The Digital Age Nomad
What is a digital nomad? We’ve come across this term quite often lately, especially in relation to entrepreneurs, start-ups and coworking spaces. In a nutshell, a digital nomad is someone who travels and is dependent on internet technology to work. They are freelancers, entrepreneurs, consultants or employees who are not tied to an office desk but able to work from remote locations thanks to the internet. Quite often the nature of their job itself revolves around the internet – digital marketing, online apps and softwares, and ecommerce.
Digital nomads have been around for almost a decade. The trend of working and travelling on a long-term basis evolved into a lifestyle choice for many, mostly made up of the millennial generation, looking to escape the corporate rat-race, routine or simply find a more fulfilling work-life balance.
Inspired to travel, particularly around Asia, digital nomads were propelled into their new-found existence with the aid of virtual technology, particularly the emergence of Wifi, smartphones, social media and of course the mushrooming of shared work spaces and virtual offices around the world. These mediums have complemented the nomadic lifestyle immensely by allowing them to earn through online platforms whilst indulging their wanderlust.
Coworking space in Kuala Lumpur
Coworking spaces have been a boon to the digital nomad lifestyle. In Kuala Lumpur itself there are more than 20 virtual offices within the city centre. They serve as a work base for many who require a working environment that is efficient and convenient during their travels, especially in developing countries. Whilst a majority of coworking spaces in Kuala Lumpur have the basic set-up – internet connection, coffee, cubicles, rudimentary office supplies, and facilities – others have taken the initiative to extend their services of a virtual office. This includes providing a mailing address, telephone/fax connection, receptionist, conference space, food to order and even going as far as organising networking events for their clients.
Another advantage of working from a shared office is the open, collaborative and synergic environment. With most digital nomads being independent workers from different walks of life and professional backgrounds, coworking spaces in Kuala Lumpur are a perfect meeting spot for entrepreneurs looking to connect with likeminded people, enlarge their network and even recruit new clients. The dynamic influence of self-motivated and enthusiastic individuals helps the digital nomad stay productive whilst learning from each other.
Plus add to that the opportunity for acquiring new skills and knowledge as coworking spaces even conduct their own business programs for personal and professional development.
For digital nomads and entrepreneurs who are pretty new to the scene, connecting with a local coworking space is a good starting point. Many shared offices, being pioneers in their respective locations, have cultivated connections to resources, mentors and speakers who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Offering programs particularly those that focus on digital marketing helps the digital nomad keep abreast of developing trends within the ecommerce industry as they are reliant on online exposure to build up their business. Most courses are designed to address the fundamentals of creating websites, utilising social media and software programming tips that are essential to the client’s work.
Research & Validation
For a majority of digital nomads looking to launch their own startup, it is important to have a good understanding of their business modal. Coworking spaces that offer research and validation as an added service can help to improve the odds of successfully developing a new product. This part of the business planning process is essential to establish the viability of the product. Research and validation can identify a ready customer base as well as predict their response to the product. This in turn can help determine the brand positioning. Coworking spaces with an established network of alliances can assist with the market research, surveys and audience build-up.
Another valuable support service offered by coworking spaces is business planning. They assist with writing down the business plan, creating a clear blueprint and analysing every step of the process to help identify weaknesses and opportunities. Services usually include courses that introduce relevant tools to support business planning, assistance with coordinating the execution of the business plan as well as crowd funding.