Remote work has become much more commonplace since the pandemic. Around 4.3 million US residents work from home at least half of the time. And telecommuting, in general, has grown by 115% in the last decade. With more companies easing their once strict office work policies, the trend of remote work will likely continue far into the future. So, it’s no surprise that some aspiring entrepreneurs are thinking of opening a wholly remote business. If you’re one of those people, you might be asking yourself: Do you need specific qualifications to get started? The short answer is no!
Skills You Need to Start a Remote Business
You don’t need a university degree to start a business, unless the field you want to enter warrants it. For example, if you want to open an online pharmacy, you’ll need a medical degree. But if you want to start a business that sells food, clothes, or services, you won’t need a degree. You will, however, need certain skills.
There are many aspects in a remote business — from sourcing to marketing, all the way to sales. And as a business owner, it’s your job to make sure that all flows smoothly. This is why managing your time and knowing what tasks to prioritize is vital to running your remote business.
If you plan on expanding beyond a one-person operation, you’ll also need to oversee remote employees with designated tasks. Your job as the business owner is to guide them through their duties and make sure that they do things efficiently. It’s also your job to reprimand or reward them as needed.
As the face of your business, you also need to have great communication skills. This has a significant effect on your brand image, client perception, as well as your relationship with your employees. By communicating your ideas and thoughts efficiently, you showcase your remote business in a more positive light.
Popular Degree Programs for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
While it isn’t required to have a university degree, it would be hugely beneficial to pursue one as it grants you an in-depth knowledge that will help you build your remote business. For those looking to study and work on their business at the same time, there is now a wide choice of online degrees offered by the country’s top universities that cover every aspect of business. Online business degrees are coursework based and can be completed 100% online. You can learn the ins and outs of financial accounting, economics, business law, and more from the comfort of your own home just as you would a regular degree. With a flexible schedule you will be able to work your education around your business development.
Of course, it’s not only business administration degrees that are useful in imparting practical knowledge. You can also opt to pursue a degree in human resources management. This, too, has many online education options, making it much more accessible. With an HR degree, you’ll learn about management theories and how to apply them in the workplace as well as the tenets of organizational development. With this, you can build a remote business with a strong internal workforce. After all, happy employees are good for business.
Take note that the degree you choose to pursue should be relevant to the type of remote business you want to start. So, for example, you want to offer online financial planning services. In that case, you’d need a degree in accounting or finance. On the other hand, if you want to start an online tutoring business, your best option is to take an education-related degree.
Other Avenues to Learn About Business Fundamentals
While degrees help build your knowledge as a business owner, it’s not the only way you can learn about your chosen industry. You can choose, instead, to attend webinars, conferences, or other events that feature experienced business people as speakers. Alternatively, you can simply read up on books and other sources that discuss the business industry and how to navigate it. Lastly, you can find yourself a business mentor who can give you hands-on guidance on how to build your remote business from the ground up. Your mentor should also be a business person, so that the advice they share is based on entrepreneurial experience.
However you choose to learn about the industry, remember that remote businesses are vastly different from traditional ones. Market trends and consumer behavior are different in the digital sphere. Employee-employer relations are especially distinct. Talking to employees via online platforms is very different to a traditional setup. To learn more about managing your remote teams, we wrote an article titled ‘The Complete Guide to Building and Managing Remote Startup Teams’.
About the Author
Jane Richards is an HR consultant with a background in behavioral sciences. Her main interest is learning about the latest business trends and strategies. These days, she runs an eCommerce business and writes as a freelancer on the side.