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eCommerce Facts and Tips for Expats Living and Working Abroad

Millennials of the 21st century have a different outlook toward their lives and careers. The general consensus is that this generation is unwilling to work and expect things to be handed to them on a platter. But, the fact is that new-age professionals are keen on a healthy work-life balance where they can work to build careers but also live life on their terms. 

The advent of technology has made it possible for young entrepreneurs to start and run global ventures out of their suitcases armed with just a laptop and Wi-Fi connection. If this situation seems like a page out of your book, here are some practical tips to help you successfully work, live, and travel the way you want to. 

1. You Can Leverage Technology to Streamline Business Operations

Technological innovations and the availability of hundreds of applications and tools have made it possible for entrepreneurs to build multi-faceted teams. They can choose employees located in different parts of the globe specializing in a range of skills. With more professionals open to freelancing and remote working, you can get the expert talent you need with just a click of a button. Streamline your work processes by adopting platforms for connecting with team members. 

You can use platforms like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Slack, and Monday to stay connected with employees, provide instructions on tasks, set deadlines, and outline objectives. Using applications like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet, you can hold meetings and conferences. And, document-sharing tools like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox make it possible for multiple people to work together on a single document or spreadsheet. 

2. Building a Smart, Interactive Website is a Great First Step 

Whether it is virtual or operates out of a brick-and-mortar store, the critical prerequisite of any company is a website. Your digital store would have to list your products and services with detailed descriptions of what you offer. You’d include landing pages, service pages, blogs, and other content with high-def images and smart graphics. The more authoritative the site looks, the better are your chances of impressing clients and getting higher conversion rates.

You can find a vast array of website building software that allows you to choose customized themes according to the type of products you deal in. Check around options like Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, BigRock, and many more. You can also add plug-ins to improve the functionality of your website. All you need to do is download, install, and integrate the features you absolutely need. Optimole for adjusting images, Proof to provide details of customer experiences with the products, and Intercom to offer live chat options are some of the best ones to use.

3. Figure Out How to Accept Payments from Worldwide Customers

Contemporary businesses run by ex-pat professionals have a client base spanning the globe. But, when you’re catering to customers in different countries, you would also need to offer them the convenience of paying using credit and debit cards in their local currency. Sign up with a payment gateway for high-risk businesses, and you can accept orders for products and services delivered at customers’ doorsteps. 

Merchant account service providers offer you security against chargebacks and fraud by confirming the buyer’s identity and card details. You’ll also get additional services to support your new venture.

4. Ensure that You Enter into Legally-Binding Contracts

When you’re running an online business from an overseas location, you’ll need to keep the company protected from legal issues and lawsuits. Unforeseen problems can result in financial setbacks that can potentially wipe out your new company. Stay protected by drawing up agreements and contracts that clearly specify the terms and conditions of providing services to clients. 

You’ll also need valid paperwork when partnering with vendors and other service providers. Remote notarization can help safeguard your interests and ensure that contracts hold up in a court of law. 

5. Filing Taxes Online and Keeping Up With Obligations Can be Done

The ability to live and work from any location is a great advantage, but things can get complicated when filing taxes. You’ll file returns each year with the IRS as long as you retain US citizenship or Green Card. Your company structure will determine the Forms you must complete and submit. For instance, if you’re running a Limited Liability Company (LLC) from an offshore location, Form 8832 is applicable. Similarly, if you’re self-employed, you’ll file Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business) along with your ex-pat tax return after accounting for any exclusions you can claim. 

In addition, you’ll comply with the taxation requirements of your host country. For instance, if you live in the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, or Peru, you’ll need the services of an expert tax consultant to assist you with information about updated regulations that apply to your particular situation. Also, you need to know what is adjusted gross income. 

Living and working in offshore locations to follow your dreams while running a successful digital company – as a new age millennial, you can have it all. Use these tips and tricks for running your eCommerce venture to make it happen.