The biggest challenge while working from home is making it appear like we are not working from home. Think when clients make a call and children are crying in the background, pets meowing and barking, and timers going off for cooking and laundry. With all these going on in the background, would it appear professional? So, what should we do to appear our home-based business more professional?
Tip # 1: Have a professional-looking website with your own domain name.
Under no circumstances, go for a FREE website hosted on another companys’ domain with ads all over the place! This is one of the largest no-no’s out there! Unquestionably, to look professional, you have to invest in a professional website. If you aren’t a skilled web designer, hire some professional web developer to do it for you or trade with some other home-based business owner who is skilled in web designing. But first of all, Pick a domain name that relates to your business’s name.
Tip # 2: Make some investment in a separate phone line or at least in a distinctive ring tone for your work line.
Most telecom companies offer a scheme that lets you have two or more numbers ringing to one phone line with uncommon rings. Actually, It’s more reasonable to have a different phone line in your office. It will avoid after-hours calls from your clients. This also allows you to “close the door” on work when you’re not working. But don’t forget to use a professional voicemail message or answering machine message. Also, check the messages frequently.
Tip # 3: Think about the ways to exhibit your business address.
How are you planning to exhibit your physical location? Few different options are available for this. Most home business owners accept meetings by appointment only, for preventing clients from “dropping in” while they’re still in jammies and haven’t had their coffee yet. If you don’t want your customers to know that you are working from home, you can go for two other options. These are using a P.O. Box or hooking a “Suite” number to your address. If you are using a P.O. Box, you have to give your home address out for packages or anything else they wish to courier to you, but it does deliver namelessness and prevents drop-in visitors. If you attach a suite number to your address for making it appear as a “business office,” make certain you cite to your postal carrier that you’re managing a home-based business, and because of that there’s a distinct address on there.
Tip # 4: Describe your office decorum rules to your family.
What are the directions for your kids and family members when you’re on the call or meeting with a client? Are you going to put a timer so they could know when you are available? Have you set office hours and not going to meet with clients beyond those times? Are you thinking to manage a play space in your office? This is particularly significant if you’ve small kids, that would be playing nearby (quietly) while you are working.
Tip # 5: Invest in promotional products and marketing pieces to look more professional.
Don’t print off your business cards yourself, unless are skilled in it and have a top-of-the-line printer. Don’t hesitate to invest in business cards and brochures that are of professional quality. Have some letterhead printed up, if possible, too. That will be used for letters to prospective clients, contracts, and any correspondence that is business-related. If you’re going to print promotional products like T-shirts or apparel, mousepads, coffee mugs, etc., review the quality of the products put out by the printer you are thinking to use. Don’t simply “price-hunt,” look around for the finest quality and invest in it for your business.