How To Start A Business While On Your Internship Abroad
You're a risk taker, or maybe you just wanted a change of pace. Whatever your motivation is for venturing out to another country, it's now blossomed more fully into a desire to create something. You have a decent amount of free time after your shift at your internship abroad and now you want to really start investing that time into something you're passionate about and find inspiration in.
Internships Abroad and Creativity
A survey by the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) revealed that over 95% of students studying abroad reported increases in confidence, maturity, and changes to their worldview. Sometimes, your exposure to a new culture and new environment can spell the genesis of an entrepreneurial spirit or cause you to recognize that there's some unique market demand that can be filled. But how do you actually get down to the nitty-gritty of starting a company while you're still in a foreign country?
Write Everything Down and Develop Prototypes
If inspiration has struck you like a flash of lightning, then you want to get as much of what's in your head onto paper as possible. In fact, research shows that taking notes by hands engages different parts of your brain and allows you to get more insight and selectivity of the thing you're observing or thinking about. You want to write out all the details of your business concept on a notepad or something similar and ruminate on it until you think you can come up with something akin to a marketable prototype.
Draw concept maps and write out descriptions. Let's be honest, starting a business abroad is just impractical. It's a much better idea to just get the concepts for your product or service, a prototype, and a business plan sketched out during your time in a foreign country.
Even if you were somehow very prepared to go ahead and start your business, you'd have to wait until you get back to your home country before you can legally register your business and begin operating. You would need to overcome cultural barriers and then even if your product is successful in a foreign country, that's not a representative measure of how it will perform back at home. There are just too many logistical issues to fathom while you're traveling, plus you have to keep up with your internship as well.
The Balance estimates that it will take you at least two to three months to get through the procedural aspects of business planning and registration. Furthermore, getting too into the technical details of registering a business before you even have a plan can also hamper your creativity. So just relax and take it easy.
Brainstorm and really work on creating a prototype. If you do manage to work one out very fast, you are in the perfect position to run it by a diverse and varied group of people to get a taste of how the global marketplace might treat your idea. Give some thought to the possible avenues of growth for your business or brand that are relatively inexpensive, such as social media .
After you develop a prototype that you're satisfied with yourself, you should take it around and see what your friends and colleagues think. Turning an idea into a business plan requires you to carefully reflect on a business concept.
Form a Definitive Business Plan
After you've spent your time abroad cultivating and incubating your business concept and creating a prototype, it's time to get started on a business plan. To reiterate, you should use your time abroad as a catalyst or launchpad for ideas and only get started on fleshing out the details of a business plan when you're back home. Forming a strong business plan involves all of the hard hitting conceptual and financial questions.
To really create a solid foundation for your business idea, you'll need to have details on how your company will make profits, target a demographic, deal with legal setups, and handle financial reporting. You will need to ask questions about why your product is unique in comparison to its competitors, and if there is actually a significant market need for your product. You should seek to envision and anticipate the full range of costs associated with bringing your idea into reality.
Being honest with yourself during this process will impact how successful your product is. For small businesses and startups, CB Insights reports that by far the most frequent reason for failure is the fact that there is no market need (42%) for the product. A close second is running out of cash.
A great majority of the time, the success of your business will depend greatly on the objectivity with which you treat and assess the market value of your idea, along with how much planning you put into running your company beforehand. With a little bit of luck and the right connections, your business should have a decent chance of taking off since you've properly accounted for the primary reasons it might fail.