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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

5 Tips For Making Your Home Business Client Friendly

Did you know that there are over 38 million home businesses in the U.S alone, making up 50 percent of all small businesses? More and more people are choosing to ditch the office and work from their own home, saving them money and helping them maintain a positive work life balance. But work from home businesses can get a little more tricky when clients are involved -  how do you balance giving a professional appearance within your personal space and what can you do to make the experience as pleasant for your clients as possible to avoid what could be an awkward situation. Here are 5 tips to help you create a professional space within your home.

1. Make finding your home easy
Residential streets can be difficult to navigate, be sure to provide your clients with clear travel instructions which cover a range of transport options including if they were to walk, drive or use public transport. If the public transport links to your home are not readily available then you may wish to arrange for a car to pick your client up from the closest station at a pre arranged time. If clients regularly come to your home and your home business is a little more established then it can also be helpful to have a clear business sign on the curb or your door, to make it obvious when they have reached the right location. Finally, have a reliable doorbell or entrance system so that you are easily alerted when a client has arrived.

2. Contain your children and pets
Many people love children and animals but they aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea and can make conducting business a little difficult. To maintain a professional environment, try to have your children under someone else's care while you take client meetings or make it clear to them that when you have a meeting scheduled they are only to interrupt you in the event of an emergency. With animals, it’s best to keep them out of the way unless your client expresses an interest in meeting them.

3. Create a neutral space within your home to meet with clients
Entering someone's home for business can feel a little awkward for clients especially if they are surrounded by your personal life such as family photos, your laundry or the leftovers of last night's dinner. If possible try to maintain a more neutral space within your home to host your client meetings, such as a home office, which will help your clients to feel at ease. Along with neutral decor also consider the smell of this space, most office spaces are fairly neutral in their scents and so you may wish to use a scented candle or reed diffuser to get rid of the smell of family life. You will also want to consider where, if needed, your client can use the lavatory, and the route that your clients will need to take through your house to get to the bathroom and your meeting space. Although in an ideal world your whole house would be clean and tidy in preparation for every client meeting, this is unrealistic, but do try to pay closer attention to the spaces within your home that they will see.

4. Consider payment options
Depending on the nature of our home business you may need to take payment from your clients at the end of their visit, such as if you run a beauty or massage service . Fewer people are carrying cash nowadays and having to hunt around for change can look unprofessional. Try to keep a selection of change to hand for cash payments and if you regularly take payments in yours home then also consider looking into using a credit card processing services which could help to the awkwardness out of the payment stage, especially for people who may not have cash on them.

5. Offer refreshments
Offering your clients refreshments, such as a glass of water, coffee or tea,  is a simple way to make them feel at ease and can help to add a little luxury to their visit. Rather than having to dash to the kitchen to make them their drink, perhaps consider having a mini-fridge in your meeting space with some bottled cold drinks and maybe have a small coffee machine or kettle for quick hot drink options. If you meet many clients in one day then remember keep this well stocked and always remove old glasses so that it looks good as new each time.
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