For those of you who are working from home, for example if you are making a living out of writing for your blog or those who are self-employed in another way, I would like to share tips to ensure a professional appearance for your company. Because, even if it is just you and your desk at home, your clients are looking for a professional. After all, that´s what they are paying for.
When you work from home, you may never have face-to-face contact with your customers. The only impression they get from you and your company is what you communicate. But rest assure it is not difficult to give forth a professional appearance. Start by creating a uniform corporate identity and have it reflected in all the online and offline tools that you use. Create a website in the style, add a signature to your email, provide stationery with your logo and design a flyer with company information to send to (potential) customers. It is very easy to get personalized materials printed in your corporate style if you work with an online printer like https://www.helloprint.co.uk. Online printing companies often offer design tools so you can easily create your own design. By using tools with your company’s identity, consumers get the feeling that a business takes itself seriously, knows what it does and that the customer is in safe hands.
Provide Professional Invoices
The administration of a small business and sending invoices is for most an obstacle or seen as difficult. However, invoices in the corporate identity contribute to a professional business look. Make sure you include your company details as well as the customer’s details on the invoice and the payment details including the payment term. Give the invoice a number and clearly state which project or service you are sending an invoice for. A good overview and a professional design of the invoice helps customers see what they are paying for and it reassures them that their money is well spent.
Set Clear Working Hours
If you are working from home it is easy to be working all the time or the opposite, to get distracted by all the things at the house that still need to be done. If you combine your business with a family life, your kids can also be a great distraction. So, to be clear with your family, yourself and your clients, it is important to set clear working hours. Communicate them, for example in the signature of your email and business letters. You can also set an out-of-office reply for the times that you are unavailable. This way, customers know that you cannot respond immediately. Clear communication will only contribute to a professional image.
Provide a Nice Workplace
It is very easy to sit down on the couch when working from home or to have papers for your company throughout the whole room. In order to concentrate when you get working and to relax in the evening, it helps to set up a specific workplace. This does not have to be an entire office; a desk in a corner with a filing cabinet for paperwork can be enough. Leave your laptop or computer there when you are not working, to avoid mixing business hours with leisure time. And don´t forget to take breaks during the day to refill your energy. At an office you also don´t spend the whole day siting in your chair behind your desk. A designated workspace gives peace; to work and to communicate with customers.
As you can see, it isn´t difficult at all to get a professional appearance for a small business that is run from home. Create a corporate identity, ensure clear communication and treat yourself to a nice place to work.