Becoming a successful entrepreneur can be difficult enough as it is. However, with the changing working dynamics, we have seen during the pandemic, a remote-working entrepreneur is something that many people would prefer to be in the future. But the important question is; what are the steps to becoming a successful remote entrepreneur?
A recent study found that a massive 67% of entrepreneurs prefer to eliminate their long commute to work in order to get more done and improve productivity by working remotely. Despite this, only 5% of those interviewed actually felt as though productivity was the largest benefit from working remotely. Instead, the flexibility to be able to spend more time with their family was the core benefit.
But working remotely isn’t a perfect scenario. As an entrepreneur, you will generally decide your day-to-day schedule, and you create the deadlines. Because you’re the boss, nobody is looking over your shoulder to ensure that you are completing the tasks on time. Therefore, in order to complete everything, you need to remain motivated while working remotely, which studies have shown can be a little more complicated when you’re not in a natural work environment.
Here are some steps to becoming a successful remote entrepreneur:
1. Set Boundaries
On average, an entrepreneur will work 66 hours per week. Some people suit working that amount of time on a weekly basis, while others do not. You may max out your mental capacity at 50 hours a week, and this depends on the individual. It can be easy to read online stories about people like Elon Musk who are working 100 hour weeks without fail and feel as though in order to be successful, you must also do this—emphasised by the fact that you’re working remotely and feel as though you need to prove to yourself and others that it can work.
The key here is to find the perfect balance of time and performance and determine how many hours you can work each week while keeping your performance and productivity at a good level without burning out. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to your remote entrepreneurial journey crashing and burning.
2. Separate Personal from Business Life
Working remotely can be great and a real eye-opener for how work-life can be when steps are taken to implement it effectively. However, keeping your work-life and personal-life separate is important and a necessity of remote entrepreneurship.
A great example is if your family is in the area you’re remote working from; it can cause significant interruptions that negatively impact your flow of work and productivity. Therefore, if you choose to become a remote entrepreneur, it is important to somehow segregate those aspects from your life. This could be in the form of building a specific office at your home and letting people know not to disturb you if you are working during the day.
The critical thing to remember is it is all about balance. Explain to your family that work needs to be focussed on during your working hours, but that you will prioritise them once the workday is over. There are always going to be the odd exceptions here and there where work and personal life will merge, but for the most part, don’t allow one part of your life to suffer because of the other. If you clearly define your work and personal lives, you are a few more steps away from becoming a successful remote entrepreneur.
3. Involve Trustworthy People in your Business
Remote working comes with its challenges when it comes to communication and networking with your team. Your partners, investors, employees etc, need to maintain contact with you. However, the separation from working remotely makes it all the more important that the people you are working with are trustworthy individuals.
While your remote work ethic may be good, it doesn’t necessarily mean that others will share your same reliability of vision. By running a remote business, there may be a significant amount of operational work which needs to be delegated to other individuals. These could be other companies you outsource to or freelancers. It is important that whoever these individuals are that they share the same values as you.
4. Be Easily Visible
Offer Plenty of Meetings to Staff
Make sure that you maintain communication with any staff or freelancers you work with. By sticking to email or brief phone calls, you can detract away from the working relationship. This can have an impact on working morale, as well as significantly increase the likelihood of an individual having a negative view of working with you.
The purpose of these meetings is to get updates on work and use them as an opportunity to check up on how your staff are doing. Have they got something going on in their lives right now? Could they do with less workload? Being a remote entrepreneur almost makes it even more important that you improve your people management skills and, more importantly, empathy towards your staff/freelancers.
Consistently update your network
Whether it be a monthly email or regular social media posts. Your network should be updated on what you are up to. This not only increases the likelihood of people becoming invested in your business and more likely to utilise your services, but it also allows people to take you more seriously as a remote entrepreneur. We’re not yet in a stage where people view remote entrepreneurship as complete ‘normality’ – therefore, people may judge and take your path less seriously than someone who works from an office.
5. Create an Efficient Working Environment
Your work performance is greatly impacted by the environment that you are working in. You can’t spend your time working from a kitchen table, or in the spare bedroom on a small side-table. Therefore, if you’re choosing to be a remote entrepreneur, it is important that you set the stage for work efficiency.
Some tips to follow here:
- Eliminate distractions such as social media notifications, games etc.
- Declutter the area, and eliminate any unnecessary mess which may impact your productivity
- Personalise the area with objects which relax you, such as candles or perhaps family photos.
- Make sure the lighting is good in your work space. As much as you do not want a dark room, you equally do not want a room that shines light in your eyes.
- Make sure you have all the office supplies that you may need. A trip to the shops in the middle of a workday certainly stunts productivity.
- Create an environment that encourage work, not entertainment.