Running a business from home often carries the risk of being labeled as not being professional enough for the liking of your customers and / or clients. Rather than getting bogged down by criticism, an objective approach will help in not only removing this label but also promote your business.
Here are some ways:
Using your residence address for business purpose will most likely give an impression to your clients that they are dealing with a novice. A simple way to correct this is to get a serviced address for your business. This will obviously serve the purpose of only a post office but you can put it on your business cards and letterhead for impression as some customers tend to believe that those who work from home are not good enough for them.
Separate Phone Line
The moment your child answers a business call, it sends a wrong signal to your prospective customer. Getting a second line or a cell phone which is dedicated to your business will not only help in maintaining privacy but also ensures that important business calls are not handled in unprofessional ways.
Nowadays most of the mail and communication is done on the Internet via emails. Instead of using free emails like Yahoo!/Hotmail use one in the name of your company like firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can use the same website address on all your office stationery and in email signatures. This will go a long way in projecting a better image of your business.
Stationeries and Office Equipments
If you are sending out hard copies of letters, presentations, and brochures on cheap quality paper, you are indirectly portraying yourself in bad light. Ensure that what ever goes out of your office is printed on good quality paper and by good quality printing equipment like a laser printer. If you look hard enough you can get some of high end equipment at bargain prices.
Multiple Payment Options
Another mode of showing a professional approach is that of giving multiple paying options. Integrate options apart from checks, like credit cards and online payments. Companies like PayPal offer these services which are not only convenient but also hassle free. Their charges for transactions are a small price that you should be able to bear for the sake of the image of your business.
Apart from the above methods, the most efficient method to project your professionalism, however, is the way you work. Businesses that deliver in time and meet their commitments sincerely are the ones that flourish. One satisfied customer brings in another by word of mouth publicity and will in almost all cases project your professionalism in a much better manner than any other method will ever accomplish.
Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.
Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.
Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.
1. Just Pick One Thing
If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.
Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.
Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?
2. Plan Ahead
To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.
Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.
Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.
3. Anticipate Problems
There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.
4. Pick a Start Date
You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.
Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.
5. Go for It
On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.
Your commitment card will say something like:
I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
I meditate daily.
6. Accept Failure
If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.
If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.
Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.
7. Plan Rewards
Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.
Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.
Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.
Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.