Since many of my friends have moved to Eastern Europe and run internet businesses, I’ve learned a thing or two from these successful individuals who know how to leverage the low cost of living in Eastern Europe (Ukraine) while making first-world money. Today you are in for a treat ? You are welcome. And congratulations!
Ukraine is the perfect place for online entrepreneurship.
In this day and age, the best place to explore entrepreneurship is online. Indeed, the most successful businesses are internet businesses these days, so if you are keen to join the new rich, you shouldn’t miss out on the golden opportunity on the Internet nowadays.
My best friend Frank is an internet entrepreneur who lives in Ukraine. He is an American guy who was inspired by his mentor’s business model – moving the entire business to an Eastern European country where the cost of living is low and the business expense is even lower. Basically, Frank makes first-world money while living in Ukraine, a country with a low cost of living.
Here’s Frank’s advice:
First and foremost, you must find a very profitable idea. This is especially important if you are looking to start a freelancing business.
In order to help you find your ideal freelancing idea, please answer the following questions:
- What skills do you have?
- What do you already pay for?
- What do your friends and family say you are very good at?
- What do you do on the weekend?
In the second place, you need to find the first client. I know finding clients could be a mystery for new freelancers. If you are wondering how you can find your first client on the Internet while you are living in Ukraine, here is Frank’s advice:
- Gum Tree
Basically, any online job board works, as long as you are actually great at what you do. For example, writers can go to FreelanceWritingGigs.com and MediaBistro.com to find clients. Programmers can go to Gun.io and Toptal.com to find clients. Designers and illustrators can go to Designs.net and 99designs.com to find business. Frank has several friends who also live in Ukraine and all of them work as freelancers online.
Thirdly, you can pitch your talents. Contact potential clients on the internet and see what happens. In today’s day and age, everyone has some online presence, so of course you can contact your potential clients online if you are keen.
Further, you should charge a good rate. Think about how much money you make per hour if you have a full-time job. Perhaps you would make US$35 per hour? That’s fine and very realistic – this can be achieved if you become a freelancer online while living in Ukraine. Note that US$35 per hour is a very high hourly rate in Eastern Europe, meaning you don’t have to pay a lot of everyday expense and you can save more money.
If you are not sure how much you should charge per hour, you can Google it! Search for the average hourly rate for the service you are going to provide and you will understand where to start when you charge clients.
Last but not least, you have to invest in your education. It doesn’t mean you must spend a lot of money and go to university now. It means you should at least keep reading books that can nourish your soul.
How to make sure your internet business actually works while you live in Eastern Europe:
First of all, you must remember your business expense. Indeed, running an online business gives you flexibility and freedom in terms of when and where you work. But this can also be a cost burden as well. You have to factor that in while considering your hourly rate. For instance, you have to use the internet, your own electricity, etc. All of these are your real overhead, so they will influence your bottom line in reality, even if you live in Ukraine.
Next, I’m happy to share what I know with you.
For beginner freelancers, here are several good starting numbers:
- Programming / tech: US$45 per hour;
- Graphic design: US$35 per hour.
- Editing / writing / proofreading: US$30 per hour.
That being said, you can keep your rates flexible because you live in Ukraine and you have the ability to be flexible (your cost of living is significantly lower than your competitors who live in western countries). This mindset is good at the beginning of your journey and you can always up your price later on.
How to make your business work for you so that you can enjoy a beautiful lifestyle in Ukraine:
Remember: passion is not everything.
I know this isn’t something you want to hear, but it’s true. It’s the brutal and hard truth to swallow – but once you do, this will make you a better business owner.
I understand that your passion is paramount. You must start a business around something that excites you every day. However, that won’t help you to decide what idea to choose and pursue, how much money you should charge per hour and how to sell without putting people off.
The real difference between a successful business and a failed business is their business systems. In terms of the most successful and practical internet businesses, there are six options on the market:
- Online courses, e.g. dating advice, health and fitness programs, etc.
- Coaching, e.g. Skype consultation and telephone consulting.
- Affiliate marketing, e.g. you can become Amazon’s affiliate marketer if you have a high-traffic website.
- Advertising, e.g. if you have a large following on your social media pages, you can run ads.
- Physical products, e.g. you can start an e-commerce store.
- Software, e.g. apps.
Remember: What’s simple and obvious to you is a huge pain in the ass for many other people. Once you are fully aware of your skills, strengths and interests, you will be amazed by the fact that other people are willing to pay you for your service. (Skills: the capabilities you already have. Strengths: things you are great at. Interests: things you like or are curious about.)
By the way, when you charge a lower price, you are not doing anyone a favor. Here is why: Charging lower prices makes you feel less motivated, so the quality of your work can be affected negatively – that is not good for your client’s result.
Note that your clients are not paying you for your time at all. In fact, your clients are only paying for the results you bring. Truthfully, no one cares how much time a project takes you. If a client pays you $10,000 for a project which brings them $1,000,000 in revenue, your hourly rate is completely irrelevant to your client.
Therefore, you should relax and focus on making your business work while living in Ukraine with ease.
“Ukraine offers you the perfect lifestyle, so you can do what you want online work-wise.”