6 Location Independent Business Trends to Watch in 2021
For location-independent entrepreneurs and those who want to be, the landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace. Cash-Free, blockchain reliant, and environmentally viable are all buzzwords that need to be embraced.
And machine learning and automation are at the forefront.
But here are 6 tips that’ll change the landscape for good, and trends that you need to jump on if you want to survive and thrive in the coming years.
Fiscal Policies Over Glamor
The location-independent digital nomad lifestyle has been glamorized for the last 5 – 10 years, but smart business leaders are quickly discovering that offshore wealth creation isn’t quite that glamorous when their priorities aren’t in order.
Sure, being a location-independent business owner gives you the freedom to hop from shore to shore as your profits flood in.
But your business structure must leverage fiscal policies to your benefit, and that means incorporating your business in the right country and making it your domicile. Different companies have different tax rates and other concerns like employee and legal costs, all of which need to be considered.
Cross-Functional Collaboration Replaces Silo Mentality
Silos are receiving more and more bad press, both from within departments and on a macro level. Cross-functional departments are quickly taking their place so that specialists can adopt a more holistic view of their goals.
For example, when HR, sales, and logistics work together, lead generation can inform preemptive supply chain planning in keeping with HR demands.
It used to be that cross-functional collaboration was challenging in the LI world, but the digital transformation has swooped to the rescue.
Cloud-based virtual team technologies are reaching their zenith, letting remote departments work together in virtual offices more effectively than ever before. Offshore wealth creation has never been this viable.
Tightening Labor Laws
Over the last couple of years, more internationally focused business owners have been shifting towards independent contractors and away from traditional employment models.
The freedom of contracting allowed them to place their focus on direct offshore wealth creation, but the law as started to catch up. In 2021, major western nations will continue tightening contracting laws to shift responsibility back onto business leaders’ shoulders.
Private sector off-payroll rules will be incorporated into the private sector, giving disguised employees more rights.
This will likely return location-independent businesses to a purer business model that relies on virtual employees instead of freelancers
Paying More for the Right Team
Even on the cusp of a virtual teamwork revolution, entrepreneurs cannot monitor staff as well in remote environments as they can in brick-and-mortar ones.
To chip away at the challenge, location-independent business leaders need to ramp up their salaries to employ rock stars who are gifted enough to function independently.
Gone are the days where you can hire a dollar-per-hour employee and expect them to do a decent job for you.
2018 was the year e-commerce reinvented LIBs, but that landscape is continuing to evolve.
Google is transforming into an online marketplace, and shoppers are buying through social media instead of classic e-commerce stores.
Flexible payments are adding nuance to the landscape, forcing small businesses to take on significant financial risk. In the coming years, businesses that use e-commerce will need to adjust to fit these rising technologies.
Brick and Mortar Integration
The rush towards a virtual-only enterprise is becoming sluggish as LI entrepreneurs learn that meeting space had significant benefits.
Department leaders can scale best in a brick-and-mortar environment, but 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers in 2021, so the coming year is expected to see LIBs dividing their workforce between contractors, remote employees, and brick-and-mortar workers.
Millennials will take up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, so LIBs need to adjust to suit them. The virtual world will define the coming decade, but LIBs are quickly learning that digitized assets are far from perfect.
This year, business leaders will add nuance to their digital reliance, even in the LIB biome. Add machine learning and artificial intelligence to the mix, and you have an unprecedented infrastructure that’s more diverse than ever before.