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How to Run your Side Business Remotely with Minimal Effort

Salem Marafi

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This is the story of one entrepreneur and what it takes, with the help of technology, to successfully run your side business remotely without sacrificing your time.

By Salem Marafi

- Jul 05, 2024

How-To-Guides

How to Run your Side Business Remotely with Minimal Effort

It is not unusual for someone living in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, or the UAE to have a side business. Often, entrepreneurs will have businesses like restaurants, flower shops, fashion lines, accessories, plant shops, burgers, and food trucks while also doing a full-time job like banking, telecommunications, marketing, or another demanding profession. They might find themselves making a difficult choice of prioritizing their time and energy for one or the other – and every so often, the entrepreneur will choose to focus on their business or their profession. Many brands that we know and love started this way. Here, we share the story of one brand and what it takes, with the help of technology, to successfully run your side business remotely without sacrificing your time.

The Story

In 2018, Siham, a young entrepreneur, was frantically responding to Instagram messages from customers ordering batches of her delicious cookies and brownies while sitting at her office and responding to emails about the next big corporate event. Little did she know that she would receive an offer to work in New York for her company for 2 years. Overjoyed, she called her friends into her office to tell them the news. “What are you going to do about your bakery?” one of them asked. “Oh,” she responded, “I don’t know; I guess I will have to close it.” It was in this moment that Siham would have had to choose between being an entrepreneur and following her career. Except she didn’t have to – “Why don’t you just do it online?” we asked.

“Sure, but I don’t know how to,” she said worriedly. We put our engineering hats on and got to work.

What you need to run your business remotely

Location

We had to move the kitchen into a location that would allow for delivery and pickup. Real estate can be tricky, and you have to weigh your options carefully while considering cost. If you choose to rent your own space and build a kitchen, you will have to think about things like fitting, maintenance, and licensing. You can fast-track this by choosing flexible options with central kitchens like Kitchen Park. Siham opted to rent a small space where her staff would be able to work and dispatch.

Create an online store for your business

Siham used to accept orders on WhatsApp and Instagram. Social selling is a powerful channel to grow your business, so long as it works autonomously. We launched an online ordering website for Siham and created automatic responses for customers on Instagram and WhatsApp:

“Thank you for contacting us. We will get back to you as soon as we see your message. If you have an order or want to see our menu and prices, please visit www.bywholehearted.com – it’s free delivery until the end of this month!”

This informed customers who usually asked for prices, availability, and item details that this information has been made readily available around the clock on an online ordering website. We also added an incentive discount for them to change their regular behavior.

Customers also needed to know when their orders were accepted and dispatched. The store had full tracking up until the order was dispatched from Siham and received by them at their door.

Integrate with Payments, Delivery, and POS

Since Siham was not going to be located in the same country, she could no longer send links from her personal bank account to customers. So the online ordering site had to have a payment gateway from a local provider like Hesabe, Tap, Bookeey, MyFatoorah, or many others. Siham chose her favorite gateway and it was integrated with her site.

The same applied for dispatching. She had her own driver for her business, but in peak times she needed her staff to be able to ask for drivers from different companies depending on the order. Siham integrated with Armada Delivery and used them when her driver was not available. Her staff also had to be able to assign orders to the bakery’s driver so that they would know which order went with which dispatcher.

Finally, Siham knew that there might be a need to manually input some orders. We looked at different POS solutions and integrated with many like Foodics, Revel, OCIMs, and Matix. Siham only needed to be able to punch orders, send links, edit orders, and other similar operations, so she opted for the ordable/ POS which was convenient, fast, and simple for her staff to use.

Redirect all Digital Ads to your online store

Siham used to sponsor her posts on Instagram and have her marketing objective as “reach” or “engagement.” This worked for customers to land on her page and message if they were interested in ordering.

Now that Siham had a direct ordering channel, she could take her prospecting customers directly to a shopping experience. She set up her Instagram ads to have a new objective: “sales.” When customers clicked her ads, they went straight to the page of the product they were looking at in an ad. Not only that, she linked her store with her Facebook pixel so that the algorithm would learn what works and increase her chances of selling to the right customers.

This was super effective for her.

Online Orders Reports, Analytics, and Insights

Since Siham was going to be far away, she needed her online ordering store to have detailed reporting on how her operations were doing. This included things like daily closing reports for sales, customer segmentation in her online store CRM, and operations reports to improve driver availability.

Every day, Siham could log into her dashboard and see exactly how her business was doing in terms of sales and operations. Her staff could also use these reports to send her information on their accomplishments for the day.

Take Off

Siham took off, and since she landed in New York in 2018, her business in Kuwait continued to run. You can visit www.bywholehearted.com and enjoy her delicious bakery items accepted internationally, made locally, and powered by ordable/.

Features that Made a Difference

  • Automated Order Processing: Receive and process orders automatically, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  • Inventory Management: Keep track of your stock levels in real-time, ensuring you never run out of products.
  • Order Tracking: Provide your customers with real-time updates on their orders, enhancing their shopping experience.
  • Automated Responses: Set up automated responses for common queries to save time and provide instant assistance.
  • Live Chat Integration: Integrate live chat on your website to assist customers in real-time.
  • Comprehensive CRM: Keep track of customer interactions and history to offer personalized support.
  • Social Media Integration: Manage your social media accounts from one place, schedule posts, and track engagement.
  • Sales Reports: Get detailed reports on your sales performance, including top-selling products and revenue trends.
  • Customer Insights: Analyze customer behavior and preferences to tailor your offerings and marketing strategies.
  • Operations Insights: Track operations like order volume by hour to manage your business operations and make important decisions.

Get Started Today

Running a side hustle while living abroad doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With ordable/, you can manage your business efficiently, provide excellent customer service, and stay on top of your marketing efforts, all from any location. Embrace the flexibility and convenience of ordable/ and take your side hustle to new heights, no matter where life takes you.

For more information and to get started, visit ordable/ today and discover how our platform can transform your business operations.

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