How Remote Entrepreneurs Build Digital Empires
A fully remote business has many advantages. Costs are lower across the board as you don’t need office space or to pay for daily commutes. You can hire from anywhere in the world, which means you can get the most talented people on your team. Your workers have more flexibility and are more productive. It’s a business model full of benefits.
Since a fully remote business is clearly attractive, how do you make it work? How do you nurture your fledgling online business till it becomes a digital empire?
The answer is simple: by following the footsteps of other successful fully remote digital businesses. Here are some practices highly successful fully remote businesses follow that you can steal.
- They Have Clear Processes
Fully remote work cannot flourish without clear processes. The team needs to know what needs to be done, why, when and by whom. These processes need to be documented and monitored to make sure everything is going smoothly.
GitLab is one of the largest fully remote companies in the world. Created in 2011, this company was remote before being remote became trendy. One of the secrets behind their success is their company handbook. This is a document that guides everything they do and keeps everyone in the loop.
Building a fully remote business empire is no walk in the park. Trying to do so without clear processes is impossible.
2. They Hire Great People
Great companies hire great people. There’s no way around it. If you want to build a fully remote business empire, you need the best hands you can get.
Automattic is one of the top 10 largest fully remote companies. They built WordPress, which powers over 40% of the Internet. They have been in business for 15 years and have staff on every continent. Their CEO, Matt Mullenweg, says the secret is hiring great people: “We focus on two things when hiring. First, find the best people you can in the world. And second, let them do their work. Just get out of their way.”
And that’s exactly what you need to do when your team is scattered all over the world.
3. They Invest in the Best Tools
Building a business empire is hard work. You need to use the best tools to give yourself the best chances for success. Luckily, many great tools have free versions too.
But if you really want to scale, you need to budget for the best equipment and software you can afford. Remote first companies like Harlow send all staff a home office stipend to help them get the tools they need.
There’s no point in going to a gun battle with a pocket knife. Fully remote business empires are built with the best tools for the job. Some areas that need tools include:
- Cloud storage
- Online office suites
- Task management
- Project management
- Content management
You also need to get your team the best internet, computers, monitors and hardware available.
4. They Prioritize Communication
Great businesses realize that communication is the lifeblood of their existence. So they make it a priority. They don’t just communicate through email. They have email, Slack, Zoom, a company website, and even good old text.
Not only that, but they make communication asynchronous and effective.
They realize how important it is to let everyone know what is happening and what is expected, and they go the extra mile to make that happen.
5. They Create a Great Company Culture
Remote businesses are productive. They are cost-effective, cool, and trendy but they can also be impersonal and lonely. It is harder to make people feel appreciated and easier for people to feel left out.
So what do successful fully remote businesses do?
They invest in building their company culture and helping their team members become familiar with each other.
This investment can be through in-person retreats and team-building events. Or an online event like the quilt-making event at Alibaba North America.
It can also be through:
- Supportive HR practices
- Health and safety practices
6. They Focus on Results
If your remote business empire will last, it has to be productive. And if you want your team to be productive, you have to focus on results.
Not appearances. Not lip service. Not time effort.
One of the ways to do this is to set clear key performance indicators (KPI). That way, everyone knows what the goals are and how they are being tracked.
Some KPIs you could track are:
- Staff retention
- Client retention
- Staff satisfaction
- Client satisfaction
Whatever metrics matter to your business, know them and track them. Don’t be bothered about the things that don’t contribute to your success.
Focus on results.
Those are some secrets of building fully remote business empires. Of course, most great things start from a tiny seed. It’s not where you are that counts, but where you are going.
What would you add to the list? Have you tried any of these ideas? Let us know in the comments.
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