How to Start and Run a Startup Remotely: Tips, Tricks, and Tools

How to Start and Run a Startup Remotely: Tips, Tricks, and Tools
Join 10,000+ entrepreneurs and startup-builders getting ahead of the game.
Join 10,000+ entrepreneurs getting ahead.

Nowadays, a lot of startup companies operate remotely. In fact, according to a study by Stanford professor Nick Bloom, 43% of all US employees now work from home at least part-time. And while the idea of working from home might sound great in theory, it can be tough to make it work in practice. There are many advantages to running your company this way, such as reducing overhead costs and increasing flexibility. However, some challenges come along with remote operation. So whether you're just getting started or you've been at it for a while, this guide will help you navigate the waters and enable your startup to succeed in its remote format.

Types of remote startups

There are a few different types of remote startups, and each has its own set of pros and cons:

The first type is the fully remote startup. This is when the entire company operates from home, without any physical office space. This can be great for reducing costs, but it can also be difficult to maintain communication and cohesion among employees spread out all over the country (or even the world).

The second type is the partially remote startup. In this case, only some team members work remotely, while others are based in a physical office. This can help maintain communication and coordination among team members, but it can also lead to tension if those who work in the office feel like they're being left out or marginalized.

The third type is the distributed startup. This is when the company is physically based in one location, but employees are working remotely from all over the world. This can be a great way to get access to talent that would otherwise be unavailable, but it can also be challenging to manage and maintain cohesion among a team that's spread out all over the globe.

Graph indicates the biggest struggles with working remotely. 20% say that the biggest struggle is Collaboration and communicate. 20% note loneliness. 18% say not being able to unplug. 12% cite distractions at home. 10% being in a different timezone than teammates. 7% say staying motivated is their biggest struggle. 13% cite other reasons such as taking vacation time or finding reliable wifi.
Top struggles of remote work.

Create a culture of trust and respect that will help you succeed in remote work

No matter what type of startup you have, the most important thing is to create a culture of trust and respect among your team members. This can be difficult to do when everyone is working remotely, but it's essential if you want to be successful. You can't just assume that people will get along and work well together - you have to create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing their ideas. You can do this by:

Creating clear communication protocols and expectations. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what's expected of them.

Fostering a sense of community among remote workers. This can be done through online chat rooms, shared documents, and regular video meetings (we'll dive deeper later).

Encouraging employees to take time for personal development. This can help them feel more connected to the company and their work, even if they're not physically present.

Establish a clear line of communication with your team

It's important to take advantage of the latest cutting-edge tools to run a startup remotely successfully. This will help you stay connected with your team, manage your workday more effectively, and reduce distractions. Here are my top recommendations:

Communication: Slack & Discord. These platforms allow you to communicate with your team in real-time, and they both have a ton of features that make them perfect for remote work. Slack is the professional standard in the business world, while discord is making a name in the crypto space and has powerful tools for small startups such as easy automation with bots.

Here is a discord template that can get you started:

Create a server based on Basic Startup Template

Set clear expectations with employees and startup partners

It is important to set clear expectations for your startup workers from the beginning. This includes things like what their responsibilities are, working hours, and when they should be available by phone or email (and how often). You'll also want them to understand that remote work isn't always easy, so don't expect perfection - but do expect a high level of productivity which will only come about through trial error along with personal accountability on the part of everyone involved! If something goes wrong, use this opportunity as a teaching moment instead of criticizing. Criticizing makes matters worse in most cases anyway, so try not to lose patience during these situations since frustration tends to get passed down onto everyone else around them, which doesn't improve anything either.

Set up regular check-ins to ensure everyone is on track

Setting up regular check-ins will help ensure that everyone is on track and meeting their goals. You can do this through weekly or monthly video meetings, daily email check-ins, or even using project management software to track progress.

If you're feeling lost or overwhelmed when it comes to running your startup remotely, don't worry! There are plenty of resources available to help you, including online courses, books, and articles. Just do a little bit of research, and you'll be on your way to success.

