7th November, 2019

Setting up your Digital Nomad business

Right, you’ve decided to become an international man or woman of mystery, and embark on a location independent lifestyle. You picture yourself as James Bond, and similarly feel that your bank balance should reflect as much.

However, unless you’ve won the lottery, you are going to have to work your pants off to live a glamorous life as a digital nomad.

Myth busted

That pretty much sums up our point – being a digital nomad is not as glamorous as you think. Often aspiring digital nomads will envisage a lifestyle for work and travel as sipping Martinis by a pool overlooking the ocean, all while effortlessly spattering a few random keys on their laptops with their other hand. Nope, this is not what it’s all about!

In fact, the idea of working this way is frustrating even just to think about, as it’s hard to see how anyone can work productively in this sort of arrangement.

Pull up your sleeves

Instead, you are going to have to work hard, probably at a desk in your hotel or Airbnb organised apartment. 

So now that you have removed yourself from the poolside, and adopted the correct position behind your computer at a makeshift desk, it dawns on you that you don’t have any work to do!

This is a mistake the rookie digital nomad can make very easily, and it stems primarily from the lack of preparation. If you haven’t got your plans and strategies together before you leave to start your digital nomad experience, you are going to start far, far behind in the quest to sustain your lifestyle.

Too many people fail after prematurely quitting their job to become a digital nomad and not having their plan ready.

Always be prepared

You should allow yourself a few months before you go to organise and test your revenue streams and general work flow process. Most of all, you need to set up your Digital Nomad business.

Whatever service you are offering, whatever job serving platform you are on, you need to represent as a company. Give yourself a suitable name, even if it actually is your own name, and get you business logo and general brand established. Further to this you can scope out your general business aims, mission statement, target demographics and all the other business development tasks that you think are worth while.

Be sure to work out exactly what your revenue streams are, whether paid work for hourly services, fixed price jobs, selling digital goods online or earning money through Google Adsense.

Online presence

Most importantly, make sure you have your own website. This will give the impression that you are much more legitimate than a mere sole trader, and acts as the communication portal to your potential clients discovering your services and just how damn good you are!

Also can be a good idea to build a blog which showcases your authority and expertise in your service.

Register your business with any local governance requirements, such as trademarking the name if you want. In Australia for example, you need to register your Australian Business Number and also register the business name.

Why be a business?

Some people ask why it’s necessary to set up the business in the first place. It’s obviously not a compulsory measure, however your credibility, earning potential and future growth forecast is a lot brighter if you do.

Besides, it’s not always the best idea to lead on that you are a digital nomad, as the client may picture you as the aforementioned drunk poolside keyboard tapper. Would you hire that person?

Once your business is set up and you have tested your work systems with a few clients, then it could be time to jet off and start your adventure as a digital nomad.

In the end it’s your own decision, however it will impact your salary as a digital nomad. For those wanting the just scrape by with the odd job, and live perilously cheap, maybe setting up a business is not required. But for those looking to do more than merely sustain themselves as a location independent digital nomad, a more enterprise approach is highly recommended.


Prepared by Work Play Nomad


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