Are you looking into how to start a remote business? Converting to or starting a remote business isn’t just a nice to have anymore. It’s a must.

Being in business for yourself is the only way to take control of your future. We can no longer count on the luxury of having a physical local business. Still, surprisingly many aren’t yet used to working in a virtual environment or may not have started a business before.

Here’s how to get going…

Why Start A Remote Business

Starting and maintaining a remote business has long been a necessity. At least for those who want consistency, longevity, and to be able to be competitive. 

Even in traditional brick and mortar industries companies have been successfully going remote since at least 2004. Others have proven it is possible to build billion dollar businesses remotely. Just some of the benefits and advantages have included:

  • Lower overhead
  • Lower startup costs
  • Efficiency
  • Profitability
  • Scalability
  • Access to better talent
  • Lower net costs of hiring and managing teams
  • Flexibility
  • Business continuity
  • More competitive pricing

Clearly, anything less than a fully remote business can be a serious disadvantage. So, where do you start?

Incorporate & Setup Your Remote Business

Being remote you have your choice of incorporating in another state and even internationally. Pick the best option for your future business goals and needs. Such as low or no taxes, privacy and security, credibility, and attracting outside funding and credit. 

Secure a virtual business and mailing address and matching phone number. Obtain your tax ID number online, open a business checking account with an online bank and secure your website domain name. 

If you want to build a billion dollar business you are going to need to raise capital from investors and they will expect that you have everything properly done from  legal perspective. In this regard, keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything.

In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

The Business Idea

Whatever your business idea, when you are addressing how to start a remote business make sure it works remotely and at scale. Use financial modeling and be creative with how will you overcome any challenges to taking a traditionally offline or local business virtual.

Scope out your needs with a brief business plan. What are the next steps and tasks you need to get on? How will you sell? Will you run everything through your own virtual platforms and web assets? Or will you leverage on and offline distribution channels, like Walmart or Amazon?

Communications

How will you communicate with your team, vendors and customers? Will you use Skype which seems to be much less popular today? Will you choose Zoom despite its reputation for security concerns? Will Whatsapp work in all the countries you plan to hire in? Or will email do just fine? What collaborative document storage and project management tools and software will you use to get your team working together? Will you use Wrike, Close.io or Google Drive? Which are easy to set up and start using, and affordable as a startup business? Which have the integrations you need for selling and building your funnels and databases?

Hire

Hiring remotely is much easier, less risky, and more efficient than recruiting locally ever was. This is a critical component of how to start a remote business. You now have access to all of the top talent in the world, and without the usual costs and liabilities of using local staffing. The main things which entrepreneurs and businesses struggle with when starting to use remote work include:

  • Being disciplined in empowering remote team members and getting out of the way
  • Hiring for value instead of just on price
  • Automating payroll
  • Swiftly picking candidates and hiring fast

Asking for referrals from others is a great way to cut through the millions of remote workers out there and find someone who is capable and you can trust to do great work.

You can also use streamlined platforms like Upwork for searching for talent, screening and automating payroll. Just note, that while Upwork has become the largest platform of this type, it has unleashed a variety of policy and function changes since it went public.

This means you will need to proactively invite ideal candidates to your job instead of hoping the best talent finds it. They have also striped the ability to communicate through third party channels or use appointment setting apps for interviews until after a hire is made.

Their own internal voice and video service was notorious for not working at all as of November 2020. This means you will need to just hire and test talent. Upwork also takes 20% or more of contractor pay. So, factor that in when looking at rates. After taxes and fees, they will probably net less than 50% of their rates.

Know How You’ll Monitor & Supervise Work

Micromanaging doesn’t work for remote workers. Hire well, and stay out of the way as much as possible. Experienced remote workers know how to structure their time and deliver. Some platforms will offer time tracking tools, complete with screenshots for easy random monitoring and checks.

Or if hiring independently you can use time tracking and invoicing tools like Harvest. Decide how you’ll monitor work, such as with metrics and reports. For tasks that must be done in the real world, consider hiring supervisors or checkers to follow up behind local teams to be sure that work has been completed. As well as collecting as much documentation as possible, i.e. images and video. 

Values, Culture, Mission & Vision

Be sure your remote team members and vendors understand your operating values, mission and vision.

This will give them the big picture, right focus, and decision guide to do things right on their own. Meetings are not efficient, and generally lead to a lot of financial waste in a virtual environment. Instead, consider all hands offsite events once a year to build culture and the team bond. 

Hopefully this post provided you with some insights as you are looking into how to start a remote business. You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

Also you should check the video below where I cover in detail how to start a remote business.

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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE VIDEO:

Hi. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to start a remote business. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week.

Here’s the thing. Now is the time – it’s the time in history when more than ever, you need to take control over your future, over your destiny, and that’s why having a physical space perhaps is more the old school, is more the traditional way, it’s more of a luxury maybe, but things have changed quite a bit, and now it’s all about adjusting to the new reality. And the new reality is about being able to work from absolutely anywhere. In today’s video, we’re going to be breaking it down for you and giving you enough insights to understand how to go about it. So with that being said, let’s get into it.

Why start a remote business? Ultimately, there are many, many different reasons, but you’ve seen some of those benefits. Some of the brick and mortar business actually went remote. Since 2004, they’ve been super successful at it, and nowadays, especially with the pandemic that COVID created, in other areas that are triggering this and accelerating, being able to work from your own home is becoming a necessity. Here, let’s break down for you some of those advantages as well, and different factors.

