Working from a home office and starting a business remotely is a trend that’s not going to disappear anytime soon. But for those businesses looking to expand and fulfil vast ambition, it can seem that remote working may hinder a process somewhat. While there are businesses that have benefited from remote teams, there is usually an office at the core of it. If you are looking to build a remote business in an organic sense and keep it that way, what are the ways to do this? And in fact, can it be done?!
While remote working is a fantastic idea, in theory, we have to realise that there will be times when a co-working space is essential. If you are hiring people across the country, but because of the location it is necessary to have certain employees concentrated in one area, there are co-working spaces available. When finding startup office space that suits your needs, you have to remember what the employees require. The great thing about having this is that you can get the team to work together and collaborate as much or as little as they want. Providing this hybrid approach gives employees the option to work from home if they want or collaborate if necessary. One of the big issues in remote working is that many employees can feel out of the loop. This hybrid approach can bridge the gap.
Building up a business organically is about finding the right people. But to make this easier, you should focus on getting management positions in place first. Look at hiring someone for marketing, sales, and business development. These three areas can then trickle down into other roles. These people can build their own individual departments and manage the teams that they’ve nurtured. This is a lesson in learning the art of delegation early on in the process.
Running a remote team, especially when it’s just yourself, is impossible to do properly. You can put the things in place to ensure you are keeping on top of niggling issues, but you have to remember that when when you are trying to keep your eye on the bigger picture, having people to delegate these responsibilities can build the business in a better way. You are able to keep an eye on the things that matter in the long run, but also, you’re not chasing someone at 3 in the morning for something that can wait, which could certainly benefit you with regards to the work-life balance.
Having people share the responsibility takes the pressure off you and when you start a company all by yourself, the temptation can be to hold onto every single component as tightly as possible. But this means you run the risk of stifling the development of the company. By hiring people that you trust, that have their own respective skills, you will develop the business in a far better way.
The big bugbear of many remote businesses is the communication aspect. Many businesses operate in an office, and this can contribute to the culture positively. This is primarily for the reason that you can see people at their desks- you’re able to tell if they are happy or not! And when you are running a remote business, the fact of the matter is that you are not able to observe them in the same way. This means you have to measure their performance in other ways. It’s vital that you set clear goals at the outset, as well as deadlines, as this provides a natural structure.
One of the most important lessons in running a remote business is that you cannot monitor people all of the time because this hinders their process. The goal is more the result rather than the process. Ultimately, if they deliver something you are happy with, does it matter what the process is? This is something that many people cannot comprehend but is a major component of remote working. At the same time, you need to make yourself clear when you are communicating policies and procedures.
Having a record of every single process can help, but also ensuring that the best practices are communicated with your employees should there be a problem. One approach could be to create an internal document or bible that provides all of the answers. When a business is finding its feet, it can be easy enough to dish out an email so that everybody has a record of how not to progress. But at the same time, updating this bible and encouraging your employees to consult this regularly will help. This isn’t just with regards to the job, but if there’s a problem with the system, especially at stupid o’clock in the morning, this bible will tell them exactly who to get in contact with.
One of the common misconceptions of building a remote business is that you can do so many things for cheap. But to build a successful business you need to invest in the right talent, the tech, as well as the processes.
For the money that you would have invested in a physical office, perhaps you need to spend it on the people? We have to remember that for employees working remotely, they have to work under their own steam, and contend with issues that don’t form part of a regular office setup, like children. And this means that perhaps you need to take feedback on board so an employee can work better under the circumstances.
Yes, people want to work remotely for various reasons, but at the same time, there are many people that struggle for whatever reason. And this is why a co-working space can work but also, ensuring that your employees have the relevant perks in place can improve their morale.
Expanding a remote business in an organic fashion is partly to do with the processes but it’s also a lot to do with the employees. When you make the decision to operate exclusively in a remote way, you will find completely different challenges to running an office. Yes, there will be teething issues, but as the trend of remote working appears to improve work-life balance, it’s about ironing out those little quibbles, for your employees’ benefit and yours.