Many people are embracing the “working from home” option. There are over 38 million home businesses in the US alone meaning that 50% of all small businesses are being run from the owner’s residence. If your home business includes meeting with clients however, it is important that your home has a client friendly and professional environment. Here are some tips on how to have successful meetings with clients in your home.
Make sure that there is parking easily available for your client. Give them instructions on where to park. If you have a driveway in front of your property, make sure that you move your own car to create a client parking space. If you live in an apartment try to secure an additional parking space for your visitors. If your clients continually use the visitor parking space it can cause problems with the other building occupants and management.
2. Street appeal
Make sure that your home appears well maintained. This includes regularly mowing the lawn as well as weeding and pruning. Make sure the exterior of your home is in good condition and not requiring cleaning or a coat of paint.
3. Dedicate a space in your home for your office
Your home office should be a separate space in your home, not the kitchen counter. Your office should be appropriately decorated and include comfy seating and all the technology that you need to do your job.
4. Make the way to your office easy to navigate
If your home office has its own outside entrance, make sure that there is signage explaining where it is. Signs should be discreet and not visible enough to annoy your neighbours. The path to your office should be unobstructed and safe. You need to move any obstructions, prune shrubbery as well as ice and snow. Outside steps should be kept clean and have a railing. You should also carry adequate business insurance to cover any accidents in your home.
5. Make sure that your home office décor is suitable for a business
You need to make sure that your office décor projects your business image. It should be tasteful, inoffensive and not distracting. The furniture should be in good condition and should give an impression that you are successful in your business.
6. Your office should always be clean and uncluttered
This goes without saying, but make sure that you get rid of all those dirty coffee cups and dust bunnies.
7. Try to make your office as quietest as possible
If you have small children try to schedule meeting during their nap time or hire a babysitter to take care of them while you are working so that they do not interrupt you. A “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door will let family members know that you are busy with a client. If children have access to your business phone, make sure that they know how to answer it correctly.
If you have pets keep them out of the way so that they do make a noise when someone comes to the door. Make sure that you regularly vacuum and clean the spaces where your clients will be walking and sitting to eliminate the risk of allergies to pet hair.
It is important to create a good impression with clients so that they remember the business that you discussed rather than that your house was cluttered and that your children or pets were running around.
From an article by Susan Ward