The business world has undergone significant change and transformation over the past 20 years. A combination of innovative technology, changing attitudes, shifting mindsets, and larger cultural adaptation as a result of powerful economic forces have paved the way for new types of businesses that can be run with nothing but a computer and mobile devices.

4 Tips for Success

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to run a business but haven’t been willing to invest the time or resources into building out expensive infrastructure. (After all, buying office space and expensive equipment in a marketplace like the one we’re currently in is a little frightening.)

Well, there’s good news. As long as you’re willing to be creative and acquire/implement new skills, there’s little preventing you from running a new business entirely from a computer. Here are several helpful tips:

Automate Time-Consuming Tasks

Automation is what makes it possible to run a business remotely using nothing but a computer. Without automation, you don’t stand a chance. The key is to choose the right tasks to automate.

Almost anything can be automated. The challenge is figuring out which tasks should be automated in order to be as productive as you can be.

When it comes to marketing, the most popular automation tasks include social media and analytics. This is typically the best place to start. After all, the more you can automate your exposure, the less you have to worry about creating content on a daily basis.

Outsource Non-Core Tasks

Automation is just one of the levers you can pull. Outsourcing is another. And if you want to run a hands-off business that doesn’t require a ton of internal infrastructure, you need outsourcing to be a part of your strategy.

Outsourcing is popular for tasks like accounting, marketing, sales IT management, customer service, research and analytics, and manufacturing. However, spending on the business, you might find it most valuable to outsource administrative tasks.

“Virtual assistants are becoming more and more common, especially for solopreneurs and entrepreneurs who work out of a home office,” SBA.gov explains. “There are VAs who can handle everything from inbox management and scheduling to social media posting. This is often one of the least expensive ways to outsource, as there are VAs who charge as little as $10 an hour. However, you’ll likely pay between $30 and $75 per hour for skilled VAs or those with a particular specialty.”

Hiring local businesses in specific geographical markets is another great option for outsourcing. For example, real estate investors often hire local property management companies to manage their portfolios in different markets. This makes it possible to own rentals in multiple cities and states while still being able to work remotely.

Whether you outsource tasks to VAs, freelancers, or other businesses, make sure they’re a good fit for your company. As a remote business, you need partners who are comfortable communicating remotely and that don’t require you to be in a specific location.

Establish Clear Communication

One of the biggest challenges of running a business remotely – versus being in the same physical office with employees – is the “digital veil” that’s created on the communication front. If you want to be successful here, you must establish clear communication from the get-go. A chat application like Slack, or a project management solution can help.

Find a Dedicated Office

While you should technically be able to run your business from anywhere, it’s helpful to have a dedicated office in your home. This gives you an area that’s exclusively reserved for running your business.

You’ll have to decide what you want your home office to be like, but pay close attention to factors like lighting, temperature, noise, and ergonomics. Ideally, your office should have a door that can be closed to increase privacy.

Putting it All Together

In order to successfully run a business from your computer, you have to be both proactive and patient. These might seem like opposite traits, but they actually work in tandem. You need to be proactive in the sense that you set up the right systems to help you automate mundane-time-consuming processes for greater scalability.

But you have to be patient in the sense that you don’t try to do too much. Staying focused is key. Focus your energy on doing the 20 percent of tasks that generate the 80 percent of results. That’s how you run a successful business from your computer.