How to Manage a Remote Business

Waiting in traffic jams during rush hours used to be a routine for hundreds of millions of commuters worldwide. However, today you can utilize the widespread availability of the Internet and become a remote worker. What’s even better, you can launch a remote business and hire employees from different countries to work with you. Still, it’s important to get familiar with some practical tactics to make a great business story. In this post, you’ll learn more about running a remote business and dealing with your non-office employees.

Turning savings into motivation fuel

According to a report published by CNN, an average American commuter spends about $2,600 yearly traveling to work. Naturally, if you decide to rent an office space and hire in-house employees, you’ll also have to cope with those expenses. Unfortunately, some fields, such as craftsmanship and construction industry have no other option but to hire on-spot employees.

Nevertheless, if the nature of your work allows you to delegate some duties to remote workers, you should do that. What you should also do is put aside the money that would otherwise be spent on travel expenses and other related issues. These savings can be used as the motivation fuel. As your remote employee(s) reach their business goals, they need to be properly rewarded for their effort.

Similarly, this fund can be used for paying new employees before they produce the extra value that will serve as the budget for their later payments.

Regular meetings for increased efficiency

Having all your employees under the same roof could be beneficial in terms of fast responsiveness to manager’s requests. However, today words travel at a fast pace (without incurring any travel expenses), thanks to a plethora of cutting-edge communication tools. Therefore, you can communicate efficiently as a remote business owner instead of being in the office with your employees.

Remote Meeting

What’s important here is to use those tools to organize work that will yield positive results. The key element in achieving this goal are well-planned, routine meetings. We suggest three types of meetings for increased efficiency:

  • Pre-work briefings – Your employees should get accustomed to daily pre-work briefings. They will serve as a warm-up for the following work day and an analysis of the accomplished results. Stick with the 10-15 minute time limit to give your employees a boost for the work day; longer than that could be counterproductive.
  • Big weekly meetings – Depending on the size of your remote business, you’ll hold a longer weekly meeting either with your employees or with team leaders. Their purpose is to analyze the latest tasks and their progress. For instance, you can hold these big meetings every Monday, so as to evaluate the results from the previous week and bring the ones for the current week.
  • Milestone meetings – Remote business owners should insist on regular milestone meetings both with their clients and with their employees. That way they’ll ensure smooth progress for all the parties included in the work process. Generally speaking, working via milestones is an extremely efficient method to get things done and move onto new projects.

Also, every remote meeting needs to be properly structured and scheduled. If so, you’ll distribute all the tasks quickly, your employees will understand their duties and they’ll be ready to start working on them.

Tools for remote business communications

When talking about meetings and remote work, it’s inevitable to use top-notch project management tools, chatting services, and video conferencing tools.

As for the project management tools, new remote business owners can rely on Trello and Basecamp. They enable you to distribute tasks via user-friendly boards and calendar features. Also, it’s easy to track project progress in these tools. However, if you need some more advanced options, check out some additional project management tools and choose the ones that suit your needs.

When it comes to chatting, they’re necessary in this day and age, but you should keep this form of communication limited. Of course, you can use Google Hangouts and Messenger to communicate with your employees. Furthermore, it’s clever to try and use Viber and WhatsApp for business, as well. While they aren’t the most practical options for meetings, they can serve a great purpose for project communication on the go.

Finally, for video conferencing, you can rely on some traditional tools, like Skype and Zoho. Skype is still free of charge for basic video calls. Apart from them, you can try some others, as well, such as GoToMeeting or RingControl or other useful tools. They’ll ensure fast and expedient communication with your employees. It comes down to your communication needs and your budget.

Work flexibility and life stability

For decades, working people had to make a compromise between their private and professional life. Nowadays, when you can work from the comfort of your home, you can take the best of both worlds.

A survey conducted by TINYpulse shows that remote workers are happier and they feel more valued. As a result, they can spend more time with their family and friends. Let’s say that you work 8 hours a day and you commute to work and back for another 60 minutes. Wouldn’t you feel more satisfied if you could spend that additional hour playing with your kids or hanging out with your friends?

Remote Work

Moreover, running a remote business means that your employees won’t undergo the stress of moving because of work. Moving to another town, state or country incurs additional expenses, which is usually a delicate issue for both the employee and the employer. As a remote business owner, you won’t have to bother with such financial and social issues.

Finally, when you work remotely, you can lead a stable and relaxed life. As a result, your employees can plan when to start a family, buy an estate or commence any other life-fulfilling activities. All these elements lead to a calm and contented mind that will successfully reach a balance between business and personal life.

Potential issues for remote business

Although we want to encourage business people to use the benefits of remote work, it’s important to point to some potential issues of such work.

The most common problem is a lack of well-structured work plan. If you want to hold all the reins of your remote business, each of your employees needs to know their duties all the time. This is why the aforementioned meetings are important. But before you get to that point, make sure that you’ve created a concise, but impactful plan in written form. Also, emailing each of them the general plan, as well as their individual tasks for every project, will improve work organization.

Apart from that, make sure that your employees do their share of work professionally and on time. Using project management tools with time-tracking options is a great way to keep that aspect of work under control. In line with that, divide the tasks into smaller milestones and check them regularly. All these steps will prevent you from experiencing issues with deadlines and work efficiency.

Conslusion

The global availability of the Internet has made it possible for business owners and employees to collaborate online. As a result, they can save more time, communicate more efficiently and make more money. Nevertheless, be patient when you decide to take that path. It will take some time and practice to take the best out of remote work. As time goes by and new projects roll in, your productivity will rise, as well as your revenues. While doing so, apply the tips given in this article and enjoy all the benefits of remote work.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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