More and more people are working from home these days, and the benefits of operating a business from home are plentiful. There’s much money to be saved on business expenses when you take away the cost of purchasing or renting a building and the cost of paying a wage and benefits to a group of on-site employees.
However, no matter the nature of your business, it’s important that, even when running your business from home, you maintain an appearance of professionalism. Depending on the nature of your business, you may even still occasionally need access to the state-of-the-art features that come with housing your business in a real brick-and-mortar building. Fortunately, you as a business owner do have options in this area that can be a lot less taxing on your company’s bottom line than a typical office setting would. Here’s how:
- Hire Virtual Employees. Many companies, websites and freelancers throughout the Internet world offer virtual services that can step your image and professionalism up a notch. From virtual receptionists to virtual assistants, and even virtual sales reps, you can give clients the appearance of a large company by hiring quality people to help you work your business from the comfort of their own home or a virtual office setting.Phone calls can be routed to your Virtual Receptionist’s home, giving the VR the task of screening your phone calls and taking messages or transferring calls as necessary, while you focus on other aspects of your business. Virtual assistants can be hired to handle lighter weight tasks while you focus on the more intense jobs. Another bonus? Virtual employees are often hired as independent contractors, thereby eliminating tedious paycheck and tax withholding work from your schedule. Just hand them a check each month, and a 1099 at the end of the year, and you’re done.
- Utilize Rentable Meeting Space. What if the time comes when you need to meet with a client or a group of clients and want a professional venue? A few quality companies offer medium and also high-end boardrooms and office space available for rental. Bringing important clients to a professional-looking space shows that your business is important to you, and that the client is as well. And paying for a meeting room on an occasional basis is much more cost-effective to businesses than owning or renting a building full-time. The other benefit of renting virtual offices is that you have the flexibility of choosing a meeting locale that’s beneficial to your client, no matter where they’re located.
- Make the Most of Virtual Meetings. One of the great aspects of the Internet to the business world is the ability to set up a virtual meeting. Using Skype or other companies to host group video meetings allows you to “meet” with clients all over the world with the touch of a button. One tip? When hosting or attending a group video meeting, a professional image is still vitally important. Make sure you’re dressed in business attire and that your workspace – the background that other meeting attendees will see – looks clean, neat and professional.
A home-based business is a great way to make the most of your career without spending too much of your capital. And by utilizing the tips above, you can still make sure that you’re presenting a professional and trustworthy appearance to the clients who are counting on your great services.