Starting up remotely? Learn to conquer the roadblocks.
By Hannah Wright (Founder, Makeoverly)
Anyone in the startup world knows that 7 months is nothing in the average startup lifespan. For startups less than one year old, it’s a time for strategy, as well as trial and error. In 7 months, our startup has launched, re-launched, and experienced growth. As a startup based in rural Alaska, we experienced significant growth after mastering these tips:
You Can’t do it All on Your Own: Build a Solid Team and Support Group
At first, it seemed that a business model involving as few heads as possible was the best option. It didn’t take long to figure out that this theory was wrong. Of course, having fewer people on a team is easier on any budget, but having support doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of staffing.
For example, support could mean finding an amazing mentor. It could also mean inviting volunteers to contribute to your site. Find what it means for you and your business, but whatever you do—remember that the more committed individuals you have on your support team, the stronger and more equipped you will be in the long-run.
Nothing is better than having a solid group of multi-talented individuals around you who are also passionate about your business and its growth. The sense of excitement will be contagious.
View Obstacles as a Positive Challenge
Every startup founder runs through a mental list of potential problems from the very beginning. The truth is that we can’t possibly anticipate every single problem that may occur (as much as we may try). Rather than groaning at a glaring issue within your business plan, see the obstacle as a helpful challenge. Overcoming the problem will make your business run smoothly in the long run, and it will also improve your sense of confidence.
Learn to maintain your cool during these potentially stressful situations, as the startup journey is full of obstacles that you’ll need to be ready to take on with ease.
With Minimal Face Time, Communication is Key
If you’re a startup operating in a remote area, you can’t always meet with all your connections face to face. Professional networking, business deals, and other important prospects may develop at a slower rate than if you were located in, say, New York. This means it’s extra important to treat your communications and emails with care, and to schedule a Skype conference or a phone call whenever necessary.
It’s also so important to know what calls are worth your time. After we launched, we once made the mistake of taking a call with someone who appeared to have the intention of copying our business plan. Needless to say, it was a short call. On the other end of the spectrum—if you’re dealing with a matter that may have a big (and positive) impact on your business, remember that a face-to-face meeting is just a plane ride away. Reach out to other startups in your industry and see what you can do to work together and complement one another.
Do you have any other recommendations for those who are starting up their business remotely?
About the writer: Hannah Wright is the founder of Makeoverly, a beauty and fashion Q&A startup. She currently resides in Alaska and has worked for startups such as Beauty.com. She is passionate about technology, startups, beauty and the outdoors. Follow @makeoverly.