For some people, their business will already be location independent just by the nature of how they started, but if you are like me, you will be taking a local business and transforming it. In the months prior to my departure from the United States, I had to figure out how to take my local IT consulting business and make it remote. This isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Most of my clients preferred my services and were willing to pay a high cost because I was local. I could meet them one-on-one and discuss what they needed over lunch and a laptop. If they had a hardware issue, I could be there in person the same day to fix it.  So naturally, as I changed the nature of my business, some of my clients changed the nature of their business relationship with me. I had to find a local replacement that I could refer my previous clients to, and I had to spend a couple months helping them transition to a new tech.

View in Costa Rica

Temporary satellite office in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

At the same time, I had to start picking up clients that were willing to work with me remotely, and I had to learn how to effectively work them in this environment. This is pretty much where I am now… some three months after leaving the states. I’m just barely breaking even with my business profits and my living expenses. That doesn’t mean my business isn’t turning a profit, it just means that my lifestyle is using up most of it. I took a risk when I left. My business was not making enough profit on the location-independent segment to fully fund my living expenses month to month, but I had saved enough that I felt confident that I could live off my savings while growing my business.

Panama view

View from my remote office in Panama City, Panama.

So, you can either decide to take a risk and attempt these last steps from the road, or you can play it safe and get your business running remotely before you leave. However, there are two factors to consider when making this decision. One is the amount of money you have in savings, which will determine just how long you can spend trying to get your business to support you through its remote operations if you decide to leave now. The second factor is how much money you will need on a monthly basis to live remotely. And this brings us to the finale, Step 6- Budgeting.

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