Launching a virtual startup is exciting but involves specific challenges around cultivating an effective remote work culture and managing teams.
But there are many strategies and tools at your disposal to assist with those challenges. Read on for four tips to help optimize your startup's success.
Brian David Crane, the founder of CallerSmart.com is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and his team is all remote. He has found that communication is the greatest challenge. “We use Workspace and communication tools like Slack and ClickUp to keep in touch with our team members and never miss out on project updates, submission deadlines, project meetings, and mandatory one-on-one meetings to ensure work productivity. Video conferencing tools like Zoom and project management tools like Google Workspace have been a great help in keeping team members tracked and in touch daily."
Managers should schedule weekly one-on-ones with team members and weekly group meetings to discuss projects, deadlines, roadblocks, and new items coming down the pipeline. You can take this time to individually ask during your one-on-one time how your team members are feeling. Set up team and individual goals for you and your team members to stay on track.
Brandon Mackie, the founder of Dink Technologies in Scottsdale, Arizona, suggests a daily check-in. “One thing that's worked really well for our company is a daily standup. We use Slack to send out a standard template each morning so each employee can report what they're working on, and what they need help with. This process simulates interactions that would typically happen in the office and keeps everyone on the same page while working all over the world."
Although you are all virtual, try to schedule a yearly in-person meeting. “We host a once-a-year meetup for the team to ... connect in a very informal atmosphere. This helps build camaraderie and boosts team culture," Crane said.
2. Organize documents
Keeping all documents in a shared space for accessibility to your remote team is vital, efficient, and necessary for security. Start by storing data on Google Drive or your preferred cloud storage platform. Google makes documents shareable and accessible from anywhere. Give your employees and your clients quick access to the documents they need. As your business grows, you can look into upgrading to another option to manage your data. Find the perfect CRM systems to fit your business model and support your customer base.
Andrew Gonzales, the founder of BusinessLoans.com, recommends one key way to stay organized is to “Get rid of snail mail ASAP. When you don't have a physical place of business, physical post office boxes get complicated really fast." Instead, using a digital mail service eliminates the need for physical mail by scanning your mail and sending it as an email. While not every single piece of mail can be scanned, it helps reduce junk mail while enhancing security. A service such as Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company, offers virtual addresses, virtual mailboxes, check depositing, and more.
3. Standardize processes
You want to make sure that you have company processes in place as you begin to grow your business and bring on new employees. Your team must know the importance of each tool they use at work. Workflow standardization is essential as you build consistency among your remote workers. Services like Google Workspace can help information stay together and accessible.
“Streamline business operations by incorporating automation into your virtual meeting tools, project management software, and cloud-based accounting software," Mackie suggests.
And be thoughtful when choosing your software and online tools. Conor Keenan, founder of CompareAccounts.com, says, “It creates a real headache when you need to change software or change providers every six months. This causes people to learn new systems, which ultimately creates speed bumps in the business that can be avoided." When you standardize, do so for the long term.
4. Consider the client's needs
Running a remote company means presenting your business products and services to a large audience. You are not limited to a city, state, or country. Put yourself in the shoes of your client. What is attractive to them as they view your offerings? Ease of payment? International shipping? 24-hour customer service?
Some clients may feel uncomfortable with a company that has no physical storefront. Rinal Patel, founder of Suburb Realtor, says. So it's key to find ways to make your services seem accessible and trustworthy.
“Trust is vital in working with clients as a virtual company owner. Build trust with your clients by being responsive, transparent, and constantly updating your clients on any issue that arises," she says.
Launching a successful virtual startup requires focus on the needs of clients and team members and standardized processes whenever possible.
To learn more about virtual mail, virtual addresses, and check-depositing services, go here.
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