One of the toughest obstacles we face is how to make a home business look professional. When clients call you don’t want kids screaming in the background, pets barking and meowing. It doesn’t give your business a professional feel to your clients. So, how can we appear more professional? We’ve put together some helpful ways you can make your home business more professional.
Make Your Home Business Look Professional With These 5 Tips
The internet has opened many opportunities for people to work from home and manage home businesses. Many never even meet their clients or customer face-to-face. But still there is some necessary steps you must take to ensure your business appears to be as professional as one in a physical office building.
Tip # 1: Have a clean, professional website with your own domain name.
Do not, under any circumstances, use a “free” website hosted on another domain name than your own! This is one of the biggest no-no’s out there! Decide, instead, that in order to appear professional, you must invest in a professional website. If you aren’t skilled in web design, hire someone to do it for you or barter with another home-based business owner who does do web design. Choose a domain name that is closely related to your business’s name.
Tip # 2: Invest in a separate phone line or mobile phone.
Most phone companies offer a plan where you can have two or more numbers ringing to one phone line with distinctive rings. It’s usually better to have a separate phone line in your office, in order to avoid after-hours phone calls from clients. This also enables you to “shut the door” on work when you’re not there. Use a professional voicemail message or answering machine message and check the messages often. You might considering a mobile phone that you can take with you when running errands, but can silence after office hours.
Tip # 3: Think about how to display your business address.
How are you going to display your physical location? There are a few different options available. Most home-based business owners will say that they accept meetings by appointment only, to discourage clients from “dropping in”. If you don’t plan on having clients come for appointments, you can get a post office box and use that address on all your correspondence. This is also helpful to have to avoid putting your home address on your website or mailing list information.
Tip # 4: Define your office etiquette rules to your family.
Discuss boundaries with your kids and family members during your office hours. Let them know why you need uninterrupted quiet. As well as, what you can and can’t do for them while you’re working. Perhaps consider having a sign or something for your office door to remind you’re on the phone with clients. Let them know what boundaries you need when you’re on the phone, also. For example, a freelance writer spends very little time on the phone, but that doesn’t mean you can work with a lot of interruptions by family and friends.
Tip # 5: Invest in professional-quality promotional products and marketing pieces.
Invest in professional-quality business cards and brochures. Consider having letterhead printed up, too. Use it for contracts, letters to prospective clients and any correspondence that is business-related. Have digital versions made for you to use in emails and your website. That includes getting a professional logo for your website. Branding is important; it shouts professional business. When all your social media, website, email signature, digital and printable marketing materials are in-sync with your branding, it creates a air of professionalism to clients.
Running a home business has a ton of advantages from saving on overheard costs to the freedom of being closer to your family. With these tips you can make your home business professional to your clients which translates into more potential profits for you!