How to manage a business from afar

Managing a business requires countless skills in order to maintain a positive work environment and to drive results. This can be challenging for all, but when you’re managing a business from afar, there are even more hurdles to leap.

The Hamper Emporium CEO Emily McWaters runs Australia’s largest hamper provider. The company’s head office is in Sydney, but Emily is based on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island. She takes us through some of her top tips for managing a business from afar to not only ensure it continues to run smoothly but thrives.

Hire a great team

Any business owner should focus on hiring great employees, but for those who manage from afar, it’s even more important to hire team members who are trustworthy, hardworking and show initiative. Emily said she attributes part of her success to having a team that shares her values.

“I truly believe my business is successful due to the employees I have who I can trust to work hard and take initiative when I’m not there,” she said.

The hiring process may require a little more attention and fine tuning of questions to determine the candidate’s personality and fit for the role when you’re intending for them to work in a location where you’re not.

Communicate

When you aren’t readily available to your employees in person, it’s vital that as a business owner, you have several, effective communication tools in place to connect with your employees. Unfortunately, solely sending emails and instant messages won’t cut it. According to Emily, it’s important to get as close to face-to-face communication as possible.

“I like to Skype my employees as often as I can,” she said.

“It’s important to be able to see your employees faces and interact with them verbally as opposed to just bombarding them with emails.

“It may not be the same as having a conversation in person, but as a long-distance business owner, having a Skype conversation is like gold to me since I can’t always be at head office.”

Give positive feedback

Employees who don’t have their boss present can be left feeling neglected due to lack of feedback and awareness of progress.

Business owners must find ways to regularly and effectively deliver feedback to employees so that they have a goal to work towards.

While constructive criticism is very important, it’s also a good idea for owners to send positive messages to employees in order to keep them motivated and show that they care.

Measure your own success

As a business owner, it’s important to prioritise employees, clients and other stakeholders, however, it can be easy to get caught up in this and neglect reflecting on your own progress.

In order to do this, regularly ask your employees for feedback and consider suggestions. When appropriate, implement these into the business.

You will find that by doing this, you will be able to better spot potential problems from afar which will improve your own management skills while also helping the team to feel valued, and the overall business to succeed.

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