Starting a remote business has grown in popularity since the internet became relevant. Now more than ever, there is a digital solution for everything, providing a convenient, secure and often low-cost way to do business — giving entrepreneurs more opportunities to start businesses all over the world.
There are many beneficial reasons to start a remote business, such as lower overhead, improved employee satisfaction and retention, the ability to hire top talent all over the world and much more. According to Inc., remote workers even tend to log more hours than their in-office counterparts and are slightly more engaged.
However, building a remote business can also have its own unique challenges. How can you be sure everyone is staying on task, being productive, communicating and collaborating appropriately? How and where should you set up your business as a legal entity if it exists mostly online?
Below are six steps to get your new remote business started today.
1. Form Your Business
When beginning your remote business, you need to decide what type of entity to establish. This will determine how you file your taxes as well as the extent of your personal liability (if you get sued or end up in debt). The most common entity types are a sole proprietorship, partnership, C Corporation, S corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC).
When you incorporate your remote business, you may choose to file in a state other than your home state in order to take advantage of another state’s tax rate or other legalities. Consider Nevada or Delaware, as these states have low taxes for small businesses.
2. Get a Business Address
There are many reasons why you should have a business address, including establishing credibility and being able to receive physical mail for your LLC. If you don’t want to give your home address or set up a P.O. Box, consider getting a virtual business address. It’s a newer option you may want to think about if the traditional route doesn’t suit you.
3. Hire the Right People
One benefit of having a remote business is that your talent pool is as large as you want it to be — you can hire employees from all over the world. However, not everyone is a good fit for your business (or a good fit to work in a remote environment).
The employees you’re looking to hire should be self-starters. Since you won’t be hovering over your employees all day, it’s important they have the ability to stay on task and motivated. Among other traits, look for punctuality, responsiveness, problem-solving skills and attention to detail. There are many other traits you will consider based on the type of business you start, but these are most commonly looked for among those starting a remote business.
4. Establish a Communication Plan
You should put an extra emphasis on communication when owning a remote business, because it can be the most vulnerable element of your company. Your employees won’t have the benefit of speaking to each other or meeting in person, so you’ll need to develop a robust system of communication. Set a precedent for how you and your teams will communicate with each other. Will you require video conferencing? Do you need to schedule a regular weekly or bi-weekly call with employees? Consider investing in platforms such as Slack or Zoom to enable easy communication.
5. Document Processes
Especially when you first start out, you might be happy to take on more work than you typically would in the name of growth. But over time, you will start delegating tasks to your employees. To prepare for this, you’ll want to document and simplify your processes to easily show your employees how to handle these specific aspects of your business. Look for a tool that allows video capabilities, such as Sweet Process. Especially with a remote business, videos can be great tools in aiding the training process.
6. Boost Productivity
How can you be sure everyone is staying on task, meeting deadlines and completing their work? There are a variety of online tools and project management platforms that will help your team remain on track, stay organized and get the work done. Platforms such as Asanaor Trello will help you build a productive remote team. When using a cloud-based tool to manage your remote team, be sure everyone is on the same page with that tool — it should be part of your company policies rather than a suggestion.
There are many things to consider when starting your own remote business, and there are no one-size-fits-all answers. However, one thing is for sure: forming your business with Incfile is easy and quick. Learn how to form an LLC, S Corp, C Corp or nonprofit, and understand how each entity type will impact both your liability and taxation as a business owner. Once you’ve formed your company, Incfile also has tons of resources to help you manage your new remote business. Contact us today to learn more.