How To Start a Fully Remote Business: The Ultimate Guide with 20 Ideas
Let’s state it clearly, starting a Fully Remote Business was impossible before Covid. However, this doesn’t look like a chimera anymore especially because we have seen many and many businesses adapting to this kind of philosophy where “work is everywhere with you and doesn’t have to be bounded by physical walls.
The increased investments in improved internet connectivity helped quite a lot in making this dream possible. Better work-life balance has enabled entrepreneurs to establish business ventures without considering the constraints of having a dedicated office for their operations.
In this article, I will explore the necessary step to start a fully remote business and share 20 proven successful ideas in case you want to start a business but don’t know quite yet how and where to start.
1. Advantages of a Fully Remote Business
Access to Global Talent: If you are planning to have everything running remotely, you can benefit yourself by accessing a diverse pool of talent from around the world, with no country barriers.
Cost-Effectiveness: This comes with the fact that you can reduce if not eliminate expenses associated with physical office space, utilities, and commuting (both for you and for your employee), resulting in cost savings. Also, in some cases, having the possibility to have collaborators from other countries can help with overhead costs associated with Employees.
Better Flexibility: Remote work offers a better work-life balance in general. Everyone is different and eventually, you can set the policy on getting the job done rather than forcing someone to spend the day in the office with a consequent lack of productivity. This way, you are enabling employees to work during their peak productivity hours.
Increased Productivity: Recent studies suggest that remote workers are more productive due to fewer distractions and a personalized work environment. As explained above, focus on getting things done and making your employees responsible and accountable for their job but give them the freedom to work whenever they feel more productive.
2. Steps to Successfully Start a Fully Remote Business
The Right Idea and Market Research:
You’ll be bombarded by tons of ideas and comments especially if you are brainstorming with friends and parents.
I guess the point here boils down to identifying a profitable niche or service by conducting extensive market research in your local area (if you want to stay local) but more in general, in the whole worldwide market.
Overall, if you’ve chosen a remote business, why would you want to stop just at a local scale and not try to reach clients everywhere? And, don’t forget to measure demand and competition with some measurable metrics.
Your First Business Plan
Every Business idea is just an idea if not backed up by a Business Plan. Make sure to:
- Clearly identify your goals. Jot them down on a piece of paper that can be placed somewhere easy to be seen.
- Define your audience and consider how your audience will change as soon as your business grows.
- Make sure to outline your revenue model considering all the important Financial Aspects.
- Define your marketing strategy based on your actual and future cash availability.
Legal and Financial Considerations
Another very important point is thinking about your business structure.
Seek support from experts and work out what’s best for you. either Sole Trader or a separate legal entity have pros and cons. Remember to consider that even if you have a remote business you might still need to get some sort of financial insurance or permits.
Keep all these points in your mind when it comes to setting up you remote-friendly financial infrastructure.
Putting Together a Remote Team
Leverage your remote infrastructure to source talents from all over the world.
This comes with the pros of accessing a bigger pool than usual as well as being virtually connected to them. Make sure that your personality skills are able to keep your team virtually close and align with your ultimate objective.
Pick the right Communication Tools
I discussed Gmail for Business as your main communication in one of my recent posts. Independently from whatever tool you want to choose, make communication your top priority.
Communication has been reported as the main cause of unsuccess in any project or relations, beating by far any other cause like lack of time or feasibility. And since your business starts as a Project, make sure that communication throughout the whole implementation (and beyond after the go-live) is clear and precise.
Prevent your business form Cyber Attack
This aspect shouldn’t be underestimated. If you are planning to work and store information on the cloud make sure to have Cyber Security policies and structure in place. Enable 2FA and foster the use of tools with encrypted file sharing
Define well rounded Remote Working Policies
Make sure to put black into white all the policies you retain necessary for keeping your team together. Developing clear and concise remote work policies will help to maintain consistency and set expectations for employees.
The idea is to give flexibility to your workers as well as give them guidelines and make sure that everyone carries out the job they are expected to do. You won’t be able to get this
3. Structure and Main Aspects of A Fully Remote Business
What does a Remote Business look like from the inside? A fully remote business requires careful planning and execution to ensure smooth operations and success.
Here I put together a general outline of the structure of a fully remote business and highlighted the common aspects that successful remote companies tend to have in common:
- They use a Virtual Workforce: All employees work remotely, with little to no restriction to their location. For this, they focus on hiring individuals who are self-motivated, disciplined, and capable of managing their time effectively.
- They use Clear Communication Channels: Communication is a synonym for collaboration among team members. Pick the best choice you have available based on your financial situation and don’t restrain yourself to change if necessary
- They have a Remote-Friendly Company Culture: They have generally a positive and inclusive company culture. Regular team-building activities, virtual social events, and celebrations can still happen in a remote work environment.
