Just over three years ago, the idea of working from home seemed new and unusual. Fast forward to today, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made remote working a norm for pretty much every industry out there. Now that we know that the work-from-home model is here to stay, the next step is to refine this model so that we can maximize its benefits while minimizing the downsides.
In this blog, Samir H Bhatt will discuss a few tips for entrepreneurs running (or looking to run) their businesses from home.
Tips for Handling your Business Remotely:
Tip 1 – Establish Clear and Consistent Communication:
Consistent and uncluttered communication is crucial for any business, but it is particularly important for teams who are coordinating remotely. You do not have the option to just stroll up to a team member and request an update on the project status.
Varying working hours, external demands, and rivaling priorities can all make remote communication challenging. According to Samir H Bhatt, there are a couple of things that all remote business owners should do:
1) Be Clear:
Clarity establishes confidence and trust. Making yourself available not only allows you to establish a standard for accessibility, but also sends the message to your team members that you will be there for them whenever they need you.
To avoid confusions down the road, be clear about the times during which you expect your team members to be reachable, as well as about the communication platforms that you will be utilizing.
2) Pick a Platform:
Whether you use asynchronous platforms like Slack or synchronous (real-time) ones like Google Hangouts, Samir H Bhatt says that it is important for your team to be able to collaborate and communicate easily.
Figure out your preferred communication and identify the way of responding (real-time or less-than-immediate) that would be most feasible for the team. For instance, would you and your team prefer greater availability and lower responding flexibility, or would you rather communicate through organized channels but lower your response expectations.
Tip 2 – Set up a Robust Phone System:
Clients do not like leaving messages and waiting until someone from the company gets back to them. Hence, it is vital that you set up a phone routing system that allows clients and other callers to reach their desired contacts with a single phone call. There are many services that let subscribers route their calls without having to give away private numbers.
To maximize flexibility, find something that you can add to your phone or use with a computer – this will not only enhance your customer service, but also make life easier for your employees.
Tip 3 – Get Organized:
If you are operating your business remotely, it is almost certain that you are using some digital document management system – even if it is a desktop cluttered with PDF documents or a Google Drive that has not been updated since the Obama administration.
However, Samir H Bhatt says that it is time to change this. You should consider establishing an accessible information repository which allows your team to easily and effectively share information with one another.
You could go for a user-friendly, cloud-storage system having clearly defined structures and labels to pinpoint which information is stored where, or you could go for something more complex that has been tailored according to your business needs.
Regardless of how you go about it, it is vital that your team is adequately organized to deal with the unique challenges that accompany remote working.
To sum up, establishing consistent communication, setting up phone systems, and taking steps to organize your team, are all ways to set yourself, your team, and your business up for success under the remote working model.