Originally Posted On: How to Start a Business Where You Can Work Remotely – Expresstech
If there is anything COVID-19 has taught society, it’s that most of us don’t need to be in an office to work constructively. And, while the idea of working from home doesn’t seem like a match for most people’s lifestyles, that doesn’t mean you need to give it up.
Whether you’re looking to save money on rent or just like the idea of getting out of the office more often, starting your own business as a remote worker is a highly attainable goal, and it is a viable option.
If you’d like to learn how to start a business where you can work remotely, you should know a few things. We’ve done our best to boil down the most important questions and answers about how to work remotely so that all of your questions have been answered before leaping.
Remote working seems obvious on the surface, but in reality, it’s more complex than sitting behind a computer and doing the same job you’d otherwise do in an office.
There’s a whole wealth of careers that can be done from home, whether through team and customer interaction via video conferencing or visitors coming to your address instead of an office.
We’re going to take a look first at opportunities within existing employment. Most of the advice below will depend on your relationship with your employer and the existing working dynamic.
Still, if you’re pre-armed with enough knowledge and information about how it can best support your productivity in the workplace, then you’ll have the best chance of finding a solution that works for you.
The two main options surrounding remote working are full-time out of office and part-time out of office. Further subcategories exist, but for now, let’s take a look at how these two affect your employment.
For many, this is the preferred work-from-home option. Even if you have to stick to a strict schedule, you’ll find yourself saving several hours a week traveling to the office and back and thus have more time to focus on your personal life.
Most working adults have extra responsibilities such as children, pets, or family members with additional needs. So it’s the perfect opportunity to get the most out of a workforce.
The issues arise when employers either don’t trust their teams and begin to micromanage or become too trusting that the team’s overall performance suffers and the quality of work declines.
It takes a forward-thinking employer to get it right since so many businesses are stuck in their old ways, which is why most businesses prefer part-time out of office.
Some people work better around other people—whether in a busy office environment or conducting meetings out of the office, but in a public space.
Either way, a mixture of working in and out of the office has proven very popular in recent times. It’s especially popular amongst those who require more face-to-face interaction with their peers.
For example, companies that rely on visual or tactile end-products such as those of an architect will require meetings in person to discuss 3d prototype models or product development teams working on the latest upgrades to their packaging and product.
So much of this depends on the industry in question. That said, if you’re able to work remotely full-time and your company doesn’t allow it for unjustified reasons, it’s time to look elsewhere. See if this is an opportunity for you to start the career of your dreams.
If you’re trying to get into remote working as a fresh start, it’s important to take a step back. It’s tempting to jump into what you think is the right option for you because it’s been something you’ve dreamed of for years.
But take time to consider a few things that will help you make the right decision to know what kind of career to pursue. Here are some examples of things to consider:
The first thing you should think about is what in your life has to stay the same. What are your commitments? For example, you may only be able to work during school hours. Or, maybe you’ve got $1500 in essential bills that can’t be cut down any further before luxury spending.
Having an awareness of your core lifestyle brings comfort and realization of the value of work to you. You’ll hear this from many creatives and self-employed people, but there’s a reason so many are happy working for themselves.
And that’s because the less happy someone is, the more likely they are to spend money they need. This, in turn, makes them unhappier. Evaluate your own life goals first before deciding you need that $100k salary.
Now you know you need a minimum of $18k a year, for example, and you can only work during the school run. Think about all those other things in life. Will you miss having your weekends free? Or maybe you’ll miss the chat around the water cooler.
It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers straight away because the next step will help you make the right decision for working remotely.
Now it’s time to get stuck into remote working. What’s that one thing you’re good at yet passionate about that inspires you to succeed.
For some, it’s about being the best in their field. For others, it’s all about getting the best out of their peers. Find the answer to this, and you’ll know almost straight away what career path you’ll want to take.
One of the best ways to find out what your passion is is to start reading about it. There’s no right answer here, apart from the one that will motivate you the most to succeed while achieving your life goals and considering your wellbeing.
The website Lifehack.com is great for this, as it has some great advice on how to identify your talent if you aren’t sure. And, don’t be afraid to use online forums of knowledgeable people to help you decide.
Many people discover their passions and talent through blogging or even on social media. And those talents aren’t always the most obvious. For example, if you’ve always struggled in the workplace, but your fashion blog has 100k followers on Instagram, why are you not making your career?
You may find an area where you can be an authority and sell yourself as a freelancer, a service provider, or an influencer. Whatever that turns out to be, make sure you put yourself in the position of being able to (at minimum) live off your salary from remote work.
One of the most popular opportunities is to freelance as someone self-employed. Freelancing offers a skillset as a paid service, often producing either a product or advice at the end. The freelance gig community is a huge industry.
