Remote work is gaining popularity as more people around the world continue to launch their own businesses. As a result, several studies have been conducted to learn more about its effectiveness. According to a State of Workplace Productivity Report, 65% of surveyed full-time employees believed remote work would allow them to be more productive. Another study published by ConnectSolutions found that remote workers worked more efficiently and were 52% less likely to request time off. Furthermore, they were happier, healthier, and less stressed than office-based employees.
With so many benefits of remote work, it’s no wonder you’re likely considering launching your own remote business. But like any new startup, your budget can make or break your ability to get off the ground. With that in mind, here are a few tips for creating your remote business on a budget:
Try A Test Run
The fact is, remote work isn’t for everyone. Many people find that they prefer the structure and routine of going into an office every day. If you haven’t ever worked full-time remote before, a trial run is necessary. Financial planner and remote business owner, Jeff Rose, explained the importance of a remote work test run in an article he wrote for Inc.
“I tested the idea of managing my business remotely with a few test runs first, mostly via working from home or coffee shops versus going into the office,” he said of his financial financing planning business, Alliance Wealth Management. “Doing this allowed me to identify where issues could arise. As I started finding and fixing issues, I then started working remotely 2-3 days each week.”
Start slowly, and branch out from there. This allows you more time to get adjusted and work out any kinks in your business. Transitioning to remote work is a process, and involves a learning curve that requires patience. You have to go with a new idea to setup location independent business.
Invest In Proper Equipment
To succeed in any remote business, you need the right tools. And the most important tool for you to have is a laptop. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for many remote works to find an inexpensive and reliable computer. Whether you’re buying a laptop for the first time or looking to get rid of your old one, there are many ways you can approach the buying process. For example, nSpire carries used and refurbished desktops and laptops for business. Purchasing a used or refurbished laptop allows you to stay lean with your budget during launch.
It’s also important that you have an insurance plan in place. After all, your laptop will become the key to your income, and it needs to be secure. Usually, you can purchase insurance from the company you bought the laptop from, even if it’s used. Even eBay sellers offer insurance for refurbished laptops through SquareTrade. Always take advantage of the insurance option. For an extra layer of security, if you purchase Homeowners or Renters insurance through a company like Lemonade, your laptop is covered for up to 16 types of damage.
Find A Comfortable Working Space
The idea of running a business remotely might conjure up images of working from your bed in your pajamas full-time, but this isn’t sustainable. Create an office workspace that allows you to be most productive (bear in mind that this doesn’t have to be a separate room; it can also be a corner of space). Set up a desk, get a comfortable chair, and create an aesthetic that inspires you. You can find cheap office furniture by checking out Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for local sales. Many people are even willing to give away furniture for free if you come pick it.
If you travel often, or simply like to switch up your environment, there are plenty of other options, too. Coffee shops, libraries, and even hotel lobbies are often a safe (read: free) bet. If you have a budget for it, you should also consider coworking spaces in your area. The spaces give you the structure of an office for a fraction of the price. You can choose to invest in a dedicated space and monthly membership, however, if you travel often, simply research the local coworking spaces. Many offer day passes ranging from $10 to $20.
And lastly, using the Croissant app, you can sign up for monthly membership packages (each package comes with a certain amount of hours) and access to dozens of coworking spaces across over 20 cities.
Utilize Project Management Tools
As a remote worker, project management tools are your friend. They help keep you organized across several projects, and some of the best tools have mobile companion apps that keep you grounded on and off the desktop. This isn’t just important for managing your projects: communication and collaboration are even more imperative when you’re outside of the office. In fact, one of the biggest struggles people have with remote work is communicating projects, and collaborating with others to achieve project goals.
Different project management tools have different ways of achieving this, and if you aren’t familiar with them, you should give each a test run. By sampling some of the best platforms, you’ll gain a better understanding about which works best for you and your particular agenda. Some of the most well-known tools are: