Working in a domestic environment doesn’t have to stop you putting on a professional front with your business
With communication technology more effective and advanced than ever before, a greater number of entrepreneurs are managing their small businesses from home. In fact, data from Enterprise Nation reveals that there are 2.9 million home-based businesses in the UK.
What’s more, 70% of new businesses in the UK start from home. Collectively, ‘homepreneurs’ contribute £300 billion in turnover to the UK economy.
This makes sense, as working from home can help small businesses save on overheads early on, such as office rental, business rates and additional utility bills – not to mention commuting costs. Some business owners choose to remain a home-based brand even as they achieve success in order to enjoy greater flexibility.
Yet despite the growing number of homepreneurs, there is still a stigma attached to businesses that operate from home. It can cause more scrutiny from clients regarding professionalism, efficiency and security.
But luckily there are ways to help your business retain credibility and show that it is as capable and competent as any other Let’s take a look.
Keep your digital presence sharp and professional
These days, every business needs a website, and there are plenty of tools out there to help you create a user-friendly space to advertise your services.
When creating your website, make sure you add your own domain name, and invest in a reputable extension such as .co.uk. You should apply similar rules to your emails, using the same domain rather than an @hotmail or @yahoo address.
Working from home doesn’t mean staying at home
One of the main disadvantages of working from home is the isolation factor. You might yourself feeling out of the loop when it comes to making connections, so make sure you counteract this by making yourself known within your industry by attending networking sessions, seminars and events. Even taking the opportunity to work from the local café every now and again can help you to stay visible and also indulge in some important human interaction. This will help to get your name out there while also building up your knowledge base.
Don’t forget to network digitally, too. LinkedIn is the social platform for businesses looking to connect with other businesses, so make sure you complete your profile and add as many connections as possible within your industry. This will give you a more established and professional image online, preparing you for future growth.
Don’t rely on your personal mobile
One of the best pieces of advice for home-workers is to try and keep your personal and professional lives as separate as possible, despite working and living in the same place. There are several ways to do this, such as setting up your own designated work area in your home.
One of the most effective ways to clearly make this distinction is to invest in a business phone number, rather than relying on your personal mobile or home phone.
Use an office address
You don’t need to actually take out a full office lease in order to use an office address for your business correspondence. Even if you normally work from home, there are a huge number of UK business centres which will let you use their office address for a small monthly fee.
You can even invest in a space that offers hot-desking as an option. Not only will give you an office to attribute to your business, but it will also give you a more professional environment in which to meet with clients – not least because many offer conferencing facilities.