Sometimes it’s hard to feel ‘professional’ when you’re working from home, especially if you’re sat at your computer in your pyjamas. Still, if you want to be taken seriously in business, you need to put on a professional appearance – and we don’t mean wearing a suit every time you answer the phone.
Here are some ways to establish your business online and create some separation between your personal or home life and your new or thriving business.
1. Pay for a domain name
While it’s cheaper for you to use the free web domain that comes with the web builder you’ve chosen (for example Blogger or Squarespace), your website can instantly look more professional if you splash out a bit of cash on a domain name that relates to your business.
2. Work with a web designer
You aren’t perfect, so there are bound to be some weaknesses within your home business. One of the areas where lots of us don’t have the skills to hand is when it comes to designing our own websites. It’s something that can be learned, but it takes hours (and hours!) and your time might be better spent elsewhere. I’m all about working smarter. By hiring the services of a web designer, you’ll benefit from expert help and be able to create a website that really speaks to your customers’ needs.
3. Use a virtual business address
This is especially true for lots of bloggers, but many small business owners don’t want to share their home address online. Not to worry, as there are a few solutions to this. Using an out of state virtual business address will give you the privacy you need, as well as letting those clients who feel it is important know that you mean business and you’re committed.
4. Set up a separate business email account
Our email accounts live with us for a long time, and you might have one that sounded amazing when you were 13 but aged 29 is a different story altogether – especially if you’re running a business. If you do have a custom domain you can often create an ‘info@’ or ‘name@’ email address. This gives you the professional look that you’re seeking, as well as giving your clients confidence that they’re in contact with the right person as the email and domain name match. If you don’t have a website yet or want to stick with a familiar system, like Gmail (although they do offer G Suite for business!), go for something simple and professional like ‘yournamehere@’ or ‘businessname@’.
5. Be wise with social media
When starting a business our networks are a great place to source our first few clients. That means it might be time to start thinking more about what we share on our personal social media channels, as well as thinking about setting up some business profiles on popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Having dedicated business accounts gives you the opportunity to share your story, promote your business and attract new clients.
Do you have any other tips of your own to share? Please let me know in the comments box below!