With the excitement of starting a home based business, you will most likely be in a great hurry to get started making deals that will benefit your business and generate quick cash flow.
However, there are some pitfalls to this kind of approach. Without actually preparing, without assuming professionalism in your approach, you cannot instill confidence in your clients, referrers, customers, or anyone else. Building a relationship should be high on your list of priorities.
The first rule in professionalizing your business is to separate your business from your personal life. To do this, you need to create a separate office space in your home, an environment that promotes competence, focus, skill, and a quiet office environment for phone calls while you work.
Here are some points to build your professional presence:
Presenting your home business in a professional manner:
Yes, while working from home, every day is an informal day. However, you should look in the mirror every day before meeting your customers. As the saying goes, “First impression is the best impression” and that holds true here too. If you meet outside your office, dress accordingly. If a suit is needed, wear one. If you’re dating casually, dress casually. When you’re on the phone always have a smile on your face and be excited… it will affect your attitude and handover over the phone through your voice and make a much better impression on your client.
When you start your business, you need to get your business cards, stationery and other business forms printed before you actually start your business. This will help make a positive impact on your customers. This early preparation and small investment will serve you well in creating your business credibility.
Do you accept cash or credit card payments from your customers? Making and receiving payments is another important aspect of home business. You need to make sure your bank account is set up. If you are going to accept credit card payments over the internet, you should also register with an online payment processing company to make the long-distance transactions faster and easier. A personal credit card for your everyday business expenses is also a great way to help you manage your business by tracking your expenses with their monthly billing reports.
You must keep accurate records of the transactions made by your company. If you have no accounting experience, you will want to hire the services of a good accountant who can give you sound advice on how to save money on tax deductions. If you want to tackle the bookkeeping yourself, there are many software applications available on the internet that will make your bookkeeping job a lot easier.
Using technology in your business:
Using the technology related to your business is another critical part of your business. Technology makes our lives a lot easier. For example, purchasing auto-responder software will allow you to more efficiently mass email and follow up with your customers. This can also save you a lot of time and money as opposed to phone calls and snail mailings. Likewise, a well-designed professional website will make the marketing and promotion tasks less tedious. Remember, you don’t do business unless your potential customers know you are. Therefore, advertising, advertising and advertising (word of mouth; newspapers; free classifieds; billboards; signboards; internet websites; social groups;) are all key to your success.
Once you start your business, you can no longer afford data loss. Therefore, you must have a reliable computer backup system along with a power surge protection system. And don’t forget to keep your computer backup off your office computer in case a devastating emergency happens at home.
Stay in touch with your team of professionals:
You should always look for a team of professionals to help you maintain your business efficiently (e.g. Accountant; Insurance Agent; Real Estate Agent; Lawyer; etc). You will also want to join social groups to promote your business. Staying in touch with your team of professionals gives you more opportunities to grow. Your business depends on you making contacts and building your network of customers, friends and business associates. Participating in an online discussion forum to seek help when you feel additional input is needed is another great business tip for you.
You have to be professional to succeed with you home business. Your professionalism gives you an extra edge over your competition.