By India Jordan
One of the toughest obstacles we face when working from home
making it appear that we're not, in fact, working from home.
When clients call and there are kids screaming in the
background, pets barking and meowing and timers going off for
laundry and cooking, it doesn't appear professional. So, how
can we appear more professional?
Tip # 1: Have a clean, professional website with your own
Do not, under any circumstances, have a "free" website hosted
on another domain name with other company's ads all over the
place! 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
hire someone to do it for you or barter with another
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 in a distinctive
ring tone for that line.
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
This also enables you to "shut the door" on work when you're
there. Use a professional voicemail message or answering
message and check the messages often.
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" while they're still
their jammies and haven't had their morning coffee yet. If you
don't want your customers to know you work from home, two
options are using a P.O. Box or attaching a "Suite" number to
your address. If you use a P.O. Box, you will have to give
home address out for packages and anything they want to
to you, but it does provide anonymity and discourages drop-in
visitors. If you attach a suite number to your address in
to make it appear a "business office," make sure you mention
your postal carrier that you're running a home-based business
and that's why there's a different address on there.
Tip # 4: Define your office etiquette rules to your family.
What are the rules going to be for your kids and family
when you're on the phone or meeting with a client? Are you
to set a timer so they know when you'll be available? Are you
going to have set office hours and not meet with clients
outside of those times? Are you going to have a play space in
your office? This is especially important if you're going to
have small kids playing nearby (quietly) while you work.
Tip # 5: Invest in professional-quality promotional products
and marketing pieces.
Don't print off business cards from your printer, unless you
have a top-of-the-line printer. Invest in professional-quality
business cards and brochures. If you can, have some letterhead
printed up, too, for contracts, letters to prospective clients
and any correspondence that is business-related. If you're
printing promotional products like T-shirts or apparel, coffee
mugs, mousepads, etc., check the quality of the products put
out by the printer you wish to use. Don't just "price-hunt,"
look around for the best quality and invest in your business.
About The Author: India Jordan is the owner and founder of
VirtualAssistantBusiness.com. Learn how you can start a
Assistant www.virtualassistantbusiness.com home-based
business by visiting us today.