- A Results-Oriented Approach: The Shift has changed from hours worked to results achieved. They evaluate employees’ performances based on outcomes and deliverables rather than time spent working.
- There is a Flexible Work Hours Policy: A typical flexible working policy is in place. employees will work hours as long as they meet deadlines and attend necessary meetings. This accommodates different time zones and individual preferences.
- A simplified Remote Onboarding and Training: The onboarding process for new employees is remote. Training on Software and Tools used are generally based on video courses and real cases (shadowing).
- Strict Security and Data Privacy: This aspect is taken very seriously. They Implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information and ensure data privacy compliance.
- Performance Tracking and Accountability: There is a wide usage of project management tools to track progress, assign tasks, and monitor performance. Employees are made accountable for their work and provided with regular feedback and performance evaluations.
- Regular Team Meetings and Check-ins are a must: Often regular team meetings take place to discuss progress, address challenges, and keep everyone aligned with company goals.
- Empathy and Support: Everyone is aware of the challenges that come with remote work. Support and resources are made available to help employees manage their work-life balance and specific situations.
- HR and IT Support are Remote: HR functions like payroll and employee inquiries are handled remotely. They also offer remote IT support to address technical issues promptly, usually with a ticketing system.
- Plenty of Documentation and Knowledge Sharing Events: Employees have access to documentation and SOP (Standard Operating Procedures), best practices, and important information. A central knowledge base is accessible to all team members.
- Technology and Infrastructure is granted: Obviously, employees are provided with the necessary tech to carry out their job effectively.
- Customer Support and Engagement are a priority: No matter if you are working remotely, they will always be by the side of their customers
- They Strive for Continuous Improvement: The Flexibility given by the lean structure foster continuous improvement at all level.
4. Successful Examples of Fully Remote Companies
Now, here I am sharing some of the most successful remote companies that started even before the Covid Outbreak in 2019.
I know what you are thinking: “That’s not something I will achieve in a lifetime” However, I invite you to focus on the aspects they have leveraged to build success and scale them down to your idea of business.
GitLab: This web-based platform for DevOps is entirely remote, with over 1,300 employees across the globe.
Zapier: A leader in workflow automation, Zapier runs a fully distributed team spanning different time zones.
Buffer: The social media management tool operates as a remote-first company, supporting team members worldwide.
Automattic: The company behind WordPress, with over 1,200 employees across 77 countries, embraces remote work.
5. 20 Successful Ideas for Fully Remote Businesses
Here I am going to list 20 Business Ideas for a business that can run entirely remotely. All of them are respecting the principles above.
Virtual Assistant Services: Aimed to Provide administrative support to businesses and entrepreneurs remotely.
Online Tutoring: The Idea is to Offer virtual tutoring services for various subjects or skill development.
E-commerce Store: You can Set up an online store and sell niche products to a global audience.
Remote IT Support: Help other companies providing technical support and troubleshooting solutions remotely.
Content Creation Agency: Never thought about offering content writing, graphic design, or video production services?
Remote Health and Wellness Coaching: Always on the Hype, provide virtual fitness training or nutrition counseling.
Language Translation Services: Translate official documents or offer real-time translation services online.
Digital Marketing Agency: Help businesses with SEO, social media marketing, and content strategy.
Virtual Event Planning: Organize online conferences, webinars, and virtual trade shows all from your desk!
Remote Accounting Services: Offer bookkeeping and financial analysis services to other companies in need.
Online Dating Consultancy: Help people finding their true love and improving their communication skills.
Business Consulting: Business has no boundaries. Provide expertise in specific industries or business development.
Virtual Interior Design: Offer remote interior design services with 3D Renders and visualization for interiors.
Remote HR or Recruitment Agency: Help assist companies in hiring talents and managing people.
Cybersecurity Consultancy: Advise businesses on securing their data and systems from cyber threats and hackers.
Remote Personal Shopping: Help clients find products online based on their preferences and guide them through the purchase.
Virtual Reality Experiences: Develop virtual reality world full of content or experiences for entertainment or training purposes.
Remote Wellness Products: Sell health and wellness products through an online store.
Online Language School: Create an e-learning platform for people who wants to learn new languages.
Remote Project Management: Offer project management services to other businesses.
In this post, I have put together plenty of information to help you understand how to start a fully remote business as well as give you guidelines on to structure it.
Also, all types of opportunities for remote working are in growth. If you don’t feel keen on setting up your remote biz, you can still count on websites like Work From Hut to find remote jobs as an employee.
Whatever your choice is, find an opportunity that aligns with your skills, interests, and market demand, and embrace all the perks coming with your new remote business journey.
Non aspettare che il tuo business sparisca nel web!