5 Tips for Running a Remote Business

Today, technology allows business owners and employees the possibility of working from a remote location. If getting out of your old office and seeing the world sounds good, then here’s how to start.

First Step  

Image via Flickr by Vegan Feast Catering

It’s best to try out a remoteset-up before you make the change. Schedule a trip or two away from the office and see if you’re able to keep up with everything. Or, pretend you’re away from the office. Communicate only online, don’t meet face-to-face with clients or staff, then see how it works out.

Hire Virtual Help

If the boss works from home, then why not the employees? Try a virtual assistant for day-to-day tasks like scheduling, correspondence, data entry, or any number of tasks. Don’t know where to find a virtual assistant? Look at hiring websites that specialize in virtual jobs. Even though these sites screen and test candidates, ask for a reference or two before hiring.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to handle logistics from a remote location. Let someone else handle the jobs such as receiving products, quality assurance, and shipping to customers. Partner with a fulfillment company. Then, let your partner handle facets not relating to the core business of running your company.

Schedule Your Time

When working from a remote location, schedule your business hours to fit both your desires and your client’s timetable. If you’re in Europe and your clients are in the United States, be aware of time differences and conduct business during normal hours for your customer. That might mean working mornings and evenings and not afternoons. Schedule time for exploring your new surroundings too.

Rely on the Internet

Make sure you always have a reliable Wi-Fi connection. It’s hard to work from a different location if communication is a problem. Choose a tool like Skype or Google Hangouts to keep in touch with employees and customers. Set up an office chat room allowing employees the ability to brainstorm or ask questions.

Rely on the cloud for storage. Your documents and data stay safe, and you’re allowed access from any location and device. Plus, with the cloud, customizing access to only certain individuals helps you maintain control and security.

Keep Organized

Project management software helps you and your staff stay on top of tasks. Don’t just rely on email for communicating and checking progress. Project management systems let you organize documents and conversations by the project, so you can easily find the information later. Always keep your policies and procedures in place so employees don’t develop their own system that doesn’t fit your way of business. Be remote and still keep tabs on everything and everyone.

Use time tracking software so you know what hours your staff works. This is especially important for hourly employees. Most people still need some type of discipline for staying on task, whether they’re at a brick and mortar office or working remotely.

With proper planning and organization, working remotely is a true possibility. You can create an office anywhere in the world and still run your business confidently.

 

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