Many things are required of you as a remote entrepreneur. To manage your online business successfully, you would have to prioritize effective team collaboration, task delegation, and knowing when to use third parties. Effective collaboration through digital channels is essential since there’s no office space. And you might need to outsource logistics if you sell online.
6 tips for running an online business
Running an online business remotely is as easy as the following steps:
- Build a strong online presence
You’re a home-based entrepreneur, but you don’t really want to let that show. Getting valuable customers and the right employees depends on the professionalism you display. And you do that through your online presence.
From your website to your social media posts, you must showcase yourself as a fully functional company that knows its stuff. It doesn’t matter whether you run an e-commerce store or specialized services. The value of customers you attract will depend on how professional you appear.
- Hire the right remote team
A key step to managing a successful online business is hiring the right remote team. You have to understand you can’t do everything alone, no matter how much you try to minimize costs. There would be so much to do, just like in a traditional business, some tasks beyond your strengths. So you have to delegate anything that overwhelms you or wastes valuable time.
Virtual assistant services are a great way to go if you’re not considering full-time employees just yet. You can find virtual assistants on Upwork or other online platforms to help with blogging, website maintenance, bookkeeping, customer service, etc. You’ll always find incredible talents for whatever role you’re looking to fill.
- Create effective communication channels
Effective collaboration is vital to managing an online business. You’re not in physical contact with your team, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate as much. It’s crucial that team members always know their tasks and can find updates and share feedback in one place. Email isn’t very convenient, so investing in project management software that works well for your team is best.
Aside from project management software, you could use a simple communication app with private and group chats. These are good for quick chats. For example, anyone can drop a message to clarify something and stay up to date on projects on the go.
- Use the right tools
Running an online business means appreciating digitalization for all it offers. That involves leveraging tools and automation while managing your business remotely. For example, you’ll need software to allow team members remotely access company files and documents. Conferencing software to conduct webinars and live interviews is also helpful.
For e-commerce stores, you might want to invest in inventory management software. You get an instant notification for out-of-stock items so you can restock them, after which the product becomes visible to shoppers once more.
Furthermore, you might be faced with a truckload of mail. A virtual mailbox is an excellent solution for remote businesses looking to handle mail conveniently and maintain a professional image. With a virtual mailbox, you get a commercial address where your packages are sent; you may then have them forwarded to your home. In that case, you won’t have to publicize your home address, and clients won’t visualize your company as someone working from their garage. When creating your LLC, you may also use the virtual mailing address as your business address since PO Box is often unacceptable.
Many mail forwarding companies are providing this service; look for one that works best for you.
- Outsource fulfillment
Do you sell products online? Every e-commerce store is plagued with the trouble of fulfilling orders. From processing orders, labeling products, packing, and shipping from the warehouse to delivery, you’ll soon find fulfillment is not a task you want to continue with.
In most instances, it’s best to outsource fulfillment to a third-party logistic company like UPS and FedEx. Since the company is focused on order fulfillment, they have the tools and know-how to improve speed and customer satisfaction. This would relieve you of much burden so you can focus on giving your new prospects a good experience.
- Set parameters
Trust is important while running an online business, and your remote team members would often need to access the company database for information required to complete tasks. However, setting certain parameters is a smart security move you shouldn’t neglect. These levels would ensure only authorized parties can access certain controls, such as purchasing power.
For example, you can provide a virtual assistant with a separate username and password that doesn’t give him full control over the platform.
Thankfully, some software platforms have these parameters built into them. If not, you might need to call a web developer.
It’s wise to encourage a culture of regular communication amongst your remote team. So many video conferencing tools are available today. Business owners should use these tools, so remote employees don’t feel isolated. Helping everyone connect casually, just as in a traditional workplace, can help them thrive mentally and productively.