In my last article I talked about the phenomenon of The Expat Women’s Shift, where I discussed a change in focus among partnered expat women away from their husband’s career to themselves and how women can begin to explore ideas, even in a new country. I mentioned a few ways to jumpstart the process if you wanted to do something different but had no idea of what they might be.
I promised a follow-up article for women who had an idea of something they’d like to try but were stymied about where to begin. So here are some tips to get started:
Tip #1: Research, research, and research.
If you want to start a new business, there are basically 2 different populations you can target 1) people in your host country, expats or locals, or 2) everyone else through online marketing.
In both cases the first step is to see if you have competition, and if so, the nature of the competition. This is going to take a significant amount of research, either by going out and talking to people where you live, or by Goggling similar ideas and businesses online.
What if you know what you want to do and know that it requires additional education or training? Same story. You need to research the different schools and programs out there and determine which is a fit for you.
Tip # 2: Identify your niche.
There is a ton of information on niche marketing, which is readily available online. My concern here is to help you identify your niche.
The single most important piece of advice about this is to first identify your own niche, either by age, lifestyle, socioeconomic grouping, etc. Then target this niche. This will have greater meaning for you personally and add the juice that can carry you along.
Many women have established successful businesses by becoming aware of a need they had that wasn’t being met, then seeing if others felt the same way (research), then establishing a business to meet that need.
An expat woman client of mine wanted to find a family-friendly photographer to take a portrait of her family while abroad. She wanted it to be in an iconic location so it would say something about their time in this country. There were no expat photographers in her city and the local photographers didn’t seem to understand just what she wanted, although she did end up using one of them.
She was pretty good photographer herself, and through this process identified an unmet need. She began to survey the expat community to see if others shared this need and found they did. In a surprisingly short time she had a business up and running. At the same time, she was able to take courses online to improve her photography and Photoshop skills.
Tip # 3: Reach out to your niche.
This might seem like a no brainer, but many women are great at the first 2 steps, then don’t know what to do next. Even in this day and age, many women report that they don’t want to seem “braggy.”
If your niche is the expat community where you live, go to every network meeting, coffee morning, and anything else you can think of. Connect with other like-minded women and talk about the need you can fill.
If your niche is an online community, think of every possible site where folks in your niche might hang out online. Ask your friends. Ask other people in your niche. Write articles, post pictures and develop a simple but killer website.
You’ll be surprised about how much excitement you can generate when you’re excited about something yourself!
And let me know what you’re up to, either by leaving a message on FB or my website, www.expatcounselingandcoaching.com.