One of the toughest obstacles we face as Mompreneurs when working from home is 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?
Here are a few tips that you can try:
Tip # 1: Have a clean, professional website with your own domain name. One of the first places your ideal clients or prospective business partners look for you is on your own website.
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 design, hire someone to do it for you or barter with another home-based business owner who does web design. There are lots of platforms like WordPress and Squarespace where you can build a professional-looking website within a few hours! 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 clients. This also enables you to “shut the door” on work when you’re not there. Use a professional voicemail message or answering machine 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 in their jammies and haven’t had their morning coffee yet. If you don’t want your customers to know you work from home, two other options are using a P.O. Box or attaching a “Suite” number to your address. In an online world, and according to the type of business you have, you both can discuss whether meeting in person is necessary at all.
Tip # 4: Define your office etiquette rules to your family.
What are the rules going to be for your kids and family members when you’re on the phone or meeting with a client? Are you going 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: Dress the Part!
It can be very tempting to go to your office space in your night clothes, sometimes without even a bath! I have changed the way I show up in my home office. Now, I’m not saying you should wear heels and a full suit, but you should always ensure you are fresh and neat. This can change your attitude and boost your productivity. Even the way you speak to prospects will be on another level because you are showing up as your true, powerful self!
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