Running a business is in itself challenging, but running it remotely poses even more challenges. The trend of remote businesses is here to stay as there are some visible advantages. A business run remotely saves money in office rental space and office equipment. There is also the advantage that employees can be hired from anywhere in the world, thus the talent pool is much larger than being limited to hiring persons from a limited area. It is not negligible that the business can be run from anywhere in the world, from glitzy mountain resorts like St. Moritz in Switzerland to a remote island in the Maldives provided there is good internet connection available.
Running a business remotely does not only have advantages, it is in fact very hard to successfully pull it off.
One of the biggest challenges is to establish trust with your clients. No matter how convenient it might be, signing a contract via a Zoom call is more difficult than doing it in person. Trust is harder to gain and easier to lose when you have no connection to the person you are dealing with. There is no easy way to establish trust, you have to follow the same principles as in the real world and prove to them that your company is the best to do the job. You can however add a layer of trust and security by notarizing your contract remotely through an online notary service. This way a public notary can attest that it is in fact you the person who signed the contract.
There are more ways to establish trust and boost the productivity of your remote team. You will want your remote team to feel connected to increase job performance and engagement. Onboarding should get a special emphasis as that is the most critical point of establishing trust with a new team member. One-on-one meetings are crucial with new people as there you can show them encouragement and share why you hired them and why their role is important in the company. If there is a possibility for that, assigning a team buddy or a mentor to a new hire helps them accommodate faster and be more productive. Do not discount the idea of setting up a group chat for offline discussions, that way rapports between team members can be formed more easily and job satisfaction will increase.
Setting Up the Company Infrastructure
While working with a remote team, clear processes need to be in place. A project management tool such as Asana or Monday are vital in order to clearly see tasks that need to be completed and who is assigned to complete them as well as deadlines.
Being disciplined and organized is even more paramount in a remote business than in a classical one.
Google Drive is essential to keep company documents organized in one place. You must make sure to use tools that are going to be available at all times and Google in this case offers that guarantee.
Handling payments is also critical, especially if your industry is considered high risk, that is one that has an above average chargeback rate like most service related industries such as web hosting, web design or online marketing. There could be nothing more frustrating than you not being able to accept payments because your payment processor has dropped you. That is why for certain industries you should opt for a high risk payment processor that will work with your needs. Not being able to accept payments even for a short period of time may jeopardize your cash flow and you would not be able to pay your employees and for your services.
Lastly, communication is key to managing both your team and your relationship with your clients. Put notifications in your calendar to keep up with your team and your customers regularly. How you communicate is also important, make sure your message is polite and clear. Ongoing clear communication will also help maintain that trust you so hardly built at the beginning of your relationship.