is the practice of launching an MVP (minimum viable product), a scaled-down version of a product that progresses through several iterations. Most entrepreneurs struggle through perfectionism, resulting in project delays, which this principle is trying to debunk. While the MVP doesn’t have to be flawless, an entrepreneur needs to create a certain buzz before releasing it. Consider investing in good PR, building out a website, and creating appealing content to ensure good customer feedback on an initial product launch.