Making it seem as though we’re not really working from home is one of the most difficult challenges we encounter when doing so.
It doesn’t seem professional when clients call and there are children yelling in the background, pets barking and meowing, and laundry and kitchen timers going off.
How therefore might we come across as more competent?
Have a neat, professional website with your own domain name as tip number one.
Under no circumstances run a “free” website on a different domain name with advertisements for other businesses all over it!
One of the biggest no-nos out there is this.
Decide instead that you need to spend money on a quality website to appear credible.
If you lack the necessary skills to create websites, either hire someone to do it for you or trade services with a home-based business owner who can.
Pick a domain name that is closely similar to the name of your company.
Purchase a unique ringtone or a different phone line for that line.
The majority of phone companies offer a package that allows you to have two or more numbers ring to one phone line simultaneously and with unique tones.
In order to prevent client calls after business hours, it is typically preferable to have a separate phone line at your workplace.
You can also “shut the door” on work when you’re not around by doing this.
Check your voicemail or answering machine frequently and use a professional message.
Consider how to show your company address in
How will you indicate where you are physically located?
There are several alternatives accessible.
In order to deter customers from “dropping in” while they are still in their pajamas and before they’ve had their morning coffee, the majority of home-based business owners will state that they accept meetings only by appointment.
Two alternative choices exist if you don’t want your clients to know that you operate from home: using a P.O. Box or adding a “Suite” number to your address.
However, it does offer anonymity and deters drop-in guests.
If you use a P.O. Box, you will have to give your home address out for shipments and anything they want to courier to you.
Make sure to tell the postal carrier that you are operating a home-based business and that is why there is a different address on there if you add a suite number to your location to make it resemble a “business office.”
Establish your office’s etiquette guidelines with your family.
What guidelines will you set for your children and other family members when you’re on the phone or in a client meeting?
Will you set a timeframe so people can anticipate your availability?
Will you have fixed office hours and refrain from meeting with clients after those hours?
Will your office have a play area for the kids?
This is crucial if you plan to work while watching young children play nearby (quietly).
Spend money on high-quality marketing materials and promotional items.
If you don’t have a top-of-the-line printer, avoid printing business cards from your printer.
Purchase brochures and business cards of a professional caliber.
For contracts, letters to potential clients, and any other business-related writing, if you can, have some letterhead created as well.
When printing promotional items like T-shirts, clothing, coffee mugs, mousepads, etc., make sure the printer you use produces high-quality goods.
Don’t just “price-hunt,” instead shop around for the best value and make investments in your company.