Get organized - create a system for tracking your work hours, communication, and to-do lists

One of the most important things is to stay organized when it comes to startups. This will help you stay on track and meet your goals. There are a number of different organizational systems that you can use, depending on what works best for you. Some popular options include:

Project management: Asana, Trello & Notion. Asana is the standard for project management, and it's perfect for remote teams. Trello is great for kanban boards, and Notion can do everything from task lists to wikis.

It's crucial to find a system that works for you and stick with it. This will help ensure that you're always productive and efficient.

Tips for staying productive while working remotely

Working from home can be a great way to save time and money, but it can also be challenging if you're not used to it. Here are a few tips for staying productive while working remotely:

Get dressed for work. This will help you mentally prepare for your day and make you feel more professional.

Set aside dedicated work hours. This will help you stay focused and avoid distractions.

Avoid working late at night. This can lead to fatigue and decreased productivity for the next day. Set a work end time; ask yourself when you will stop work for the day?

Take breaks throughout the day. This will help keep you energized and motivated.

Set a dedicated area for work. This will help keep you focused on your tasks without getting distracted by everything else that's going on around you.

Schedule time for family and friends. Working from home doesn't mean spending all day alone! Make sure to set aside some time each week to be with the people who matter most in your life (or just go out and have fun).

By following these tips, you'll be able to stay productive and efficient while working from home.

Managing and motivating employees remotely

Employee morale and motivation are key to success in remote work environments. Make sure that your team members have the support they need, whether it's through online chat rooms, regular video meetings, daily check-ins over email, etc.

When running a startup remotely, it's essential to make sure that your employees have access to all of the necessary resources they need. This includes things like hardware (laptop computers or tablets), software (such as Microsoft Office Suite), internet connections and phone service, office space (if possible), and audio equipment (misc and headphones) for calls! If there is something specific that an employee needs to do their job more effectively from home, then provide it for them. It will only benefit everyone involved, both personally professionally, over time.

Make sure you have a remote work policy.

It's important to have a remote work policy to ensure that everyone is on the same page when working remotely. This document will outline expectations for employees (including hours and communication), how to handle team meetings, what type of equipment employees must have, remote work procedures, and more.

Create a process for handling emergencies

Emergencies are going to come up. It's important to have a process in place for handling them. When there are emergencies, your startup needs someone who can take charge of the situation and solve it quickly - whether that's an employee or yourself. As founder/CEO, you'll likely be best suited for this role since no one else knows what needs to be done better than you do!

It should go without saying but just in case: always have a contingency plan ready to roll out if something goes wrong with your startup or team members get sick/hurt themselves on their way into work (and cannot operate from home). This might mean having another person step in temporarily until things return to normal again.

Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it

Running a startup remotely can be difficult at times. You may not have access to all of the resources you would need to do your job effectively from home, or even worse - some people aren't as productive when they're working outside of an office environment. If something is missing, don't hesitate to ask for help! It's better than trying and failing miserably because nobody else knows what needs to be done better than yourself anyway.

Celebrate successes together, no matter where you are in the world

When your remote startup team achieves something great, take a moment to celebrate it together - even if you're all in different parts of the world. This can be done through video chats, social media posts, or simply sending an email around congratulating everyone on a job well done!

In summary...

Running a startup remotely can be challenging, but it's definitely doable with the right tools and tips in place. With the right dedication and motivation, you'll find that remote work is just as successful (if not more so) than in-office work. The tips we've provided here should help get your startup off on the right foot by establishing some ground rules for how to successfully run a startup remotely! Make sure that you set clear expectations with your employees from the beginning and create a process for handling emergencies. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. And lastly, celebrate successes together, no matter where you are in the world!

Do you want to become a true leader?
Leangap® turns ambitious teenagers like you into startup founders. Our programs help you launch an impactful startup with the guidance of mentors who have launched startups themselves. With Leangap you'll acquire real customers and engage with genuine investors, away from a classroom setting, making you a true leader. Come meet your future co-founders and launch your first of many companies!
Apply now →

Keep getting ahead