Freelancing isn’t just about creating websites for people and using the right hashtag. Even if your skill is an offline skill such as dog grooming, you can still write articles or blogs about dog grooming and get enough followers or traffic to make a passive income. In turn, this can raise funds to support setting up your dog grooming business and give you an established customer base!
It’s a common misconception that content writers have to be creative or even grasp language. That’s not true because that’s the editor’s job.
A good content writer knows their stuff, so if you have a bank of knowledge about anything and everything, content writing for an agency is a great way to get started.
As long as you’ve got a good grasp of language, proofreading is a great way to earn cash to test the waters of remote working. With proofreading, you’re checking the content for grammatical errors and anything that could be considered out of place.
Do note this is different from editing. Editing is the practice of changing the piece to improve the readability and flow.
So, for example, if a piece has the correct grammar, but the flow is scattered, an editor will go in and restructure the article and maybe even change some of the wording to improve the existing work.
You can learn how to become a proofreader online. As long as you abide by the self-employment laws in your own country, you can work with clients all over the globe and get paid decent sums of money for it as well.
Once upon a time, website designers had to know everything about code. But nowadays, site builders do that for you.
So yes, knowing a little bit of code is useful, but if you’ve fancied yourself as a website designer for a while and you’ve got some visual creativity, then it’s a very profitable way of working from home.
The same goes for the logo and graphic designers. Traditionally offline work, it’s moved online now because it’s so much easier to work on a computer. The communication channels to check if everything is ok are much quicker.
There are, of course, other careers that allow you to engage in a remote working lifestyle. These don’t have to be creative or media-related. For example, if you’re a high-school teacher, you might choose to work as a private 1-on-1 tutor doing web calls.
Or maybe you’ve run several businesses but want to stay at home due to illness, yet still want to work. In this case, you can become an entrepreneurial consultant or business strategist.
And similarly, if you’re skilled with computers and in IT and Cybersecurity, why not become a white-hat hacker or IT analyst from the comfort of your own home. Companies pay good money for talented individuals who can stress-test their systems and offer the right support and guidance.
We touched upon this earlier, but now you understand how the remote working lifestyle operates on a self-employment level, it’s time to take a look at your self-worth and how much you should be charging.
There is numerous advice on this online, but most tend to follow the same basic pattern: Living Costs + Billable Hours + Non-Billable Hours + Value. So let’s break these down further to understand better how you might price up your services.
For this example, we’re going to use the proofreader example mentioned above. Assume for this example, we’ve established a 30 hour week (9-3 Monday to Friday), and we want to work 40 weeks of the year.
We already discussed that living costs cover essential expenses plus anything that you value in your life, such as hobbies and interests (within reason). In this case, let’s set $18,000 per year as a minimum.
Working a 30hr week for 40 weeks equates to a take-home rate of $15 per hour. But remember, that’s a take-home rate before expenses and taxes. So, for argument’s sake, let’s double that to a $30 per hour minimum take-home.
Billable hours is how many hours you spend proofreading. Most people try and keep their billable hours between 30% and 50% of their time working.
If it’s any more than that, chances are they’re financially in a position to outsource their non-billable hours to someone else. If you spend 2 hours proofreading a piece of text, you should be charging $60 in billable hours.
Non-billable hours refer to any work undertaken that doesn’t make money. Examples include client meetings, finances, admin, travel time (if working outside the home), and writing your blog or social media content.
You must understand these hours contribute to the 30hr working week. So don’t be afraid to factor these hours into your pricing model. If you decide you’re spending a third of your time as billable hours, then you’ll need to triple your original quote.
Therefore, $60 becomes $180.
It’s tempting to quote the client $180 and leave it at that. But think about it. If you’re proofreading to save them time, how valuable is that time to them?
If they’re not native English speakers, does it ensure they close a $100k deal? Or, maybe you’re saving the client 4 hours of their own time when they could be earning $50 per hour themselves. So you’re saving them $200 there.
Did you know that the BBC paid $1.8bn for their logo, which is three letters in a box? We know you’re wondering why.
But that’s because the BBC saw it as an investment that they would generate (or retain) more than $1.8bn in the value of their business as an overall asset.
Don’t be afraid to price on what your work is worth to someone else.
So that’s it. You now know what a remote working lifestyle is, the self-employed approach to operating within it, and working out how you want to charge for your work.
Whether you decide to work remotely and go down the self-employed path at this time or push for a remote working lifestyle in your current job, take note. All these skills and knowledge are very useful to have to hand to make sure that your workplace is your own, be it the office or your home.
Keep reading for more advice that puts you on top of the pile!
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