Launching a new company or transitioning your existing one into a remote business is easier than ever. Despite some initial challenges, once you have the company up and running, you can enjoy a work/life balance, save on several expenses, tap on a larger talent pool, and enjoy faster growth thanks to the lower capital needs and overhead savings.
Whether you plan to work from home or find an idyllic location to run your organization, an entirely remote business requires wonderful organization and reliable internet.
Read on to find out the 9 things you need to know to run a completely remote business.
Setting up and Running a Completely Remote Business
Each business has unique needs; hence the challenges will differ, but these are the ones you can expect to need the most – a dedicated workspace, a good internet connection, and a laptop with all the requirements to conduct business meetings from afar.
Here are the rest:
1. Getting Started
As with every business, a new remote company requires a business plan. In it, you need to give a business description, vision, mission, purpose, internal structure, and financial forecasts.
You will need to register your business and its mailing address at your home, virtual office, or mail center in a city of your choice. Use a registered agent to receive mail on your behalf. You must give the relevant permission by filling in the US Postal Service Form 1583.
Finally, complete the registration process by filing for the business structure that suits your (partnership, LLC, sole proprietorship, or corporation).
2. Announce Your Launch
Without a shopfront or office, no one will know that you have started a virtual business or transitioned your existing one. Therefore, you must announce its launch to the public immediately.
Additionally, customers and employees need ample notice of the change if transitioning an existing business. When hiring workers, you must mention that the job is for remote work,
There are several ways to announce your business launch:
- If you have an existing business with customer lists, send them emails and SMSs to notify them of the change.
- For a new and transitioning business, choose the social media channels with the greatest presence of your target audience to announce your launch.
- Referrals or word-of-mouth marketing are also great ways to announce your launch.
3. Create a Remote Work Policy
Your remote work policy must communicate all the rules and guidelines for working out-of-office. Create an outline addressing your expectations, like the required code of conduct, company culture, software, and productivity and performance metrics.
Don’t forget to include working hours (including breaks), annual vacation times, sick leave, and safety and security measures. Policies need regular updating, and discussing intended updates with employees first is best.
4. Employee Scheduling
Remote work has created a healthier work/life balance thanks to its flexibility. However, your employees need clear scheduling guidelines about availability and time off to ensure they are at their posts at specific hours. Also, don’t forget that time zone and holiday considerations are essential when you provide customer support.
Work out an employee schedule that meets your business needs in coordination with their needs.
5. Get the Right Remote Software
Remote businesses require several tools to ensure they run securely and efficiently. These may include:
Communication software – Remote work requires good communication, and your choice of communication tools will depend on whether you prefer email, video conferencing, or chat.
Project management tools – Software like Trello and Asana make tracking projects easier for everyone, including clients. They also help with collaboration and streamline workflows as teams work toward meeting deadlines.
Accounting and HR software – You need to keep track of your finances, payroll, vendors, etc., which requires reliable accounting software.
Cloud-based storage solutions – Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive, allow everyone to access, edit and share documents.
Employee tracking tools – A good tool that integrates with your payroll system allows you to ensure employees don’t go over time, affecting your payroll budget. This type of tool can also be used to manage employee time off requests, reducing paperwork and allowing a better workflow.
VPN and Security Solutions – You need these to keep your sensitive business data safe from breaches.
6. Communication Rules
In a virtual situation, communication can often become excessive or all over the place. However, a few guidelines will ensure everyone maintains the agreed-upon communication channels, availability, and frequency. Therefore, set the desired communication channel for daily messages and regular meetings.
7. Ensure Workspace Resources
Your remote business employees need a comfortable workplace and the right resources for performing their tasks. Just like you would if they worked in-office, provide them with good internet, a computer or laptop, and subscriptions to the office software. Also, make sure they have a desk and office supplies. If the person buys any supplies, you should reimburse them.
8. Create a Virtual Onboarding Process
An onboarding process helps newly recruited employees transition into the business quickly. You will need to provide them with guidelines about your requirements, including communication, and show them how to use the tools required. Tell them you will help them with any challenges and tell them who they can reach out to for support.
9. Building Company Culture and Leadership Skills
There is a difference between managing an in-house team and a remote team. Positive company culture is the only way to move forward, and it’s not too difficult to do remotely. Training and outstanding leadership skills can help provide a space where everyone feels valued and supported, even when they have made a mistake. Everyone needs to feel they can ask questions and provide feedback.
As you run a completely remote company, you will meet several challenges. However, as you carefully build your business and team, you can create a positive company culture that ensures employee productivity and client loyalty. Don’t shy away from turning to other virtual business owners for insights, and always be ready to share yours.
How do I start a remote business?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to start a remote business will vary depending on the type of business you want to run. However, some tips on how to get started include: doing your research, building a solid team, creating clear communication channels, and using the right tools and software.
What are some benefits of running a remote business?
Some benefits of running a remote business include increased flexibility, lower overhead costs, and the ability to attract global talent. Additionally, remote companies often enjoy increased productivity and happier employees.
What are some challenges of running a remote business?
Some challenges of running a remote business include maintaining communication and building company culture. Additionally, remote businesses often have to invest more in tools and software to enable productivity.