As CEO and Founder of RemoteTeam.com, Sahin Boydas‘ goal is to revolutionize the future of work with the best HR and management tools for remote-first companies. With his 10 years of experience managing remote teams successfully, Sahin shares the story behind his latest company called RemoteTeam.com, how did he get the exact brand match domain name, and why incoming entrepreneurs shouldn’t be ‘jacks of all trades’.
What is the story behind RemoteTeam?
I moved to Silicon Valley a decade ago after running a few startups in Turkey. Through these years, all my startups have been managed with 100% remote teams. Remote working was rare during that time, even among Silicon Valley startups. And I remember being surprised about how people in the Bay Area talked about the ills of remote working when I mentioned it to them. Time zone differences, communication problems, collaboration issues – founders, investors, and the startup community gave me many reasons why remote work isn’t going to scale my startup and how this would actually drive investors away. And it was difficult convincing any investor, partner, or advisor that the future of work is remote.
After all these years, remote work has grown dramatically and most recently advanced by the lockdown due to the pandemic. A lot of investors, partners and people in silicon valley are advocating for remote work now – and this is just the beginning of how things will unfold in the future of work. We’re starting to see a number of successful unicorns becoming remote and many of the VCs’ portfolios are remote as well. We also witnessed a trend of “talent is everywhere”. The time span within which one can become a software engineer also reduced dramatically. And silicon valley itself could not provide the needed talent.
These are the trends that drove my interest in remote working as someone who has already been doing so with my startups for decades. These trends also played into my previous roles as CTO in all my 3 startups. Most of the employees in all my startups were engineers and I was in charge of operations – think the payroll, payments, hiring, performance management, and time off, etc. As a 10+ team in almost all of these startups working remotely, these remote back-office tasks were eating 5 to 10 hours of my time every month. I was frustrated by all the things I needed to keep up with – the excels, the emails, google docs, and the bank transactions. So at some point when I realized the remote work trend had matured and there could be professionals dealing with the same remote work problems, I decided to build the ultimate, all-in-one tool for all these issues. This is where RemoteTeam.com was born.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on RemoteTeam?
I started thinking about the brand almost a decade ago when I had the idea to build the all-in-one HR and management tool for remote companies. As you may know, with any brand, a lot of ideation and research goes into coming up with the final product, so it took a few years to get to the final brand. RemoteTeam happened to be a great name for a company that builds HR and management tools for remote companies. So when the idea came up, I didn’t hesitate to go with it.
How did you get the domain name RemoteTeam.com for your brand? Why did you select that one exactly?
Initially, I emailed a broker to buy it. But things didn’t go well because the broker was demanding around 100K, a price that I thought was ridiculous, and something that I couldn’t afford considering my bank account was dry.
Out of the blue, I found the owner of the domain. I quickly emailed him and told him that I needed the domain name. I also told him of my situation – that what I have now is my rent and an extra $300 in my bank account. If he’s up for this, I could transfer him my rent without even going through an escrow. The owner told me that he was getting married and also needed some extra money to take care of some things asap. I immediately wired him the money, and was now waiting anxiously for the domain name, which he had promised to transfer to me in 1 to 2 weeks later. Crazy, right? Luckily on my part, he transferred me the domain as promised, and I quickly got to work.
RemoteTeam.com as a brand name is catchy and also a good representation of a tool that’s built to help remote companies manage payroll, HR, and the lot. This is why I took that risk by transferring almost everything I had then to the domain owner.
“RemoteTeam.com as a brand name is catchy and also a good representation of a tool that’s built to help remote companies manage payroll, HR, and the lot. This is why I took that risk by transferring almost everything I had then to the domain owner.”
How has owning RemoteTeam.com affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?
In many ways, the RemoteTeam.com domain name has helped a lot in pushing the brand forward. A search for the keyword “remote team” on Google returns our brand and probably our LinkedIn page or blog as part of the first three results. This alone helps improve our overall search engine ranking. It also helps build our online reputation since our brand shows up as customers look for things relating to building a great remote team.
Who is your target customer and how is your brand name helping in reaching them?
As a company building tools for ‘remote’ firms, our target customers are pretty wide. We serve both large and small businesses that employ people outside their home countries. We serve startups that have remote employees and contractors. Generally, so far as you’re a remote company or operating a virtual office, our HR, payroll, and management products are perfect for your company.
