It’s not unheard of for people to become particularly obsessive about work. The long hours, the constant overtime, the never ending hustle—it’s almost something that people aspire for. But all this focus on building a career meant there was little time to pursue hobbies and real passions. There was barely any time for family or friends. And at the end of it all, success came at the expense of severe burnout and dissatisfaction.
I realized it didn’t have to be that way. We have, at our disposal, the technology that will allow us to balance our professional and personal lives better. And the mindsets of today’s workforce regarding work/life balance are prompting more companies to reassess what they can do to make employees more productive and fulfilled. For all intents and purposes, the opportunity to carve out a new business model that leveraged on these tools and addressed these new needs was obvious—so I decided to take it.
When I started Publicity For Good, I envisioned a borderless company—one that combined the talents and skills of various employees regardless of where they were in the world. I myself am somewhat of a nomad. I have been traveling across the country for the better part of 2(?) years, living and working from my Airstream, where I have the opportunity to explore new cities, discover new cultures, indulge in unique experiences-all of which could lend itself to a more creative and insightful approach to public relations. I am very proud of being able to bring this vision to life. And as someone who has gone through the ups and downs of starting a remote company from scratch, here are some practical tips on how you can get it off the ground and eventually start scaling for growth–
1. Establish Your Online Presence
Running a business remotely means a primary source of information for potential clients or customers will be your website. It’s absolutely critical that you build and maintain a professional and engaging website that reflects the values that drive your business and informs them of your products and services.
Outside of your company website, staying active on social media allows you engage with your customers in a more personal way. Be sure to keep it up to date and make an effort to respond to any customer interaction.
2. Hire Well
Starting a remote team means you have to really rely on your employees to pull their weight. This means going out of your way to invest in the right people. Often, businesses with brick and mortar offices try to cut corners and skimp on hiring top-tier talent. But starting strong with a team whose skills and diligence you can count on will go a long way towards your success—especially when the time comes to scale your business.
3. Know Your Tools
This is essential for both starting and scaling your business. Working remotely means you have to rely on more than just your smartphone to get work done. Project management tools have proven to be incredibly useful for staying on top of all my company’s to-dos. Instant messaging allows us to stay in touch consistently throughout the day. And a whole slew of analytics tools give us better insight into our business.
A lot of the technology available today can easily be tailored to suit unique business needs, so take advantage of that. Most are also easily scalable to grow as your companies grow.
4. Communication Should Always Be A Priority
As a business operating remotely, it’s important that you maintain strong communication ties with your team members. And if you’re head of the business, it’s up to you to set a good example. Check in on your team members everyday and be sure to keep communication lines open.
5. Don’t Ever Forget Work/Life Balance
Flexibility in work isn’t so much a luxury as much as a necessity for remote companies. My team and I aren’t only separated by distance, there’s the added complication of different time zones and varying schedules. I don’t expect my team to be always-on, neither does my team want to be—but they are all nevertheless diligent, focused, and productive. I’m a firm believer that my generation, Millennials, is a generation that truly understands the role of work in life. And contrary to stereotypes, Millennials are actually paving the way for companies to understand how offices can stay productive while allowing their teams to work remotely, and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
8 years ago, I never would have imagined that I would one day be running a business, heading a team of 16 employees remotely from my Airstream. And yet here I am. Because while starting a remote business can be tough…scaling? Even harder. But if you take the leap, you’ll discover that it’s also one of the most rewarding ventures that you could ever get into.