How to Run a Business Remotely
I was first introduced to the concept of working remotely in my last sales position. (I was a Sales Executive for a Freight Forwarding Company before I had my son and became a Stay at Home Mom).
Our Sales Director made sure everything was in place for the success of her Sales Team. Her goal was to keep in-office time to the bare minimum so that Sales staff could be out on the road, visiting prospective clients most of the time.
In order to do this, we were given laptops, cellphones with generous cellphone contracts, a car allowance and petrol card. We were even entitled to a certain amount of cash each year to maintain our vehicles. We were only required to be in the office once a week for my weekly call with our Sales Director.
The company made use of a brilliant cloud-based Customer relationship management (CRM) system to track all our calls, making it quicker and easier for us to report back on our progress.
We enjoyed the freedom and the trust that was placed in us. All of us knew we were there to do a job and targets were what mattered at the end of the day.
This experience (and a brilliant book called The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss) made me realise that a new era is dawning in how we operate in business. In many positions it is no longer necessary to be tied to a desk at any one specific venue – perhaps many more than we have even considered. I predict that the remote workforce will grow exponentially in the next few decades.
If this is something you’re considering for your own business, you’ll enjoy the advice in this contributed post.
The Secrets To Successful Remote Businesses
Remote working options in businesses can be challenging, especially in companies where the management approach has remained desperately traditionalist.
However, as the market situation has evolved with the digital revolution and the need to remain competitive against large companies, remote work has become a valuable alternative for many businesses.
Not only does it offer a cost-saving solution to employees’ commitment and routine, but it can also improve the overall productivity of the individual.
Additionally, the employer can also benefit from a range of non-negligible advantages, ranging from reduced workplace costs – as the office doesn’t need to accommodate for all the staff – to an increase in turnover.
But remote businesses can only be successful if the business is able to establish the most effective work routine within its team and with its customers.
#1. They make the most of digital resources
When you decide to embrace the remote solution, you obviously need to appreciate the need for high-end digital resources to maintain successful communication strategies, not only with your staff but also with your customers.
More often than not, businesses that choose to remain office-based fail to measure the importance of digital marketing campaigns and especially the need for in-depth data-based knowledge.
As a remote company, data knowledge has to become second nature, to monitor the behaviour of your customers and staff.
In-house newsletters can be used to measure engagement in the same way that marketing campaigns are used to reach customers.
#2. Remote doesn’t mean isolated
However, there’s a common misconception that establishing a remote structure is synonymous with isolation.
Most traditional leaders consider that a remote company is a company that doesn’t want to be contacted.
This is not true. In reality, if you don’t have an office address, you can still receive your post through a PO box address that can keep a digital scan of all letters and documents sent to your company.
Additionally, there’s no need to remind remote entrepreneurs of the importance of a website and social media platforms to establish their online presence. You don’t need to have an office for people to be able to get in touch with you.
Customers can ask their questions on social media, or per email if an email address is provided.
More and more companies also rely on a chat function to create a direct link to the customer service team.
In short, the lack of physical address doesn’t impact on your ability to answer queries in real time, assuming you keep all contact options open.
#3. They work collaboratively and in real-time
You don’t need to sit in the same office to be able to work together. Remote teams stay in touch via collaborative tools such as Slack, Zoom or Trello which keep them focused on their everyday tasks within the company.
In fact, as remote tasks can be clearly divided, it’s not uncommon to find that teams collaborate better outside of the office. They keep an overview of collective projects and individual jobs online.
The secret to remote success lies in the intelligent use of digital tech: not only to collect data about customers and teams for self-improvement reasons but also to keep in touch with your customers, your colleagues and your workload.
Have you ever worked remotely? Are you working remotely now? Or do you have staff working remotely? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.