Starting Your Business From Home as a European Entrepreneur
Do you know how many businesses, in the U.K. alone, are created at home? The ever growing number of home businesses reached 2.7 million in 2017 and is currently up 40 percent since 2000.
There are incredible online businesses emerging from small countries, or what used to be depicted as not startup-friendly countries. What is happening in Eastern Europe demonstrates just that -- for example, with thriving companies such as TransferWise or Skype.
Who and what does it take to get these remote startups into action? What is the secret recipe to those who then evolve into success stories? What are the ups-and-downs of starting your business from home, away from the hyped up, entrepreneurial hubs?
Here's what I learned through building an online product, Feedier.
Learn from the best.
There is a common myth around entrepreneurship that if you are not incubated in hubs where you are surrounded by "believers" and people who inspire you, you are putting yourself in an awkward position. Which is why I want you to take a brief pause and think about whether this should stop you from starting your business or not.
Don't get me wrong, it certainly helps, but you can succeed without doing this. The point is that you don't have to be incubated at Station F to meet the inspiring people who are developing their businesses at Station F. You can easily manage to set up calls with the same inspiring founders and CEOs by introducing yourself on LinkedIn.
Behave like a human, be friendly and push your product on people -- without being pushy. Get a deeper understanding of what they are doing, do your homework, figure out how it can help them and then reach out.
You don't know everything, you won't know everything and you must be fine with that. Humility is your most important trait. You've got a lot you can still learn and therefore more room to grow.
There are great online communities you can join -- such as IndieHackers -- use them as feedback channels. As long as you behave like a nice person and you are not spammy, you will go a long way.
Differentiate your personal from your professional life.
This is true for everyone, but particularly true for budding entrepreneurs. We could easily get trapped into working from our room, or a very sloppy environment. Keep in mind that you have to differentiate and balance your time between friends, time to work and time to relax, in order to ensure that those different things are clearly defined, enjoyable, and effective.
This is why setting up a proper desk room outside of your main room is very important. Finally, though keeping busy and hustling is great, don't over commit. Always keep tabs on the three aspects mentioned above, and balance your time.
Apply the same to your employees.
Striving for the best environment for yourself is very important, but this also applies to your employees. You want your partners to be involved and committed to the success of your business as much as you are, and this can't happen without a positive and effective working culture. In your very particular case, this applies to your employees working remotely.
Ask them where they work and live, what their working environment is like and work with them to improve it if necessary.
Create your own routine.
Success does not happen without proper organization and scheduling. Successful people have their own routine and they are usually glad to share their best tips. Research those you admire and learn from them.
But, that's not all. You won't get amazing productivity gains right off the bat without proper time management and being able to focus. Those two things are the key to success in a remote environment. The freedom of working from wherever you want can also be your worst enemy, you must be disciplined and have healthy habits.
With humility, grit and passion, you can nail it as an entrepreneur. Sure, you will encounter hurdles to overcome along the way, but these can propel you too and maximize your chances of success.