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Easy Ways to Create a Professional Image for Your Home-Based Business

Easy Ways to Create a Professional Image for Your Home-Based Business
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    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:

    Office Address

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    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.

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    Email

    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 you@yourcompany.com. 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

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    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.

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    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.

    Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, an online community of those who work from home.

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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