Profitable Business ideas for Expats & Expat Wives

Top 10 Easy to Start Small Business ideas for Expatriates

1. Teaching your native language

Teaching your native language (English, Dutch, Chinese, Spanish, French or any other) is one of the easiest ways to become self-employed as an expat. A smart idea is to choose a specific niche, such as teaching your language for business, personal tutoring, academic tutoring, etc.

A good way to start this business is to network with existing language schools; they may offer you a contract job to start with. However, keep in mind that teaching your native language in a foreign country would most likely require a recognized certification such as TOEFL or TESOL.

2. Translation services

If you can speak both your native language and that of your new country, you can make a lot of money working as a translator. You will find individual clients who have translation assignments to handle; and you will find businesses that need a translator to help them reach out to foreign prospects.

3. Import and export

If you have an established business in your homeland, you can consider establishing good import and export links with your new country. You can import the products offered by your business into your new country if they are in huge demand. However, bear in mind that the import or export business is a tough one. So, you should conduct thorough market analysis before venturing into it.

4. E-commerce

Location is no longer a barrier to buying and selling, thanks to the internet. Many people now prefer to buy products online due to the convenience and security this option offers. You can make a lot of money by setting up your own e-commerce store and offer products for sale.

You can start with a narrow range of products and then expand from there. Sourcing the products is now easier than ever, as you can buy from suppliers in Asia and sell to customers in Europe or America; all from the comfort of your room.

5. Virtual assistant

If you have some office administration or secretarial experience, then you should consider the booming virtual assistance industry. Many individuals and small businesses hire virtual assistants for a wide range of tasks such as data entry, document preparation, event planning, etc.

This saves them the cost of hiring an in-house employee. One good thing about virtual assistance is that the work is remote, and you can do it from the comfort of your room.

6. Photography

If you are a skilled photographer, you can make a lot of money from serving corporate clients, taking shots at weddings and other events, and taking shots of wildlife or travel. You can consider the growing micro-stock model if you are a prolific snapper. Also, you can teach others how to become a good photographer; if you are more of a people person.

7. Tea Cafe

Most foreigners adopt the option of running restaurants, cafes, and takeaways. This is often influenced by the cuisine for their homeland, and these outlets can attract hungry locals as well as other expats. Knowing what offers would sell in a place requires you to have spent some time studying the area and its people. So, keep this in mind if you think this business idea is for you.

8. Tour guide

Due to their native language ability, expats are often hired as tour guides. A smart way to take this a step further is to offer personalized tours to visitors from your homeland. Before taking a plunge, don’t forget to check if some licensing is required.

9. Life coach

If you have solid counseling qualification and skills and have had a successful career as a professional doctor, accountant, attorney, etc; then you can make extra money by starting a coaching business. Many people would pay you to give them professional advice that will help their career, businesses, and personal lives.

10. Other freelance services

If you have skills such as web design, writing, SEO, graphics design, and so on, you can make money by offering your services to individuals and businesses. Many small businesses now prefer the cheaper option of hiring freelance contractors to employing in-house staff.

Compilation by Ajaero Tony Martins A serial entrepreneur and investor with several successful companies in his portfolio. He does business in one of the world's toughest environment and has an audacious goal to become a billionaire in his life time. You can click here to read his full bio.

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