Operating your business remotely is a smart and effective way to cut your costs while growing your brand.
A remote workforce will work from home, which leads to little or no overhead for your business, and many remote employees use their own equipment as well, which keeps your costs down. In turn, your employees will get the prized perk of working from home with flexibility.
Here are 10 tips for running a remote business:
1. Maintain a professional website.
No matter what the primary purpose for running a remote business, it’s imperative to maintain an online presence that informs potential customers about your business dynamics, who to contact for more information, and offers details on the products and services that are available.
2. Develop a web presence in a variety of social media networks.
Beyond your main company website, it’s also important to be available and active on various social media outlets that your customers may frequent. Consider using each social media outlet for a different purpose and cross reference each.
For example, you could use your company’s LinkedIn page to make announcements for job openings, you could use your company’s Facebook page for exciting announcements and advancements at your company, and you could use your company’s Twitter account to announce breaking news. It’s ideal to keep your social media accounts active with engaging content to keep readers interested.
3. Post customer satisfaction reviews and testimonials.
No matter whether your business is a startup or you’ve been in business for decades, it’s imperative to get testimonials from satisfied customers that you can share on your website or social media pages. Nothing tells future customers more than honest reviews by existing customers.
To run a remote business well, ask your best customers to provide a testimonial in writing—it will pay off!
4. Register with the BBB.
Registering with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Chamber of Commerce are two important steps in driving business to your site. When someone moves to your community, they’ll likely search for existing, credible businesses where they can find products and services that are meaningful to them. Getting and maintaining a positive BBB grade will tell potential customers that you’re a qualified, trustworthy business.
5. Create strong channels of communication with remote staffers.
As a remote company, it will be exceedingly important to maintain strong communication throughout your workforce. As the owner and leader of your company, you must set the example of how communication will flow throughout your company. Use tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, and others to have face-to-face virtual meetings with staff and managers. Keep your employees abreast of changes in company policy, new products and services offered, company goals, and other vital information through regular and consistent communication channels.
6. Post your job openings at reputable sites like FlexJobs and Remote.co.
Filling vacancies with the best and the brightest will require strategic effort on your part. Post positions with employment companies, like FlexJobs and Remote.co, that have a solid reputation. Evaluate the incoming resumes with care, vet each candidates’ credentials and references, and be sure to meet with them in a face-to-face virtual interview.
During the hiring phase, it’s best to take a cautious approach to hiring the best available candidate for the position.
7. Create remote teams throughout your organization.
Once you have your team in place, be sure to create teams with managers at the top to allow for a consistent flow of information and guidance. Arm your managers and employees with important resources such as a company handbook, guidelines and policies for service, and other important information that will help them do their jobs most effectively.
It’s imperative that you don’t create a bottleneck in your organization by forcing employees and managers to wait for your green light on every decision; doing so will only turn off employees and customers.
8. Check in routinely with your remote staff and managers.
Create an environment of open communication and meet with your managers on a regular basis to discuss any ongoing concerns and to advise them about changes in policies. Also, meet with your entire staff through a regular virtual monthly meeting so everyone is getting the same information at the same time. Be sure to share your company’s successes and growth during these meetings to keep your employees motivated.
9. Provide upward mobility for staff.
Depending on your business, you may have areas that require more specific training than others. Placing the right candidates in these roles is important, but also can cause you to “pigeonhole” certain employees and diminish their growth potential.
To run a remote business effectively, be sure that you’re creating cross-training opportunities so each employee has the opportunity to grow in other departments and seasoned employees can become managers. Staff members who feel stifled will move on and that training and knowledge will be lost.
10. Reward staff and customers for their loyalty.
Keep your eye on the prize, not only for the growth of your company but to the value of your customers and staff. Put in place regular performance evaluations with well-known markers so that your staff can achieve rewards and bonuses for good performance. Same with customers: reward your loyal customers with special discounts, loyalty programs, or deals to keep them coming back for more.
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