Women In Business

3 Ways to create a successful online company you can run remotely

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The freedom and flexibility that online businesses offer is attractive to many entrepreneurs, especially for those who already have busy lives or other passions. The fact that you can create a steady income that can be run from anywhere with an internet connection seems almost too good to be true.

However, it is important that online business owners don’t get too caught up in the fantasy of running an e-commerce company. Just because the business exists online does not mean that you will be spending the rest of your days lounging on a beach while your website makes you money.

There is still a lot that goes on behind the scenes for an online business, of which will require just as much (if not more) work as a traditional job. However, there are some strategies that you should implement if you wish to operate your online business from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you please).

1. Opt for digital products or no inventory business models

One of the greatest things about an online store is that the virtual doors never close. This means that customers can visit your website and purchase items at any time. However, just because your customers operate at any hour does not mean that you have to.

Taking care of purchase orders, inventory management, packaging, shipping, and returns can be an extremely time-consuming task that requires you to be located at a physical location. This means that if you decide to take a vacation or simply want a day off, it will cause a delay in order shipments – which could be quite frustrating to your customers.

Fortunately, there are some great business ideas that offer more flexibility because they require no inventory whatsoever. Rather than sticking to physical products, opt for digital ones that can be sold completely online. This could include items like e-books, online courses, or digital templates that can be downloaded immediately after a purchase. Or, if you are set on physical products, you may also want to look into setting up a dropshipping partnership that will handle all of the order fulfillment duties.

Of course, this business model does not work for every single type of product or company, but it is something that you should consider if you are thinking about starting a new online store. By choosing to sell digital products or collaborating with a dropshipping entity, you can ensure that your customers will still receive their orders even when you are “out of the office.” 

2. Integrate the right tools for remote collaboration

While you are likely starting your online business as a solo entity, it never hurts to plan ahead for growth. The right tools can make all the difference in the operational success of your online business – both now and in the future. Managing a remote team can be tricky, since you are not there in person to keep everyone focused and on task. If there are multiple team members who are helping to keep your company running, then you will need to incorporate programs that will allow everyone to stay connected and productive – no matter where they are.

Although email threads may work just fine in some instances, it is probably better to use an instant messaging program to create group chats and share documents quickly so that no messages are lost or buried deep in long threads. Other tools, like project management software, are great for assigning time-sensitive tasks or group projects that will require collaboration.

It is also important that you incorporate the systems that make things easier for everyone to keep their productivity levels high. Be sure to listen to your team members’ suggestions and their complaints in order to find the kinds of programs that offer solutions, rather than making things more complicated. For example, it may not be possible or necessary to host a daily video call, especially if parts of your team live in different time zones. Instead, a shared team calendar where progress is constantly updated could be a better option that ensures everyone stays on the same page. 

3. Keep tabs on customer connections

One of the biggest risks of running an online business remotely is the fact that it is quite easy to disengage from it when you aren’t logged in or in “work mode.” Creating a company that can keep going on its own is a great goal to have, but be sure that this level of disconnect does not interfere with the customer experience.

Make sure that you find ways to build the connections with your customers that lead to conversions and long-term loyalty. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, when customers are engaged with a brand, they will spend twice as much and have a higher life-time customer value than others. This report also found that these connections were created when brands fulfilled their customers’ emotional motivations through different marketing practices.

3 Ways to create a successful online company you can run remotely

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Look for ways to fulfill these needs and desires through online interactions. For instance, consider offering personalized product recommendations that make a customer feel unique and special. Or, create a brand community through an active social media platform and be sure to engage with customer posts directly.

Don’t let a remotely operated business breed disconnection with your customers. Instead, actively look for ways to build engagement through various channels.

Conclusion

If you dream of being able to run your own successful business from anywhere, launching an online company may be a step in the right direction. However, it is naive to think that you can just launch an e-commerce store and take a step back to do your own thing.

There are numerous systems and strategies you will need to put into place to establish an online company that you can operate remotely. If you follow the steps and do things correctly, this dream can certainly turn into a reality.

About Mansi Dhorda

mansid@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Mansi Dhorda works at E2M Solutions Inc. – a Digital Marketing Agency. She is well-versed in all things Content Marketing and Branding. During her free time, she runs her Instagram page for handmade accessories. Feel free to hit her up anytime on her Twitter handle: @mansidhorda

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