The 3 Key Aspects for a Profitable and Scalable Business

Want a Scalable and Profitable Business? Here Are The 3 Key Aspects to Consider

Do you run a remote or hybrid company and some or all your employees work from home or locations outside of the traditional office?

If your team is distributed they are probably on different continents right now. While this arrangement has many benefits, it can also pose challenges.

People are one of the most important factors in a successful remote company. Having them in the right seat is essential.

Why is that?

To work efficiently, your remote employees must be self-motivated.

Also they must be able to work independently, without close supervision.

They should also have strong communication skills. They will work with colleagues located in different time zones and may not have regular face-to-face interactions.

Process is also critical in a remote company. Workflows should be clearly defined and communicated to all employees. Put systems in place for tracking progress and meeting deadlines.

Finally, select the right tools. They will support the remote team.

These are some of the essential tools for a productive remote workforce:

  • Video conferencing software
  • project management platforms
  • Cloud-based storage solutions
  • Scheduling tools

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People – who you hire and how you manage them

You probably agree, people are a company’s most valuable assets:

  • Company culture is about people
  • People generate ideas and fuel company growth
  • People nurture relationships with clients and partners

Without people, a remote company would be nothing more than a collection of machines. They will never match the creativity, intelligence, and emotional engagement of humans.

That’s why the success of a remote and distributed company depends on its ability to attract, develop, and retain the best talent. By doing so, you can create a competitive advantage that is hard to replicate.

How does hiring work in a remote company?

It’s no surprise, hiring for a remote company is a bit different than hiring for a traditional company. So here are a few things to pay attention to when selecting people for your remote team:

  • You need to be able to trust the people you hire. They must be self-motivated and disciplined. If you think you can find this in everyone, trust me: you don’t!
  • You need people with exellent communication skills. They must be able to work well independently. In parallel they must have great team work skills. It’s also essential that they are proactive and have a can-do attitude.
  • In a remote work environment, things can change quickly. This is why it’s important to have team members who are adaptable and flexible.
  • Finally, make sure you set clear expectations from the outset. This will help to avoid misunderstandings down the road.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to hiring the perfect team for your remote company. You can learn more on scalable hiring processes by reading some of my other resources.

How to actually manage a remote and distributed team?

Managing a remote or distributed team presents a unique set of challenges:

  • Building trust can be difficult without the ability to meet and communicate face to face. This is a problem.
  • Multiple time zones make it even more difficult to coordinate work schedules.

Here are some quick strategies for you to solve this problem. What worked for me to set teams up for success:

  • Establish clear goals and expectations. Each team member should understand expectations and objectives.
  • Regular check-ins are essential. They keep everyone on the same page and support early problem solving.
  • Be flexible and willing to adjust your management style as needed.

Nothing is perfect in the beginning. Little by little you will become an inspiring leader for your remote team. I promise!

How do leaders maintain company culture in a remote team

Company culture is difficult to build and maintain. This is valid for all companies. Even more challenging for remote teams.

And if you are anything like me, you enjoy a good challenge. Here is what I help my clients with, to foster a positive company culture in a remote and distributed team:

  • Make an effort to connect with each employee on a personal level. Have regular one-on-one check-ins or group chat sessions.
  • Plan genuine bonding time.
  • Create opportunities for social interaction.
  • Plan team-building activities, online or offline.
  • Consider annual meetups.
  • Establish communication parameters.

Process – how do you create a scalable business

Remote companies need specific processes to support smooth operations.

One example is the communication process. This is completely different for a remote and distributed team than for an office based team.

Let’s look deeper, at the specifics of each business. Processes must support business requirements and lay the foundation for scalability. For example a marketing agency has series of processes for marketing services delivery. A software development company focuses on technical process.

How do you communicate processes to your team?

Process documentation is important all companies. It is even more important in remote companies.

Why? Because there is a greater risk of miscommunication when teams are not in the same office.

