Starting a Remote Business? Read This First
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When most people think of a small business, they imagine a restaurant or a mom-and-pop shop. But these days, more small businesses are launching in basements and spare bedrooms than Main Street storefronts.
Remote entrepreneurship offers a lot of advantages, including lower overhead and fewer geographic barriers. However, operating a business remotely also comes with unique risks and challenges. This is especially true as your venture grows from a one-person startup to an employer business. Security, productivity, and company culture are common pain points for fully remote companies.
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What does it take to start a remote company?
You can be a solopreneur with nothing but a laptop and an internet connection. A full-fledged remote company, however, requires certain infrastructure.
- Incorporation: Incorporation is an important step for every type of business. Incorporating or forming an LLC creates a legal business structure separate from the business owner.
- Office space: Many remote entrepreneurs work from a home office, but some prefer the professionalism of commercial offices or the social aspect of coworking spaces.
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is perhaps the most important infrastructure for a remote business. Remote work security requires encryption, VPNs, cloud storage, antivirus software, firewalls, and strong passwords with two-factor authentication.
- Financing: You can’t start a business without money. As the founder and CEO of the remote company Planio explains, bootstrapping is a more viable funding option than venture capital for most remote startups.
How to build a successful remote team
Hiring your first employees is where things get interesting. While hiring has always been a make-or-break moment for startups, it’s especially so for remote companies. Building a remote team that’s effective, collaborative, and invested requires intention. That includes:
The right tools
There’s no shortage of tools for remote teams. The challenge is finding the right combination of software to facilitate communication, time management, project management, file sharing, and other key functions.
Many of these tools are budget-friendly to the startup business owner, making them well-suited to bootstrapping entrepreneurs who need scalable solutions. These include business calling plans offered by AVAD Technologies and popular apps like Slack, Trello, Freshbooks, and Google Workspace.
The right training
Tools alone don’t create a cohesive remote team. For that, companies need training and standard procedures.
Cybersecurity training in particular should be a top priority for remote teams, regardless of business size. Remote employees are particularly vulnerable to phishing and social engineering attacks, making security awareness essential for distributed teams. For small business owners concerned about cost or the challenge of implementing a cybersecurity training program, there are free resources online that can help.
Communication is another issue that’s often overlooked among on-site staff but essential for remote teams. Successful remote teams use a mix of real-time communication including instant messaging, phone, and video calls, as well as low-priority communication such as company-wide newsletters, message boards, and email. In addition, they establish norms around when to choose which communication method to maximize transparency without inhibiting employees’ ability to focus.
You may want to focus on self-improvement and building your skills as well. For example, an online business degree could teach you skills in marketing, accounting, and business management. Online degree programs allow you to work at your own pace and graduate faster than traditional institutions.
Finally, successful remote companies look for opportunities to engage, inspire, and empower their staff at every turn. From weekly shoutouts highlighting successes and milestones to Slack channels dedicated to social chat, it’s the little things that make remote employees feel like part of a team even if physically isolated.
It takes a lot of little pieces to make a remote company work, but don’t let the finer details cause you to lose sight of the big picture. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful remote business.
Let AVAD Technologies be your partner in the process. Start today with a 30-day free trial on business calling plans.
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