How do you run a business remotely? Let's a closer look at how you can work and live anywhere in the world while running a business.
There’s no question that remote companies are the businesses of the future.
It saves on costs, allows them to reach talented individuals regardless of location, and makes running a business just that much more efficient.
However, like any startup, there are a few tips you can use to make running a remote business more efficient. Here are some tips for running a business remotely.
#1. Invest in Remote Conferencing Software
While few people enjoy meetings, they are essential now and then. Meetings help bring everyone together and get them on the same page.
It’s also the easiest and quickest way to answer questions that your employees may have about a specific task or general project.
Not all remote conferencing software technologies are equal. Some rely on excellent internet. Others are limited in the number of people that can join.
As a business owner, it’s important that you find remote conferencing software that works for everyone. It needs to meet your basic qualifications.
It should allow the correct number of guests to join. There should also be some level of security attached to it to ensure not just anyone can join.
The software should also be easy to use. Your employees are going to need to learn how to use it on their own. Depending on the tech-savviness of your employees, some may struggle.
Once you have your software, you need to think about how many meetings you want to have.
The great thing about working remotely is that it isn’t necessary to have as many meetings before.
Thanks to various messaging platforms, most of the questions or issues handled during a meeting can be handled swiftly through them instead.
That being said, it’s a good idea to have at least one meeting every month. This brings everyone together, reminds everyone that they’re a small piece of a larger picture, and also creates a sense of unity.
It’s an ideal time to keep everyone motivated, to praise them for the work they’ve done thus far, address any problems that have arisen, and make it clear what their tasks are going forward.
#2. Utilize Project Management Tools
Your employees need a place to work. You may need clock in and clock out software. There may need to be a place where projects can be uploaded.
You’ll find there are project management tools for everything. This autonomous software covers a specific task for your employees.
Depending on what you need, you’re sure to find it. If the tool doesn’t exist, then you may have found a new business idea that you can capitalize on later.
Project management tools are essential in that they help give your employees an understanding of what they need to do and when.
Certain tools come with clear deadlines. They also make it possible for you to set what their group projects and tasks are.
With clear instructions and a clear deadline, employees can start working with little management from you.
#3. Invest in a Password Manager
The security of your business is vital. Remote businesses need to invest in a password manager.
Since your business is going to be performed online, you’ll have a lot of sensitive information on file. Hackers are always trying to access that information.
A password manager can keep them locked out. It manages all of the passwords in the company and keeps them safe.
They also generate secure passwords on the fly when your employees need a password to access their files.
There are several different managers available. Some come with a few other security features that you might enjoy.
Otherwise, investing in a basic, but effective, password manager can keep your business safe.
#4. Establish Communication Plan or Software
One advantage of a brick-and-mortar business is that if employees had a question, they could just turn to the desk next to them.
Remote work makes that a bit difficult, but only if you don’t have an effective communication program in place.
Email can be slow. Not everyone checks their email when they’re in the middle of work either.
A better solution is a messaging system or chat app. There are some chats that are designed specifically for businesses.
It keeps the content of those messages private. A messaging system allows everyone to rapid-fire ask and answer questions at a given notice.
It can help ensure that employees don’t get stuck in a rut while waiting for someone to answer their email.
For non-sensitive messaging chats, you may want to consider something like Discord or Slack. Both are easy to use and designed for a rapid-fire chat.
In regards to Discord, you can even make multiple servers. One for each team or project.
Messaging apps can streamline how quickly and easily your employees can communicate with each other and yourself.
#5. Hire Remote Workers
Perhaps one of the most important steps in your remote business is hiring employees. With a brick-and-mortar business, you were limited to the people you could hire.
They had to be local or willing to move to your location. A remote business enables you to hire practically anyone in any country.
One of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want to hire in-house employees or freelance workers.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In-house employees are those you offer benefits to.
They receive a set amount of pay, a set amount of hours, and you usually provide health insurance for them.
An advantage of hiring in-house employees is that they come to know your business intimately. It’s easy for them to believe in your business’s goals and strive to make it succeed.
