Having the right tools makes a world of a difference in business. I see all the time older managers still operating with pencil and pad get left behind, as all their younger subordinates run circles around them with their machine learning, AI, and fancy gadgets. There are too many innovative tools that exist now that can save entrepreneurs monumental amounts of both time and money. Here are a few tools that an international entrepreneur in Asia would find particularly useful, and I personally could not live without:
Transferwise – Money Transfers
You will most likely be making international purchases or sending money across borders at some point in time. Rather than taking cash out of ATMs with overseas cards or credit carding everything, you save a lot overtime using Transferwise. They provide literally zero currency spread so you get the best rates possible, and only charge a marginal 1% fee. In my years of searching, I have never found any service nearly as cheap when it comes to international remittances. More details covered here.
Skyscanner.net – Travel
Travelling around Asia is cheap and you’d be remiss if you didn’t take advantage of it. There are many booking websites available but I find Skyscanner the most user friendly and easy to use. The system is very flexible and allows you to search even if you don’t know where your destination is, nor when your exact departure date would be. They pool together prices from hundreds of different sites to give you the best price at any given time. This is the only travel website I use nowadays.
Airbnb.com – Accomodation
Few don’t know about Airbnb nowadays, the online platform for renting cheap short-term housing directly from a willing home owner. If you use them in North America or elsewhere, you will be surprised at how cheap you can find quality places in Asia, particularly South East Asia. You can rent a nice 1 bedroom apartment in a good area of most SEA cities for less than $30 USD.
Interactive Brokers – Discount Brokerage
IB is by far the finest international discount brokerage for buying and selling securities I have ever come across. It is unmatched in commission price-wise, particularly if you trade or invest a lot in US-denominated securities. I have saved a fortune using IB, and enjoy the privilege of being able to execute trades for less than $1.
Fiverr – Freelance Services
Connect with freelance workers around the world. I use Fiverr a lot for design work and some programming work. This can help you save a lot of time, particularly in the startup phases of your company as you look for new logos, product designs, website designs, etc.