What Entrepreneurs Need to Know Before Starting a Remote Company

COVID-19 has caused a dramatic shift in how businesses have been able to function and for their onward direction after the pandemic. Social distancing, additional health measures, and economic uncertainty have meant that companies have had to prioritize more agile and resilient approaches to their working practices. Indeed, the desire to cut unnecessary overheads has led many business leaders to not just adopt remote work as a short-term fix, but as a more permanent solution.     

However, this also presents opportunities for new startups. Rather than having to adapt to the circumstances, as an entrepreneur, you can implement a fully remote business that not only benefits from reduced costs but is designed to take full advantage of the flexibility that can give you a competitive edge.

It’s an exciting new frontier, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be easy. So, we’re going to examine some of the areas you should be looking into before you dive into creating your remote company. 

Starting a Remote Company

Sufficient Planning

Just because a remote company might be a more accessible form of startup doesn’t mean to say that it is simpler than an in-person enterprise. Indeed, the number of moving parts and disparately located staff members can add some complications to the mix. Therefore, your approach needs to include robust business planning. 

This should include: 

  • Finances
    One of the main reasons entrepreneurs opt for a remote model is the prospect of reduced overheads. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you don’t need a certain amount of capital to get started. Take the time to dig into what the true costs of running a remote company are. You and your staff may be working from home, but will you need to pay for secure internet connections, specialist equipment, software, and marketing? The needs might also inform how you secure funding. Small business expenses might be handled through short-term loans or credit cards. If you don’t expect to make a profit immediately you might need to cover payroll and operations with a small business administration (SBA) loan or venture capitalist investment.
  • Business Model
    Not all types of business are well suited to remote operations, but there is a growing number that it works well for. However, rather than trying to retcon a usually in-person business to distant operations, it can be more sensible to use one of the approaches that are proving to be successful in the field. If you have experience in your industry, business consultancy services are among the most popular types of remote operations, not to mention that your staff needs are likely to be minimal. The eCommerce landscape continues to be popular too, but software as a service (SaaS) can minimize your warehousing and inventory requirements. Educate yourself on the markets and how they might affect your trajectory.
  • Structure
    Remote operations can get complex, therefore you need to plan how your business will be structured. Map out the exact processes that will need to be undertaken for your company to function correctly and efficiently. This will help you to understand exactly what your staffing and resource needs will be. One of the insights this will give you is what parts of the process you don’t understand, and can therefore prioritize your capital into obtaining on-staff or consultant experts for that aspect of your business.

The Right Tools

You may well have some excellent ideas for your new remote business, and have some keen customers already lined up. Yet, entrepreneurs often overlook how vital technology is to remote success. 

Your considerations must include: 

  • Communication Tools
    Remote companies live and die by the quality of their communications. If you are unable to keep all the members of your staff connected, operations can spiral out of control quickly. The best approach is to adopt communications platforms that provide you with some agility. Slack and Microsoft Teams both allow you and your staff to easily use instant messaging, audio calls, and video conferencing depending on what the situation calls for. It’s also important to consider what communications tools also allow you to engage with one another socially — your company might offer a great remote role, but you can help promote loyalty if you can give them casual chat channels to strengthen their bonds with each other.
  • Collaborative Tools
    Having a fully remote team means you have access to talent from across the planet. However, there will be times that you need those key staff in different time zones to be involved in strategic planning. As such, you have to implement software that supports remote collaborations. Virtual whiteboards can be useful here, as they allow each member of staff to make adjustments to a central planning document while keeping it organized using color-coordinated sticky notes for each contributor. It also supports asynchronous additions to plans when contributors from different countries can join in. The key is to make it as easy and practical as possible for everybody to stay engaged.

Hiring Processes

Starting a remote company can offer you an almost embarrassment of riches when it comes to your employees. As a growing number of people across the planet have access to a stable internet connection, this means that you have access to a potential talent pool of millions. However, there are some things you should bear in mind. 

These include: 

  • Employment Approach
    You need to ascertain what type of employment you’ll be offering, as this will affect who you’ll be targeting. You can offer traditional full-time employment, however, you need to be aware of your legal obligations and the social contributions you need to make — this can vary from country to county. Freelancers are a popular option, as this allows you to be more flexible, but a lack of benefits you provide doesn’t always result in commitment. Outsourcing individual tasks, like software development, might be more practical if your resources don’t extend to a regular team.
  • Effective Interviews
    Remote interviewing and onboarding can be challenging — you need to be able to make a connection with your candidates and be sure that they can not only achieve the tasks but represent what your business is about. Solidifying your mission statement can be important here — as employee engagement with company values can be essential to your success. Establish what the values of your business are, and how this should affect both your overall goals and the day-to-day operations. Then start to build interview questions or even test tasks that are designed to reflect how closely aligned to your mission candidates are.


Remote businesses can be an attractive option for a startup. However, to achieve success, you must engage in robust planning, and adopt the relevant tools for your approach. Employees are the backbone of your ability to achieve, so you also need to understand the different styles you can implement, and undertake mission-led interviews. 

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Article Author Details

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer living in the pacific northwest who has a variety of interests including sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.