Most people are currently facing the fear of how to survive the crisis during a global pandemic. This global pandemic will disrupt most industries and many businesses and it’s difficult for most people to understand how to maneuver through hard days that are coming and quickly adapt their business models to the new reality.
From the U.K. to Italy, and many places in between, International Tax Lawyer and Business Coach Egli Haxhiraj is well known for his expertise in Investing Abroad and Expat Entrepreneurship.
Egli is a passionate lawyer and engaging international tax expert, author, and coach who has built his business “Fare Impresa” with a global client list.
Getting his start in his beloved hometown of Tirana Albania. Egli has proven himself a mentor for the expat entrepreneur world, with his travel-work trips taking him from Albania, to Italy where he studied Jurisprudence and International Tax Law, and now in UK.
In the United Kingdom he has expanded his Law And Accounting company into a Business Coaching Company, with a course called “Doing Business Abroad” with strategies for entrepreneurs and business professionals.
1 . How going Expat it’s a solution to the global crisis for freelancers and young entrepreneurs?
The word Crisis comes from the Greek word “Krisis” and means choice, decision. In a certain sense, the crisis is also self-alimented because it feeds on the psychological fear of investing to acquire new markets and to constantly innovate.
Freelancers, young entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises are the real beating heart of the world economy and I think they are the ones called to restart the economy. But changing perspective takes a lot of courage and the ability to invest in the new digital and globalized economy especially in this hard times for the economy.
Freelancers and SME need to reinvent themselves and go beyond the limits of geographical boundaries and explore the new Blue Ocean markets as well as foreign markets.
The main reason for doing this is to choose optimism and to seize the possibilities that new markets and consumers have to offer, new markets can be both geographic and technological.
In fact, one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is how to stand out from the global competition! Never before have there been so many competitors who want to enter your market space.
The best way to succeed in this period is to apply the Blue Ocean strategy. Let’s imagine for a moment that the markets in which all companies operate are divided as two parallel oceans of different colors, one red and one blue, depending on where companies are positioned.
The red ocean is a market where there is a bloody fight between competitors to win a greater share of scarce demand within the same sector, and where there are low margins for competing on price.
The blue ocean, on the other hand, is completely different, going in a blue ocean market means crossing borders and exploring new territories, finding new market spaces that make competitors irrelevant.
Taxi drivers learned the hard way, suddenly Uber came and completely disrupted their market, making competitors irrelevant and putting a lot of taxi companies out of the way.
But disruption came this year in new form, a global pandemic hit your market space and suddenly the entire cycle of the economy stopped.
Companies that become competent and move quickly during the crisis will have a strategic advantage over their competitors in the post-pandemic economy.
Now I’m not saying that positioning yourself on a Blue Ocean is easy and that it happens overnight but it is not too difficult to find an unexplored market that can perceive you as a unique and “innovative” company or where there are few competitors.
2 . What are the benefits for expat entrepreneurs to start business abroad ?
The first advantage is undoubtedly “A favorable tax system”. In many foreign countries the tax regime is very favorable for Small and Medium Enterprises .
The second is the “attractive labor cost”. Some countries have a competitive advantage in very competitive wages over others and in general business costs which are two thirds compared to those incurred in the home country.
The third advantage is “a much leaner bureaucracy”.
3 . What would you recommend to people who want to start a business abroad today ?
The first thing to do is go on a journey of exploration to see for yourself the opportunities that exist.
We always suggest starting with a Preliminary Assessment that includes all the information gathered professionally and that contains a detailed assessment of the cash flow, business idea, tax law, costs and profits and the market.
But training is also very important and I advise all those who want to internationalize to use these two fundamental strategies:
The first is a methodology that is internationally known and recognized as the “Lean Startup” this strategy was developed by Eric Ries in Silicon Valley, USA and is based on the three main pillars of the Lean Startup method: (Build – Measure – Learn) or (Build – Measure – Learn).
This method is very simple and has allowed us to launch many innovative Expat Startups and this is the cycle that an activity must follow from the beginning to be “lean”:
• first create a prototype (Good or Service + Brand) and launch it on the market as quickly as possible,
• measure the results in order to have data that can be used to improve the prototype and relaunch it on the market,
• learn from the collected data how to improve your prototype,
• repeat from the beginning.
This cycle must be done quickly. Thus, costs are minimized, risks are reduced, and this allows the company to grow faster and provide better products and services than the competition.
The second method is certainly the Business Model Canvas, a model developed by Alex Osterwalder, which allows you to create realistic Business Models and reduce errors in the launch phase of the company.
4. Why should young entrepreneurs do business abroad?
Today we live in a globalised world and most of the entrepreneurs in the Startup world are young Millennials, their ability to innovate depends a lot on traveling and learning about new ideas and exchanging know-how.
For me, startups can be born anywhere but abroad there are countries where the conditions are optimal for those who want to experiment with new products, for those who do not have large budgets and want to start light, where bureaucracy is very streamlined and taxes are advantageous.
Furthermore, doing business abroad helps you to create products designed for an international market and not passively undergo globalization but use it to scale your company.
I think that the post-pandemic future will be different, the crisis will have a long-lasting impact on society.
The young entrepreneurs need to adjust their perspective and push past obstacles to find new markets and opportunities, to survive and thrive.