8 Tips for Starting a Small Business Remotely
The current lockdown has given us a chance to spend more time with the family. But it has also proven to be a very lucrative opportunity. With software changing the way almost every industry runs, you can now manage your business from anywhere across the globe. This translates into less time spent on commutes, more efficient online meetings and the ability to travel while working. In fact more and more people decide to quit their everyday job within the first two years of setting up their private remote business.
Sound good? Here are a few tips to start a small business remotely.
1 – Hone your marketing skills
If you decided to make the jump from employee to entrepreneur, keep in mind it’s a different ballpark. With bigger responsibility on your shoulders, having the right marketing skills and know-how is vital to lift your business off the ground.
Take the time to follow an online business course in order to get further accreditation, learn about the latest technology and maybe even find your next business partners among your colleagues.
2 – Set up your outsourcing
One aspect to keep in mind from the start is who will handle the logistic side of your business. For example, if your brand sells directly to consumers through a service such as Shopify, you should have a fulfillment partner that ships all your products for you.
Striking a partnership with a company to streamline aspects of your business that you are not specialized in is essential to run your remote business.
3 – Be available
Communication shouldn’t be a hassle when working remotely. If your employees or your clients can’t get a hold of you when they have a question, that is a problem.
Use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to always be engaged with your clients. And use tools such as Slack, Zoom or Airtable to have an open line of communication with your staff.
4 – Stay flexible
While it is vital to maintain a virtual office environment during business hours, you will have to accept certain flexibilities.
You might have team members with families of their own. Keep in mind they’re likely juggling work and family life simultaneously which might cause disruptions. Working efficiently while caring for toddlers is hard enough already, so make sure to be supportive.
Other team members might request the freedom of working at their preferred hours. As long as they meet their deadlines, there is no reason to keep those night owls or early birds from being productive on their own terms. You might be surprised by the results!
5- Know your competition
First, take a look at the market for your product and evaluate which other companies are selling a product that would compete with yours. Knowing who your competitors are, and what they are offering, can help you make your products, services and marketing stand out.
Value your customer’s feedback! You can use this knowledge to create marketing strategies that take advantage of your competitors’ weaknesses, and improve your own business performance.
But whatever you do, always play fair. The world, now more than ever, is a “global village” and any dirty trick or ploy can run your brand’s reputation into the ground.
6 – Hire virtual assistants
Virtual assistants perform several tasks that make running your small business easier. They can save you time and prioritize tasks while you focus on doing what you do best.
More specialized virtual assistants can contribute with their expertise in areas such as skip tracing or customer support. The challenging part is finding the right ones.
There are a lot of hiring pools online for talented freelancers. Use the review system to navigate through them.
7- Do not ignore security
Head of NSW Security, Robbie Sinclair (no, not THAT Robbie Sinclair) is quoted as saying: “Security is always excessive until it’s not enough.” When working remotely this is available in spades. From employees that fail to adhere to security policies, to insecure log-ins from remote working locations and even hacking programs from across the planet.
You need to make sure you’ve implemented the right strategies to defend crucial employee and business data. VPN solutions that protect your connections, or two-factor authentication can make a huge difference.
Don’t turn a blind eye on safety when it comes to remote working.
8 – Last but not least, get the gang together
However advanced technology may be, there is only so much you can learn about a teammate through a screen or phone call.
Do not avoid human interaction altogether. At least once in a while, try to arrange an in-person meeting. Even if you can’t all get together, at least encourage clusters of teammates located in a certain region to meet up. These bonds will have a positive effect both for your workers, as well as for the company as a whole.
This being said, you can now get to work. Start building your brand’s identity and decide what city you want to start operating from. Will it be Prague? Dubai? Tahiti? There is no reason to be tied to a single office in today’s connected world.
So dream big and work smart!