Startup Tuesday: How To Give Your Home Business a Professional Attitude
Posted by Megan Webb-Morgan on March 19, 2013 in Startups [ 0 Comments ]
Running a business out of your home is a great way to save money on office space, optimize extra space within your home, and make it easier to juggle family and business concerns. However, it’s possible that these conveniences will come at a cost to your professional image.
Cordoning off a part of your home for business purposes is the first, but certainly not last, step towards creating a professional attitude for your home business. Next you’ll want to pay attention to your office design, consider communication options such as VOIP, and utilize technology to advance your business.
Create a Dedicated Office Space
You might be happy camping out at your dining room table with your laptop and mobile phone, but your business could be suffering from the lack of a dedicated space for company use.
Papers can easily get lost, and your attention easily distracted, if you don’t put some physical and psychological barriers between your home life and work life.
- If possible, take over a spare or unused room in your home to set up a home office. If an entire room isn’t up for grabs, consider rearranging your space so that you can dedicate part of a room to your business. Section it off with furniture placement, a curtain, or a room divider. Even a walk-in closet can be turned into a home office with a little creativity.
- All this effort can end up saving you money. You can write off your home office on your tax return, but only if the space is used solely for your business.
- Having a space, no matter how small, helps you focus on your work and not get distracted. It also provides a place where you can meet with clients or customers in a professional capacity. Keep the décor professional and work-appropriate.
Upgrade Your Communication
Your customers and clients need to be able to reach you easily. That can be difficult when your business uses the same phone line as your family – this sort of confusion and communication breakdowns can tarnish your professional image.
- Prevent these kinds of mistakes by utilizing an inexpensive VoiP phone system and separate number for your business.
- Hire a virtual assistant to handle your business calls, take messages, and divert calls to your mobile phone as needed. Callers will never know that you and your receptionist work from home on opposite sides of the country.
- Never run your business on a free email client. Purchase a domain name for your business and use it to create a company email address. Not only is this more professional, it also is good preparation for when your business expands to hire new employees.
- Check out the 5 Best Features of Modern Phone Systems, too
Take Advantage of Technology
Your business domain name not only provides you with a professional email address, but also with a professional website. Websites and other technologies give your home business the boost it needs to project that attitude.
- Hire a web designer or purchase web design software to make online and mobile-enabled websites for your business. The first thing a potential client or customer will do when looking for your business is search for your online presence. Fill your website and social media profiles with relevant content, company information, and, most importantly, contact info.
- Look into purchasing on-premise or cloud-based CRM software to help you keep your customer data organized and accessible.
Your home-based business is just as efficient and productive as any other business within your industry. Advertise that fact by presenting a professional image to the world. Create a dedicated office space, upgrade your telephone and email contact information, and utilize technology to create a professional attitude for your business.