The other option is hiring freelancers. These are workers that are only hired for a specific time and at an agreed price.
They’re usually hired for a specific project, but they can continuously be hired once that project is completed.
The advantage of hiring freelancers is that you don’t have to offer them benefits. That can save you money.
You may find that the best solution is to have a mix. In-house employees can take care of the daily tasks.
Freelancers can take care of the mundane tasks that your employees shouldn’t need to handle.
However, you may find that a freelancer has incredible experience and skill that rivals those of your in-house employees.
It may be worth the investment to bring them in. Even if they want to remain working as a freelancer, the quality they produce may be worth it.
An additional aspect of freelancers to consider is their workload. Freelancers choose contractual work because it enables them to work the hours in which they want to work.
As such, it may be difficult to have them join meetings. While their work may still be done on time, you’ll have to acknowledge that the hours they work are theirs to choose.
The interviewing process for in-house employees doesn’t have to change much from how it’s done with brick-and-mortar businesses.
You can easily have a sit-down interview with them over a video call. You may even find that a simple interview via email suffices.
Remote hiring can proceed faster than brick-and-mortar businesses. With your employees hired, you’re ready to open your business.
#6. Keep Employees Connected
One problem that some business owners may run into is apathy. Employees may not feel connected to one another, to you, or to the business.
Without physically being in the business, it can be difficult for them to feel a part of it. The same goes for the lack of face-to-face communication with their coworkers. They may not feel as close.
That can be changed. One option is to hold a yearly retreat. This can bring everyone together and give them an opportunity to celebrate their hard work while getting to know one another.
The memories they make during the retreat can create close ties that they nourish once the retreat is over, too.
Another option is to set fun challenges that they can all join. One example is a fitness challenge. There may be a weight loss goal that everyone needs to help reach.
This helps them connect to one another and bond over something that isn’t work-related.
You can also give them a messaging app that’s coworker-only. While they shouldn’t spend the whole day on the chat, it can be a safe place for them to goof off and blow off some steam.
To make them feel part of the company, you should send them emails from time to time praising their work. A personal message from you can go a long way.
#7. Set Clear Goals
A lot of confusion and delays can be avoided if you set clear goals. These goals should be long-term and short-term.
Long-term goals are those that all of the teams are working towards. It may be to sell a certain number of products, acquire a certain number of customers, or reach a certain profit.
Short-term goals should be the weekly tasks that each specific team should try to meet. It’s the result that the daily tasks that they’re given lead to.
When clear goals are set, employees are able to sit down and get to work.
They know what they need to do, they’ve been given the software and means to complete their tasks, and they know who to ask questions to if a problem does arise.
By setting these goals, everyone feels as though they’re working together. It also ensures that employees don’t have to do much in order to self-motivate themselves.
They know what task they need to complete and when it needs to be completed.
#8. Have a Professional Website
If you want your business to be taken seriously, then it needs a professional website. This isn’t the time to use the free service from a host.
You need your own domain name with a URL that matches your business’s name. It’s the most effective way for customers and clients to find you.
The website also needs to be easy to navigate. Users should be able to find the information they need quickly. Buying from your online store should also be easy.
Customers should be able to see how much their cart is worth, the estimated shipping costs, and how long it may take to deliver their shipment before they confirm the order.
Without a professional website, it’s difficult for clients to take you seriously. In a world where scam artists thrive on the internet, you have to show them that you’re the real deal.
Part of your website should be devoted to reviews or testimonials. This can give new customers confidence that you’re authentic and sell quality goods or services.
Your website should also include a blog for SEO purposes.
#9. Utilize Social Media
One of the first marketing strategies you should implement for your remote business is social media. It’s free.
It also has the chance of acquiring thousands of followers in a short time. Figuring out an excellent social media campaign can bring attention to your brand, products, and build trust and loyalty between your business and customers.
There are several different social media platforms available. You should two that allow you to showcase what your business is all about.
So What’s Next?
In order to stay organized when managing a remote team, you’ll want a singular place to be able to manage your team and projects – this software makes it easy to do so.