As a home business owner, you’re part of a growing number of people who are stepping out on their own and starting their own companies. While you’re saving money by not renting office space and growing your business in stages, you may feel less professional than other people in your field. If you want to gain trust from your customers or clients, you need to make your business appear more professional. These five tips will give you the professional edge you’ve been looking for – no one needs to know you’re working from home!
1. Invest in a virtual office space.
There’s nothing worse than picking up the phone with an important client and having a knock on your door or your child ask for something. A virtual office will take your calls and route them to your home office phone. The professional receptionist provided by the virtual office service will give your potential customers a good first impression, and you can have them either forward the call or put the call in voicemail. With a virtual office, you can also safely receive faxes and have a professional address for your business with a virtual office set up.
2. Make your business space separate from your personal space.
It’s hard to focus on your work if you are trying to work in the middle of your kitchen. Establishing a clear area of your home where you can devote your attention to your work will help you establish a professional attitude that will carry out in your communications with your customer. At the very least, it will keep you focused and organized. Your work area doesn’t need to be very involved, just check out these innovative designs.
3. Set aside specific times of the day for business related activities.
One of the perks of working from home is being able to take breaks when you want to, spend time with family, etc. However, this can quickly eat up your day without you realizing it. Just as it’s important to keep your physical workspace separate from your living space, you also have to make the same demarcation with regard to your time. Set business hours and you’ll find that your time will be better spent.
4. Get professional business cards.
Nothing screams “works from home!” more blatantly than homemade business cards printed out on your own computer. No matter how high quality your printer is or what type of paper you get, you can never match the smooth lines and crisp look of professional cards. There are many online print shops that offer reasonable printing rates for marketing materials. For example, Vista Print has an offer for 500 business cards for just $10. The same goes for marketing brochures and flyers.
5. Establish your online presence.
Even if you’re doing business exclusively in a local setting, you need to have a professional looking website. Your website will serve as your 24/7 sales person. You need to be sure that it includes all of the essential information about your business – what you offer, your experience, how to contact you, etc. Even just a simple, but professional, website design will go a long way toward making your company look good.