In the past ten years we have done business in 46 countries in which we have visited and translated business. We read all the statistical data, but for the most part found it not relevant as we were not a manufacturer, bank or other large conglomerate. We were a bunch of entrepreneurs, trying to get established networks going locally, navigate around the various regulations, customs and the currency of trust. Mostly we did ok, but sometimes we got smacked and that has a financial result.
By writing this I have to state that it is one persons opinion and not a bunch of peer reviewed statistical data that spat out of a banks computer. But even the results surprised me.
You see, fellow entrepreneurs, unfortunately some people promise the world and don’t pay you, some are easier to market to, others want to do business but their banking regulations and/or business law makes doing business a bit painful… and I’m not talking about your online marketing here… but going there and doing business. So what I have done for you, purely as a guide and feel free to knock me down…but only if you have been there and done all this yourself… then your opinion is valid: is to create some criteria and then score against that. So here goes.
The criteria are:
Trust Factor: The likely hood that people will do what they promise you, especially pay you for your services.
Global Awareness: How the general entrepreneur in that country is in touch with the world, other countries and what is going on in business globally
Ease of Transaction: How easy it is to do business under the law and financial institutions. For example some countries don’t have PayPal or Stripe etc and in South Africa you have to go through a whole big deal to transfer money internationally.
Marketing Openness: How open to being marketed to is the population and how likely they are to be open to meetings
Follow Through: Different than trust, this is the likelihood that what you agree on will get done, in the time frame agreed, the way you agreed.
Financially Viable: This can vary depending on where you are living. If you are in a country with poor currency then anywhere is viable, but generally I’m thinking you will want USD, so how viable is each country if you live in USD.
Hooks: This means how likely are you to do business without getting some hook, like a hidden tax, protocol, administration or bureaucracy cutting you back or down all together. The easier countries have the higher score.
In the chart below are the 20 main countries I have tvisited and done business in regularly over the past ten years. The top 4 came out exactly equal on points, but with different weightings so here is an overview of the top 5.
Ireland: They spend the Euro, have more entrepreneur groups per capita than any other country, are fun, think outside the box and are pretty open to new marketing. All in all – Ireland is a cool place to do business.
New Zealand: My home so I am bias, but the reason is – it’s easy to do business, start a bank account, set up a company and people will almost always pay you, once you have a contract. Kiwi’s a genuine folk. It’s a shame about the NZD, or NZ may have been a clear winner.
Canada: Not as regulated as the USA, Canada is worldly. They understand business, are trustworthy and diligent people. The dollar is like the Kiwi, but there is greater access to the world in Canada.
Netherlands: They have the Euro and that’s a big gift. Forthright people who won’t let you down, overall they are more analytical but want to be global. Global is mainly seen as Europe and not Asia, so that is a small thing to overcome.
UK: Just slightly below my top 4 the UK moves up because of the GBP. Even with Brexit it’s still strong and the UK is resilient and very global.
You may ask where is the USA and Australia. My two things stopping them from being higher is that the USA is tough to set up business in and it’s still going in worldliness and Australia is just way too regulated and getting more regulated. Some of their rules, such as franchising rules, just aren’t fun for people.
Anyway – I hope this helps, and it is from an entrepreneurs view and our own personal experiences so it is subjective but if you’re thinking of doing business globally not everywhere operates like home.