Remote work is becoming incredibly popular, both within the U.S. and around the world. Businesses can create teams of remote employees and reduce their overhead costs, while freelancers can offer tailored, creative services to companies that want to avoid expensive hiring decisions. It’s worth digging into the popularity of telecommuting and working from home, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Working from Home, By the Numbers
Let’s explore the statistics behind the desire to work from home. Although the numbers can vary depending on the source, they’re all indicative of the move towards remote working.
According to a survey from FlexJobs:
There are other significant benefits for remote freelancers and employees. Not having to commute or go into an office can reduce stress, and almost everyone says that remote working has significantly improved their work-life balance. Although remote working can fit in well with traveling as a digital nomad, more than eight in ten people work from home most of the time, although coffee shops are also a great option.
Why Working from Home Is the New Working Revolution
Technological, social and economic shifts are driving the move to freelancing and remote employment:
- Technology makes it easier than ever to communicate and collaborate.
- Employees are demanding remote work options, and employers are reacting to the change.
- People are able to work from home while caring for their families.
- Businesses contract with freelancers for specialized skills or projects they don’t want to complete in-house.
- Companies realize greater costs savings and higher productivity with remote workers.
- Gig economy businesses like Upwork, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, Lyft and others make it easy to get into freelance work.
This all means it’s a great time to start up your own freelancing, consulting or other remote business.
Is Starting a Remote Business Right for You?
Before making the switch to remote working, there are a few important factors you’ll need to consider:
Do You Have a Great Idea for a Remote Business and the Skills to Back It Up?
Starting a remote business relies on performing a service or selling a product really well. If you’re becoming a freelancer or consultant, you’ll need marketable expertise. For other types of remote work, you’ll need to find a niche you can prosper in.
Have You Researched the Market?
You need to understand if there’s likely to be a desire for your service by completing market research. This will also help you understand your likely competition.
Do You Understand Your Customers and What They Want?
You should talk to potential customers to learn about their requirements. Are there particular ways you can tailor and package what you do to make you an attractive option for customers?
Have You Modeled Your Finances?
Work out how much you need to bring in each month to maintain your quality of life. Explore what you could change to bring costs down, and understand how to price your services to balance value and quality.
The Challenges of Working Remotely
If you’re thinking of setting up as a remote business, it’s important to understand some issues you’ll face. These include:
- Finding the right business idea: You will normally want to build on the creative skills you already have if you want to be successful as a remote worker.
- Sorting out your finances: Money insecurity can be a big deal for freelancers and business owners, so make sure you’ve got plenty of savings in place before starting.
- Keeping clients happy: Great customer relationship management is essential for anyone who wants to work with clients. If you’re not available to meet with clients in person, you’ll need to ensure you can properly communicate virtually.
- Meeting your commitments: You should work hard to understand client requirements and deadlines, then create tasks and goals to meet them. Pay attention to time zones when working remotely to ensure you’re on time with deadlines.
How to Get Started as a Remote Worker
It’s easy to set up your own remote working business. Here are the basics:
- Create a business plan that details how you will run your business.
- Formally create your business — we recommend operating as an LLC, since it gives you some protection and is easy to administer.
- Understand the various rules and regulations for running a remote business, including taxes and finances.
- Hire others to complete the tasks you can’t, like marketing or accounting.
- Get administration and other systems in place to make it easier to run your remote business.
- Create a proper home office where you can focus on work and remove distractions.
- Join social media and support groups where you can ask questions and get advice.
- Use online tools and apps to make running your remote business much easier.
We have an excellent “Start Your Business” checklist that you can use to make sure you’re kicking things off in the right way.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and become a remote worker, whether traveling the world or operating out of your home office, Incfile has a guide to help. Read our complete, in-depth digital nomad guide for everything you need to know about running your business from anywhere.