From freelancers flying solo to large-scale teams, fully remote start-ups are all the rage right now, and why not? Between not being tied down to a costly physical location and the inherent freedom of being able to work on your own terms, the swiftness of a remote start-up is especially appealing to the millennial crowd.
That being said, running a fully remote start-up does require a certain level of planning, preparation and discipline for those looking to be successful. It's natural to want to mix work and play when working remotely; meanwhile, distractions are seemingly everywhere for those looking to get down to business.
Rather than fall prey to some of the most common missteps of remote workers, keep the following tips in the back of your mind as a sort of survival guide of what to do and not to do when starting your remote empire.
1. Your Laptop is Your Lifeline
Although it may seem rather obvious, fully remote workers need reliable devices in order to function; however, there's nothing more important than your computer on-the-go when you're starting out. Bear in mind that remote workers rarely work solely from the comfort of their own homes, and therefore require the following bells and whistles:
- A durable device with long battery life which can take a beating: you never know where you'll end up working from or how long you'll end up being there
- Security programs, including programs which consistently back up your files as well as platforms to scan network settings to ensure that your device is secure (think: be wary of public wi-fi)
- Enough processing power to run multiple programs at once: between video capture programs, virtual meetings and photo editing software, you can quickly kill your computer if it's not quite literally up to speed
2. Step Up Your Meeting Skills
Although a lack of meetings is a commonly cited benefit of remote work, the fact remains that you will inevitably need to talk with colleagues and clients beyond the realm of email. Think about it: you have seemingly endless opportunities to get deals done between Skype calls and Google Hangouts alone.
Regardless of which platform works for you or your team, strive to step up your virtual meeting skills to seal the deal and ensure productivity each and every time you get on a call. This means setting specific goals, having an agenda and looking the part of a professional versus appearing like a slob on the other end of your webcam. When in doubt, prepare for your virtual meetings just like you would a face-to-face interview.
3. Improve Your Social Presence
Small touches such as professional profile photos, consistent updates and a widespread social presence can help show potential clients that you're staying on top of your marketing game. While you shouldn't spread yourself thin attacking the various social channels, having an up-to-date and sleek social presence will send a positive message for anyone that's doing their homework on you and your business.
4. Don't Be an Island
Speaking of social media, don't fall into the trap of loneliness as a remote worker. Not only can a healthy social presence via Facebook communities keep you in the loop about your industry but also represent awesome networking opportunities. Your goal on social media shouldn't be to waste time, but rather contribute to the larger conversation of your industry.
Remote start-ups require attention to small details which are easy to overlook. Either on your own or as part of a team, these tips can help ease you into the remote lifestyle and kick-start your career on-the-go.