From two-team startups to large conglomerates employing the services of remote workers, we built for all their payroll, HR, and management needs. When it comes to the industry of our target customers, there is no limit. From AI, blockchain, and automobiles to tourism, aviation, and the nonprofit sector, we are built to serve remote teams and companies no matter their industry. We also serve digital nomad entrepreneurs, digital nomads, freelancers, and contractors working across the world.
Whether they are a small startup or a large conglomerate managing a remote workforce, the ultimate goal is usually to take care of all the operational issues with their remote teams. And our branding fits into these needs perfectly.
How do you keep your brand consistent across different channels online and offline?
As a 20+ team working across the world (Africa, the US, Asia), we have a set of guidelines that we have developed to make sure our branding and messaging everywhere is consistent. Be it on our blog, be it a guest post we’re writing for a media house, a social media post from the company, or an employee sharing something relating to the company online, everything goes with these guidelines. This keeps our brand consistent and also makes sure that all of us are on the same page when it comes to sharing content across different channels.
“As a 20+ team working across the world (Africa, the US, Asia), we have a set of guidelines that we have developed to make sure our branding and messaging everywhere is consistent.”
The general rule of thumb, however, is that we always advocate for quality content, content that is in line with our brand, interesting resources, and those that will be of help to our customers or anyone looking for a remote work related solution.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
I have thought of and founded a remote team a couple of months before the pandemic so It wouldn’t be logical for me to compare before and after because there is not enough time and experience for me to compare. I can state that it made no difference for me since I have been working remotely for a long time and my team has been remote and global since the beginning of my first startups. However, the overall rise of interest in remote work during the pandemic will propel growth for the whole industry and the future of work – and I see RemoteTeam being one of the best tools that these companies will be needing. But It’s going great for RemoteTeam.com at the moment and while we keep developing and improving our services, I am certain that It will be way better!
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
Having a great team that knows what they are doing and can adapt to new trends is key when it comes to marketing. At RemoteTeam, we are keen on learning about the future of work industry and any other industry that may affect our operations. We also create messages that align with our core values as a company. These are the guiding principles of our effective marketing strategies and they help us create engaging consistent marketing messages for our customers and target demographic. Ultimately, it’s a combination of who we are as a company, who our customers are, and the industries that affect us – these form the core of our marketing.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general and when it comes to branding and naming?
Entrepreneurship is hard and anyone starting as an entrepreneur should prepare beforehand. So if you’re starting out, you should always be ready to deal with the issues that come up from time to time. They should also be prepared to assume multiple responsibilities – from operations and management to development if possible. I’m not advising incoming entrepreneurs to be ‘jacks of all trades’, however, you should be ready to handle certain tasks if you’re not able to delegate to other team members or you don’t have the financial capabilities to hire for certain positions immediately. Entrepreneurs starting out should also know when to delegate tasks to other employees or co-founders and be ready to guide others towards achieving the overall startup objective. Additionally, they should get themselves a team that has the same passion and one that they can build long-term relationships.
On branding, I would advise entrepreneurs starting out to focus less on themselves and look at the bigger picture. Mostly, especially for starters, there’s the tendency of building a brand or startup around oneself – and this is risky for starting enterprises because a little glitch on the entrepreneur causes the startup to fall dramatically. Entrepreneurs should build their brands, right from naming their companies to positioning themselves among their target customers, around the market and the industry, and focus less on themselves. When it comes to naming, always trust your instincts, ask for ideas around you and go with an easily pronounced global name that won’t keep you away from your goals!
“Entrepreneurs should build their brands, right from naming their companies to positioning themselves among their target customers, around the market and the industry, and focus less on themselves. When it comes to naming, always trust your instincts, ask for ideas around you and go with an easily pronounced global name that won’t keep you away from your goals!”
Where do you see your business in the future and how does your brand name fit into that vision?
We are a team of amazing developers, designers, and marketers. We are always improving our services depending on our customer feedback and the needs of remote workers out there all around the world. We make sure to build a platform that can provide endless opportunities with a well-tailored UX and UI design and help remote workers have an easier experience while working, managing, or creating remote teams. In every meeting, we came up with different features for a different need and we will continue to do such because remote work is here and will be here for a long time. People won’t return to work at their offices so we are here to improve their and their managers’ experience of working remotely and I see big things coming for us, without any doubt.
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.