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Making remote work for entrepreneurs and freelance contractors make Sense

It’s difficult to get the most out of something if you aren’t comfortable with it. If you aren’t familiar with remote work policies, procedures, and tools, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the entire activity, writes CHARLIE FLETCHER

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Remote work
A man working remotely. Photo credit: Pexels

Launching a new company as either an entrepreneur or solopreneur can be intimidating. One of the biggest challenges that new business owners face these days is both surviving and thriving in a remote work-friendly world economy.

Small business owners find themselves orchestrating international teams that never meet face to face.

Freelancers are consistently thrown into interactions with clients that they only communicate with through a screen.

This can feel daunting. But if you can make remote work effective, it can end up revolutionizing and empowering either your entrepreneurial or freelancing efforts by:

  • Keeping your overhead low.
  • Giving you access to a much larger pool of employees and clients.
  • Allowing you to work on a flexible schedule.

The benefits of remote work for both a new business owner as well as a contractor operating as a solopreneur can be tremendous. However, you have to know how to manage the remote work world in your favor.

Here are a few ways to make sure remote work is helping rather than hindering your new venture.

Perfect Basic Remote Work Skills

It’s difficult to get the most out of something if you aren’t comfortable with it. If you aren’t familiar with remote work policies, procedures, and tools, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the entire activity.

Instead, make an effort to perfect the basic skills that apply to a remote or even a hybrid workspace. A few ways that you can do this include:

  • Communication: The ability to communicate is an essential skill for a remote worker. Whether you’re managing clients as a freelancer or organizing a remote team as an entrepreneur, you need to master communication. This includes being timely in your responses, practicing active listening, reflecting feelings, and generally working on your interpersonal communication in a remote setting. Think through how you phrase your words when writing emails. What about your demeanor on a Zoom call? These little improvements can yield powerful results.
  • Collaboration: Along with communication, you also want to consider how well you work with others. Collaboration is, in essence, the ability for two or more people to work together toward a common goal. In other words, it isn’t just communication — although that’s an important element. You also need to be able to understand your role and support others in theirs. In a remote setting, this requires patience and cooperation as you navigate through different work schedules. Consider studying things like asynchronous meetings to enhance your remote collaboration skills.
  • Etiquette: Finally, perfect your ability to interact with others in meaningful ways in an online setting. The ability to do this despite the lack of in-person interactions is something that takes time. You need to learn to recognize the needs of others through the way that they phrase an email. Strive to show empathy to clients and employees alike through reflective listening on a work call. Allow others to speak before you add your own opinion.
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By perfecting your remote work skills, you can set yourself up to get the most out of your new remote work environment.

Take Time to Value Your Services

The ability to both know and stand by your worth is a challenge facing a lot of freelancers around the globe. Business owners must also decide things like how to price the value of each position in their company.

What does this have to do with remote work? Well, you also have to learn to apply your pricing to a global audience. For instance, a client in the U.S. may pay $25 an hour for a certain activity while another one in the U.K. may be willing to pay twice that for the same job.

It’s important to assess both your own needs as well as reasonable compensation expectations from clients. The reverse is true for a small business. You need to think about what you can afford to pay and where you should look for quality employees that will happily accept that compensation.

If you can keep this mindset, it can help you take advantage of the worldwide power of remote work by tapping into the online labor force with the right expectations.

Focus on Continual Learning

Most remote work benefits are focused on the actual work itself. You can often set your own schedule and work from wherever you want. But another major bonus is the fact that a tailored work schedule can open up the time for other activities.

One of these is engaging in continual learning. As a business owner or freelancer, you won’t have a boss encouraging — let alone facilitating — professional growth. That’s up to you.

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You can spend your time getting important certifications in your field. You can invest in completing an MBA to polish your leadership skills or perfect your marketing.

There are plenty of ways to continue to grow over time. Remote work can give you the time to invest in your personal talents and skills — if you take the time to focus on it.

Making Remote Work Make Sense

It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur. If you’re working for yourself, the remote work world can feel intimidating.

However, honing basic remote work skills, setting the right expectations when valuing your services and needs, and using your flexible schedule for professional advancement are great ways to get the most out of remote work.

@TechEconomyNG connects past-present-emerging technological impacts on Businesses, People and Cities. All Correspondence to: [email protected]

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