Ensure the highest standards
To be treated like a professional, you must work like a professional. Managing your productivity at home, being able to demonstrate your work ethic, and doing what is in your power to meet any promises or deadlines you give to clients is number one. This might include using personal workflow software, ensuring a professional space to work in, or even outsourcing when necessary.
Don’t fall behind in marketing
Impressing your clients should be a top concern, which is why investing in marketing is not something you can avoid. You might not have the money that your bigger competitors do, so you have to be smarter in developing your niche. Taking the time to learn about good website design, adding a blog to deliver insightful content, and staying engaged on social media can all ensure that you’re leaving the right impression.
Establish the business as a separate entity
Running a business under your own name can be risky, and it can make it look like a much smaller operation. While that may be true, you don’t want clients to have any reason to doubt the commitment or professionalism your business can offer. As such, having a virtual headquarters, address, and receptionist can not only help you keep your personal and business lives separate, they can also help you establish a professional first impression. It can go a long way to convincing clients that you are “the real deal.”
Work on your personal presentation
It’s not just about how you present your business, but how you present yourself, as well. If you’re working in a B2B industry, then learning good business etiquette is essential. Dressing well, being punctual for meetings, having a business card, and more will all help convince clients that you are a professional to be taken seriously. Making a good impression during client meetings is essential, after all.
Manage where you meet them
If and when it does come time to meet them, where will you do it? Face to face or through a webcam, doing it from home might undermine the professional image you’re cultivating, especially if there are family members that are likely to be at home. Instead, offer to meet closer to their office, whether it’s at a cafe or a coworking space. Not only does it do away with any concerns of unprofessional appearances, but it looks like you’re putting in a little extra effort to be convenient to them.
All small businesses face some level of stigma, and home businesses most of all. However, that doesn’t mean there is no way to address it. With the tips above, you can give your business the serious veneer it needs to succeed.