Remote working has become more popular than ever. It was already on the rise across the globe thanks to advancements in technology. But, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become more of a necessity for some people, and less of a luxury.
At the beginning of 2020, over 4 million workers in the United States alone relied on technology to work remotely. Today, that number is undoubtedly greater due to the Coronavirus.
Running a remote business is a great way to be your own boss, find more flexibility, and even grow so you have a whole team working with you from all across the globe. Whether you want to start small as a mobile business, or you’re ready to dive in and create something big and powerful, the steps to get started are the same.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the tips you can use to start your own remote business and find success.
Create and Maintain a Quality Website
As a remote business, consumers can’t just walk into your location and get a first impression about who you are and what you do. Every impression you make will be online, unless you have physical advertisements somewhere else.
So, it’s a good idea to think of your website as your storefront. When someone clicks onto it, think of them coming into your place of business and what you would like them to see. What feelings does it evoke? Not only will your website be a first impression for most people, but it will be the impression that lasts.
A good website will also give potential customers and clients information on how to contact you. It should have everything they need in one place. While an additional web presence is needed on social media, etc., your website should be your bread and butter, so it’s important to put a lot of time and thought into it. If you’re not familiar with web design or maintenance, hiring someone to create a memorable site for you is a worthwhile investment.
Stay Active On Social Media
As stated above, it’s important to have a web presence on other outlets as well, especially social media.
Make sure you’re active on as many social media platforms that are relevant to your business. It’s a great way to show off the more casual side of your business and to directly interact with those who are following you. There are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, so tapping into the target market for your business can be a great way to grow quickly.
Using social media is an effective way to keep your customers interested, because you should be consistently posting engaging content. While that’s important for your website, too, your site won’t change and get updated as frequently as your social media accounts should.
When you’re a remote business, it’s easy for people to feel like things are automated or “not real,” somehow. By using social media as much as possible, you can add a humanistic quality to your business with everything from behind-the-scenes videos to photos and interviews with employees across the world.
Prioritise business privacy online
Running an online business means putting a lot of information out there, about your brand, your products, and even yourself. Privacy is of paramount importance; without adequate security and protection, your business could fall prey to cyber crime and potentially lose devastating amounts of money.
By ensuring that all work devices, along with your software, are fully up to date with the latest cybersecurity software, you can guarantee that your company will be protected from criminals or scammers.
If you are part of your branding – meaning, your face, name and personal information are incorporated in the branding of the small business – ensure that your personal information is protected.
Your digital footprint from before you started the company could hurt you if there is content online that doesn’t match your company’s ethos or values. To protect against this, find out how to remove your name from Google search, and associate your online presence with the brand you have spent so long creating!
Hire the Right People
One of the great things about having a remote business is that you can hire people from all over the world. That gives you the unique opportunity of finding the best people for the job from a large talent pool, not just a local one.
With that being said, you can be a bit pickier with the people you hire.
When you do get the right people on board, having some kind of time management or employee scheduling software in place will make everyone’s lives much easier. You can find easy employee scheduling programs that work for you, and keep everyone organized and on the same page. There are also programs that will allow your employees to share documents and projects through the cloud, so everyone can remain on the same wavelength with little to no confusion. Remote businesses are often very open and communal, so everyone knows what is going on.
Keep in mind, however, that it will be up to you to develop strong channels of communication with your employees. If the effects of COVID-19 have taught us anything, it’s that it is not impossible to stay in touch with your employees on a regular basis. One risk remote companies can have is some employees feeling ‘disconnected’ at times. So, make it a priority to keep everyone in the loop and communicate with them regularly. It’s even a good idea to hold one-on-one meetings with your employees via video chat or on the phone, just to check in and see how they are doing. Making the effort to stay in constant communication will make a big difference.
Designate Team Managers
Whether your business ends up being big or small, you can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything yourself. That’s why it’s so important to designate team managers to keep track of smaller groups of employees.
Chances are, when you had an idea to start a business, it was because you were passionate or skilled in one particular area. So, let that be your main area of focus, and use managers in different areas to make sure you’re making the most of each aspect of your business.
Your managers can check in on other remote workers, make sure tasks are being completed on time, and take some of the stress off of you. While it’s still important to regularly check in with all of your employees, having managers in place for smaller groups can take a lot off of your plate and make things run smoothly without you having to “oversee” every detail.
A Plan for Growth
One of the reasons some employees stay away from remote working opportunities is because they feel like they’ll be doing the same thing(s) forever. When you’re first laying out your business plan for your remote company, make sure you include growth options in it. How will your business grow, and how will your employees grow within it? What opportunities do you hope to be able to provide?
You can use your growth plan both as motivation for yourself, and as a recruitment tool for employees. Allowing remote workers to put their skills to use in different areas will make your business much more attractive to those considering taking on a job with you. You can also offer opportunities to help them expand their skills within your business, through educational tools, workshops, and online programs.
Is a Remote Business Right for You?
There are many benefits to working remotely and owning a business that allows your employees to do the same. But, it takes dedication, commitment, and a willingness to work through hardships in order to make a remote business successful.
It also requires the right technology and setup. Having a remote business doesn’t necessarily mean waking up whenever you want each day and working in your pajamas from your couch. Make sure you have a quality Internet connection, the right software and programs, and the right space for the job that is free of distractions.
If you have a passion that could fill a consumer need, there is never a bad time to start a business. In light of COVID-19, when so many people are looking for new career paths and changes, now might actually be the perfect time to take that leap if you are willing to face both the challenges and rewards that can come with it.
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