10 Do’s and Don’ts for Home-Based Businesses

The thousands of successful home-based businesses across the country have proven that you don’t need to work from a commercial building to attract clients. As long as you deliver what is promised the clients don’t care. The client must feel that your business is credible and competent to deliver what is asked from your company. Let’s look at ten suggestions that make your business look more professional.

1. The value that you bring
As said in the intro, as long as you provide the service and products that the clients want, they don’t care where your office is based! So you should emphasize the value that your company brings, not the location from which it is delivered.

2. Reviews and references
You should ask previous customers for reviews or ask them to vouch for your home-based business. For instance you can place reviews on your company website, so that new potential customers will see that you deliver as promised.

3. Meeting Location
Not all home-based offices have the space to meet (potential) customers or clients. So try to find a standard location where you can hold face-to-face meetings with clients. For instance you could meet them in a restaurant or Star Bucks. Some hotels also offer small rooms for business meetings. (Note: Never receive a customer in your living room! This is not very professional.)

4. Kids
Never and I mean never let your kids answer the business phone, it’s very unprofessional. (Tip: make sure that you have a home line and an office line.) Also playing kids on the background of a telephone call doesn’t look very professional.

5. Business Cards
Invest in some high quality business cards. Spend that $50 for some good professional printed business card, they look so much better then home brewed business cards.

6. Certification
To boost your brand and business credibility you should look into certification for your service or products.

7. Home-based
Never hide the fact that your business is home-based. Of course you don’t have to proclaim it, but it makes no sense to hide it. (Point them to point 2 Reviews and references if they are uncomfortable of doing business with a home-based business.)

8. 800 Number
As said before; you should at least have a separate office and home telephone line. (Besides practical it is also looking more professional.) Also having an 800 number will help to make it look more professional (and it only cost around $50 a month.)

9 Merchant Accounts
Make sure you have a merchant account. Trying to do business without a merchant account doesn’t look very professional. For instance you could use services like Google Checkout or PayPal. These services make it sure that credit-card information is safe and secure in your business’s hands.

10. Professional Website
Make sure that you have a professional looking website. This doesn’t mean flashy graphics site, but website with a clean format. Make sure that your business website has enough content and that you add fresh content regularly. Don’t forget to place contact information on your site.

Tip: if you use mail forms then you should check them after each update to your website. (It would be a shame if you miss that new customer, because your mail form doesn’t work.)

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