Starting a business in Bali combines two of every entrepreneur’s greatest desires: living in paradise while making a steady profit. The number of international startups springing up in Bali over the last few years has turned this island paradise into something more lucrative than just another Southeast Asian holiday destination.
It has become a business opportunity with over 5 million consumers; that caters to a thriving startup ecosystem and is a place where startups can reduce their costs, maximize their profits and live in a breathtaking part of the world. If you are thinking about packing your bags and setting up shop here like I did, there are some things you need to know about what it takes to start and build a technology business in Bali.
Bali Is All About Collaborative Co-Working Spaces
I’ve discovered my hub and favorite co-working space in Bali, going from a fixed office to being location independent, then back full circle to a more fixed location again, simply because it’s a wonderful place. I have met some of the greatest people at Dojo Bali which I find to be excellent for a number of reasons like location, an engaged community, social events and fun, great food, smart and inspiring people and fast internet. I’ve been able to establish partnerships with apps that we’ve integrated into Mailbird. I’ve even found great talent and even hired people from this awesome community to join our business. It has everything I really need.
Many co-working spaces aim to actively promote entrepreneurship, business networking, workshops and seminars by hosting weekly events and conferences. It really is the perfect environment for startups of any size. The culture makes you feel as if you are part of a family that is there to support and help your business grow. Some other co-working spaces in Bali include Kumpul, Hubud, Lineup Hub and Outpost. There are also some unique tech startup ecosystems that include both co-living and co-working environments like Livit Spaces and Roam.
Bali Has Low Operational Costs
The great thing about starting a business in Bali is that you do not need a significant amount of capital. The cost of living is quite cheap, helping keep operational costs low. This is why many new companies choose to build their business from here, as they are able to bootstrap while kick starting their new business.
According to Nomadlist.com the average cost living in Bali is about $1,060 per month considering this covers food, living, office, social and entertainment costs. To attain that same quality of living in America would be close to $2,500 minus the fact that you live on a tropical island where the sun is always shining.
It is evident that you get a better quality of living and value for money when choosing to come to Bali to build your business. It is understandable why so many startups are choosing to base themselves here on this island that was once only for honeymooners and vacationers.
It’s not just for online technology workers and startups, but also local establishments that cater to tourism find economic opportunities here while also creating jobs for people on the island. Co-owner of Motel Mexicola Adrian Reed moved his business from Australia to Bali for better profits. He says,
“In Australia, you’re doing brilliantly if you make 10% profit. Here, we are making 40%.“
You Need To Embrace The Digital Culture
Bali attracts an abundance of local and international talent across the spectrum because of its digital nomad culture and strategic position as a launch pad into the rest of Asia.
The ability to build a team without the limit of location is an incredible movement in the future of work. Choosing the best people regardless of where they are in the world, has become a very attractive selling point for startups considering Bali as a working hub. This culture is further embraced thanks to the development of the IT infrastructure over the last few years, resulting in more internet service providers and fiber optic networks.
And the fact that all of this takes place against the backdrop of a beautiful tropical island definitely doesn’t hurt.
Time Works Differently In Bali
While this lifestyle change can be a struggle at first, it is another positive in disguise. The intense rat race found in cities can be left behind when you come to this island. Instead you’ll learn to adapt to a better work-life balance, while learning how to keep priorities in check for yourself and for your blossoming business. You can say hello to the best of both worlds when you come here to start a new business venture whether in tech, finance, the arts, consumer product or service industries; this is work-life zen at its best.
I’ve met many entrepreneurs and startup founders who have been travelling for several months to several years, and many of them say nothing beats Bali. So they return and some make another pit stop for a few months, while others build their network and working hub from this magical place, once coined “Silicon Bali”. Things have been set in motion, allowing entrepreneurship to flourish in Bali.
You Still Need To Follow Regulations
Many expats that move to Bali to start businesses have unrealistic expectations about how things work. They assume they don’t have to follow any legalities or pay taxes, but it’s the same as it is in any other country around the world.
It is also one of the few downsides of living and working in Bali. There is quite a bit of regulation on the island of gods, so make sure you are informed and have all your permits and correct visas that legally allow you to run your business here. As an expat it’s important to take legalities and regulations seriously when starting a business or working from Bali
Bali is fast on its way to claiming one of the top spots in the world to build new business ventures, especially in tech. It has earned placement as a fertile ground for location independent entrepreneurs and business owners. Starting a business from Bali, to work in paradise with all of the modern comforts and small luxuries, is an incredible example of how things are shifting in how we work from around the globe. This is the future of work and what the “modern office” looks like.
Here’s my personal video review of the place where I love to be productive most in building my business when I’m in the entrepreneurial hub of Bali.
If considering coming to Bali to work or even start a new company, I hope to see you soon where you’ll be joined with thousands of others who’ve found their mecca in starting up a business, while tucked perfectly away into the gorgeous archipelago of Indonesia.
This post was originally published on Forbes.com as republished here, with permission of the author Andrea Loubier.