  • Lower overhead
  • Lower startup costs
  • Efficiency
  • Profitability
  • Scalability
  • Access to better talent
  • Lower net costs of hiring and managing teams
  • Flexibility
  • Business continuity
  • More competitive pricing

Then, you want to incorporate and set up your business. You want to understand if you want to incorporate as a Limited Liability Company, if it’s maybe like a C Corp., if it’s an LLC, Limited Liability Company, maybe it’s because it’s going to be more of a lifestyle, more of a small operation, perhaps you’re not going to have to go out and raise money – if it’s a C Corp, essentially it’s what most hypergrowth companies startups choose to go with because essentially, they’re going to need to raise money from outside investors. Potentially, one of the promise-land types of dreams could be to go and do an initial public offering – going public, and most of those companies operate as a C Corp. Those are the ones that are the most flexible and perhaps out of Delaware. 

Also, you’re going to want your tax ID. Those are all going to be things in which you want to have a corporate lawyer that walks you through it so that you have the right type of package, the right type of structure, and the things are ultimately organized. Otherwise, you’re going to be sorry much later because things could blow up, and if you don’t have things well-structured, that could be catastrophic.

The business idea. When it comes to the idea itself, develop a business plan. Do some research. Try to understand how big the market is. Is the market big enough to really justify all the sweat and the tears that you’re going to be putting into this? Always, it’s better to have an average team executing in a super big market than, let’s say, an amazing team in a small market because that is going to really limit your growth. It’s going to also limit the returns of those investors that are going to be investing in you. 

So since you’re taking the leap of faith, since you’re going to be taking this tremendous risk and perhaps sacrifices, too, that will come with it, why not just go in big? Try to go after a market that is maybe 1-billion-dollar-plus so that that is going to give you a really nice outcome when you’re able to take things to the next level and you’re being successful.

Communication. When you’re doing remote work, it is critical that you have the communication super, super, nailed down to a T. What this means is you need to have the proper set of tools to do the communication on video, for example, or calls. Maybe you’re using Zoom; you’re using Google Hangouts; you’re using Skype. Whatever you guys or gals prefer, but essentially, it’s something that creates that efficiency and where you’re able to streamline the communication. Perhaps you can also use other tools to be able to chat and to message one another in real-time so that you’re not waiting for the text, for those messages to come in on your phone. 

Maybe you’re using tools like Slack, Trello, Asana, or Monday to understand where things are and keep that flow of communication going with whatever projects and initiatives that you’re dealing with. Then, also, perhaps for the storage, you’re going to need to have somewhere in the cloud all the information that the employees can access. That could be Google Drive that you share with the team, or Dropbox, whatever it is, but you need to have a place where people can go and retrieve whatever piece of information that they need in order to be effective.

Hiring. Here, the world is your oyster at the end of the day. Now, it’s not like you’re narrowing it to a specific location. It’s just a certain amount of people that can be part of this. Now, you can hire from anywhere in the world because you’re creating a remote business. Again, you’re going to be going for skillsets, for people that maybe align with your vision, with your mission, with what you’re trying to accomplish. Some of the things that those business owners look for are some of the following:

  • Being disciplined and empowering remote team members and getting out of the way
  • Hiring for value instead of just on price
  • Automating payroll
  • Swiftly picking candidates and hiring fast

Also, you should ask for references. Being able to make some phone calls for people that have worked with that individual in the past so that they can tell you what their experience typically is going to be very hard for those to lie to you because when you’re doing the interview, when you’re getting the CV, maybe someone has worked on it to position it in a way where they think that you’re going to bite. 

Again, when you’re making phone calls to people that have worked in the past with that individual, it’s going to be very hard for them to lie to you, and this is going to be a very good opportunity to have two, three, or four calls, or whatever that is. Then, start to track certain patterns, whether that potential employee was being someone that was reliable, someone that they could trust, someone that had integrity where they were able to deliver on their promise. Those are things that you are going to be getting from some of those reference calls.

Then, the other thing that you can do is use tools like Upwork. Via Upwork, you can not only hire potential contractors for your business, but then you can keep a nice track on their time, on what they have been performing in terms of tasks, and that helps you to be organized and also pay people by the hour so that you’re not worrying about full-time employees and getting those payrolls at the end of the month. It’s maybe like work that they do whenever there is work available.

You need to know as well how you will supervise your employees. The worst thing that you could do is micromanage – being all the time on top of people, following up all the time, checking in. What happened with this? What happened with that? You need to trust your people. You need to delegate on them. You need to empower them. Micromanaging is disempowering, is diminishing, and you definitely don’t want to do that. As I was saying, you can either use Upwork to check the status and performance that they’ve made. You can do weekly check-ins, where you get on the phone with them, and maybe with those communication tools, you can use those as a way to get that streamline of communication between the two of you. Forbid yourself from doing any type of micromanaging.

Your values: vision and mission. This is critical. This is something that you want to rally your customers, your vendors, your employees, everyone around that and have that sense of alignment because that is going to be critical. There’s a much bigger purpose, and that is going to be an incredible drive for everyone to push at the same time, with the same moves, all in synch.

I would love to hear on the comment section below what you’re up to and how you’re thinking about structuring your remote business. Also, throw a Like to this video if you liked what you watched, and subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week. And in the event that you need any help with your fundraising efforts, please shoot me an email. My email is alejandro@pantheraadvisors.com. Thank you so much for watching.

 

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