Tips for Transitioning to a Remote Business Model
The recent pandemic and large-scale shutdowns that accompanied it have forced business owners and entrepreneurs to rethink their approach to starting, managing, and growing their companies. Most notably, it’s led to a widespread migration from brick-and-mortar businesses to virtual business models. Is it time to take your business remote?
Why Go Remote?
Going remote – which basically means moving out of a singular physical business location and running your company entirely from computers, software, and independent locations – is a big move. But it’s also an important one. Here are a few of the distinct advantages:
- Lower overhead. Imagine how much higher your profit margins would be without a lease payment, utility bills, transportation costs, etc. In many cases, simply going remote can increase profitability by several thousand dollars per month.
- More flexibility. When you run a virtual business, it creates more flexibility for everyone. You get the benefit of being able to spend more time working and less time driving. Employees are able to enjoy better work-life balance (which reduces burnout and turnover). It’s a net positive for everyone!
- Pandemic-proof. If another pandemic were to happen in the future (please, no!), you wouldn’t have to worry about shutting your business down. You could continue to operate with very few snags.
- Wider reach. When you run a physical business out of a brick-and-mortar location, you’re somewhat tied to that identity. By going virtual, you expand your reach and are no longer pigeonholed into a specific zip code. Not only can you reach more customers, but you can also hire talent from other cities, states, and countries.
To be honest, this is just a small sample size of the benefits of going remote. There are dozens of ancillary perks and advantages that make this a worthwhile transition. Spend some time exploring all of the specific ways a virtual migration can help your business and start to embrace this as an opportunity to grow.
4 Tips for Going Remote
Going remote is definitely a positive move, but it does take some work on the front end. In order to get this move right, you’ll want to embrace the following tips:
- Transition to the Cloud
The first step is to untether your business from the physical world (including physical devices) and to migrate everything to the cloud. By taking your computer systems, file storage, and software to the cloud, you give your business the flexibility to operate fully independently and remotely.
Part of your transition to the cloud is about choosing the right tools. You’ll want cloud solutions that provide the capability to handle everything virtually. This includes things like electronic signatures, which allow you to sign contracts and approve documents 100 percent remotely.
- Empower Your Team
Everything you do should be about setting your team up for success. This includes supplying them with the right tools to do their jobs well.
When it comes to empowering your team, good communication is key. Your team must be able to communicate freely and easily on a daily basis. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this can be done via email. Instead, find a project management application or social intranet solution to connect your team. The goal is to have one central hub where all internal communication happens.
- Hold Virtual Huddles
It’s a good idea to begin each workday with a quick 15-minute morning huddle. Not only does this ensure everyone is awake and focused on work, but it also gives you a chance to set objectives for the day, hear concerns, and give people the opportunity to gather any last-minute information they need in order to be productive and successful.
- Set Clear Goals
Clear goals are important for every business. (It doesn’t matter if you’re running a brick-and-mortar retail store or an ecommerce website.) However, if you’re just making the shift over to a virtual business model, having finite objectives is more important than ever. These are the guideposts you’ll use to direct your team.
When transitioning to a remote setup, take time to sit down with every single employee and map out your specific goals and expectations for them. This helps everyone understand what’s expected of them.
Putting it All Together
Going remote could provide the boost your business has been looking for. And though it does require some strategic planning and careful execution, it’s a move that will benefit your company for years to come. Now go out and make it happen!