Here is what you achieve with good process documentation:

  • Prevent communication issues from occuring
  • Set clear record for expectations on how the job must be done
  • Provide track record on decisions and actions taken

Let’s be real! Ultimately a process cannot exist in the mind of the creator. A process exists the moment it is documented.

Tools – how does it help you run your business on a lean budget

For the last few years more and more businesses embraced remote work. Many of them have distributed teams. This is a blessing and a curse, especially trying to keep everyone on the same page.

Fortunately, there are many tools and platforms that can help your team work efficiently. Leverage the right technology and you can run a remote company effectively, no matter where the team is in the world.

Moreover technology can shorten the path to profitability for startups. If your company is well established it will contribute to a higher profit margin.

Communication tools for remote work

As more and more employees shift to remote work, communication tools are more important than ever.

Since I work with remote teams since 2009, I can tell you there are many different options available. The must have tools are not many though: video conferencing app, chat app, and project management tool with comments section.

Video conferencing apps allows employees to have meetings and collaborate on projects in real-time. Consider them your meeting room. Some of the most popular options are Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and GoToMeeting. Choosing the right one for your team depends on team size as well as specifics of your business.

Chat apps provide a quick and easy way for employees to communicate with each other in an async way. They can also exchange files, and stay up-to-date on project progress. You can opt for something like Slack or Mattermost, where you pay per user. If you have a tech savvy team you can choose to self host a solution like Mattermost and bring costs down.

Another option is to use the chat feature of a project management tool like Basecamp which will bring your costs even lower.

Tools for project management in a remote company

Project management tools supports leaders in creating ownership and accountability structures. They are great to keep track of deadlines, assigned tasks, and employee progress. By using these tools employees have the ability to successfully collaborate.

Choosing the right project management tool makes the difference between chaos and productivity. A few popular options include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp. Choose the right one for your business by looking at specific use cases, how tech savvy your team is, complexity of projects and budgets.

I also recommend setting up time tracking app like Harvest, Toggl or Clockify. This will help you stay on top of budgets and track projects’s profitability. Another great feature of the time tracking apps are reports you can share with your clients. For example for retainers, if you have hours based retainers you will need an easy way to generate reports.

Tools for scheduling

I’ve seen first hand that for distributed teams, scheduling meetings is a daunting task. They depend on the availability of the participants, the purpose of the meeting, and the logistics of virtual meeting rooms.

There is one simple tool I recommend to make the task of scheduling meetings much easier. Shared team calendars make a huge difference if setup to be accessed by all team members. Shared calendar allows users to add notes about their availability and the others have transparent access to them.

As a result, a shared calendar helps to schedule meetings effectively and efficiently. In addition, due to the visibility it offers, a shared calendar reduces the number of missed or rescheduled meetings.

For situations where sharing availability with 3rd parties is required, you can use a tool like Calendly. This allows setting and sharing time slots for various types of meetings.

These tools are usually paid or they have a low level of service available for free. They are a great virtual assistant when it comes to scheduling tasks.

Tools for tasks automation

In any company, there are always repetitive tasks to be carried out on a regular basis. They can become boring or frustrating for employees over time. For example, compiling weekly reports or sending out customer satisfaction surveys, to name a few. Automating these tasks can free up employees, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks. It can also helps with consistency and accuracy of the result.

There are many tools available to help automate tasks in a remote company. For example, many email providers offer automated email templates to send out regular messages. Another category are the tools used to automate repetitive tasks such as reports or data entry.

Use automation tools to leverage the power of technology and increase productivity. Empower employees to focus on meaningful work.

How can you use this information

There are plenty of things to consider when your objective is to run a remote profitable and scalable business.

Use my article as general guideline for starting on your journey. Or use it as a checklist to see if you have the right structures in place.

If you are ready to deep dive into more specific topics, join the list to receive my monthly newsletters full of actionable advice.

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