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The Remote Business Owner’s Guide To Scalability

By Aakash Gupta

Founder and Remote Work Advocate

Remote Business

Managing your own fully remote business can come with its fair share of perks. For starters, remote businesses do have the ability to attract exceptional industry talent, as more and more professionals opt to seek out flexible WFH arrangements that better cater to their work/life balance. Similarly, remote business owners are able to save on select overhead costs that traditional business owners may have to bear.

But managing a fully remote business can come with its own hidden challenges too. One of the most prominent obstacles that you can expect to encounter as a remote business owner is mapping out your company’s growth with confidence. When budgeting for growth, it’s all too easy to find yourself working off of outdated figures or even overestimating how much additional work your remote employees can take on when scaling your business.

So what’s the best way to scale up your remote business? We’ll be answering just that question today, so read on to learn more about how you can invest in your company’s scalability over the long term.

1. Get a solid understanding of your company finances

The first thing you’ll want to do is determine if you have the capital to fund your business growth. This preliminary financial analysis can be done in a number of different ways (i.e. working with your own in-house accounting team or consulting a financial planner). Regardless of which methods you choose to use, you should factor in the estimated costs associated with your scalability strategies.

For instance, if you’ve set a goal to make two new hires for your business before the end of the financial year, then factor in the costs of their salaries and any additional expenses accompanying these hires (employee software accounts, work equipment, etc.) to help you determine whether that goal is feasible. If you’re concerned you may not have the capital you need, then it could be worth either revisiting those goals, or perhaps seeking funding from investors.

2. Engage with employee workloads

Scaling up your business doesn’t necessarily mean making new hires. In some cases, you may be able to take on more clients or expand on your company’s products or services without even needing to add to your remote team.

If you believe that you could optimise your company’s methods to improve on profitability without even needing to make new hires immediately, then the next step is to determine what output your employees currently maintain – just to make sure that they can take on more work sustainably. After all, it can be tricky to gauge workloads in just staff meetings alone, and micromanaging runs the risk of negatively impacting your employee satisfaction ratings.

Thankfully, there are ways that you can softly monitor the productivity of your remote employees without establishing yourself as an overbearing business owner in the process. For instance, you could establish processes for each department that’ll help ensure your employees are completing work to a set standard. Similarly, you could introduce employee goal-setting initiatives where you encourage your staff to set their own performance objectives, offering your support as a supervisor in scheduled goal check-in chats throughout the year.

Not only will this help you monitor your employees with greater confidence, but it can also help you establish better relationships with your remote staff, strengthening your workplace culture.

3. Standardise your employee onboarding processes

Standardise your employee onboarding processes

And speaking of introducing well-defined processes, it should go without saying that streamlining your business’ operational processes is paramount to ensuring that your company can scale up sustainably. This is because your staff will seek the comfort and structure of company processes during times of growth, or even just any other kinds of transitional phases.

But clearly defined company processes can benefit new hires as well as your existing staff. In fact, maintaining tight onboarding practices and processes can help ensure that your business makes a strong first impression, which can in turn improve your company’s employee retention rate as well.

So when you are looking to chart projected growth for your remote company, invest a little time into curating your onboarding procedures – just to make sure that your new hires can engage with their new role and responsibilities and still feel like part of a team even when working fully remotely.

4. Look for outsourcing opportunities

When scaling up your business, you have three options when it comes to facilitating an increase of your company’s output:

  1. You can amend the workloads of existing employees so they can take on more work.
  2. You can hire new employees to fill in the gaps.
  3. You can outsource additional work to freelancers or contractors

Option #1 may not work for the long term and could stunt your business growth further down the line. Option #2 could be accompanied by greater upfront costs due to new employee salaries, which may leave you with less funding for future growth opportunities.

Then that leaves Option #3: outsourcing your work. For remote workforces, working with other remote freelancers or contractors doesn’t even have to be all that different to hiring another full-time member of staff anyway. You can integrate freelance or contracted professionals into your company’s remote working tools with ease, and speak with them in IM windows or via video calls just as you would any other member of your remote team.

And who knows? Your freelancers could end up becoming your next new hires down the line anyway. If that’s the case, they’ll also be tried and tested when they do join your team, which will only further safeguard your investment in their talent.

5. Invest in business automation tools

Invest in business automation tools

Alongside investing in a flexible workforce by onboarding freelancers and contract workers, remote business owners will undoubtedly be able to streamline their company operations further by investing in business automation tools like workplace management software.

These innovative software solutions can help ensure that neither you nor your employees need to waste precious work hours completing mundane tasks like data entry or even in-depth analytics. For example, with a smart contractor management tool, you can automate admin tasks, set up automatic payments for your contractors, and save yourself a lot of manual admin time. Instead, you can turn your attention towards business development strategising or customer care – facets of your remote business that really matter and could play a vital role in building up your business.

In this regard, investing in business automation tools could be seen as a vital component of ensuring your company’s scalability – especially so in the digital age where all your competitors are guaranteed to be leveraging these software solutions as well. And once again, remote business owners can save a small fortune annually on office rental rates or utility rates, so why not put those savings to good use by investing in the right business automation tools?

6. Build up your industry network

Traditionally, businesses have been able to grow by forging strong community connections. There is a ring of truth to that age-old adage to never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Of course, remote businesses do have a slight disadvantage here, as working from home posits fewer opportunities to get to know your neighbours, so to speak.

Thankfully, your company isn’t enjoying the shift to flexible working arrangement in isolation. There are plenty of industry networking events occurring across the globe that cater to remote-first businesses, so you can still pack your professional calendar full of networking events. And you may be able to find opportunities for growing your business by partnering with the professionals you connect up with.

So keep on adding to your industry contacts list and find new ways to get yourself and your business out there. In doing so, you’ll no doubt be able to find organic opportunities for your remote business to grow and thrive.

7. Make a commitment to staying ‘remote-first’

Finally, one of the foremost concerns that most managers and their teams have when mapping out business growth is that the changing nature of their work could result in your company losing its remote-first ethos. So our final piece of advice to you is to make sure that you stay remote-first as you map out your scalability strategies.

This can be as easy as marketing your company as a remote-first business to new recruits, and even just maintaining flexibility with your staff schedules. Being respectful of your staff and their changing professional needs alongside mapping out your company’s scalability is key to ensuring that you don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees, so to speak.

Taking steps to make sure that your remote business stays scalable can help do so much more than grow profits. It can also help attract all the best industry talent. But what do you do once you’ve attracted this talent? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! Check out our 10 best AI tools for recruiting or our 15 remote job interview questions. Thanks for reading!

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