Congratulations! You’ve packed in the rat-race lifestyle and have forged a new path. It’s time to set up your own business at home.
Like you, more and more people are discarding the idea of trudging to the office five to six days a week. Home-based businesses accounted for over 52% of the UK’s total business population in 2016.
Now you need to consider holding meetings in your home office. However, having clients saunter through your living room may not be ideal. You want clients to be in awe of your business savvy and professionalism. You don’t want them to be distracted by dirty dishes, lounging pets or discarded toys.
Read our tips for setting up a home office: The 5 secrets you need to know to impress your clients to help you prepare you for business meetings in your home office. Then, you’ll not only feel professional, but you’ll look professional (and nail every business meeting).
When you’re arranging meetings, provide specific instructions to your clients on where to (legally) park.
If you are in a house, park your own vehicle/s in the garage and keep the driveway clear, or create a space out the front of your property.
If you are in a flat, enquire about securing additional parking for your visitors. If clients constantly park in the “visitor” parking spaces, it may cause problems with your management and fellow residents.
Your front door should be clearly seen from where your client parked. You may need to place visible, yet discreet signage to point them in the right direction.
Prune any shrubbery and maintain a tidy yard. Keep pathways clear of moss, ice, and snow. Check any stairsteps have a non-slip surface with railings.
It’s important to have a separate space in your home to conduct meetings. Discussing business around the kitchen table would not be appropriate. Ideally, your office should be close to the front door, to prevent clients wandering through your home.
Consider the appropriate technology required to do your job; laptop/desktop, multifunction printer etc. Ensure you have reliable, high-speed internet that provides the capacity for guests to connect to your wifi if needed.
Provide a comfortable (but professional-looking) seating arrangement where you can speak with your client face-to-face.
Ensure your home is clean and tidy. Children’s toys, wine spills or obvious clutter isn’t particularly impressive.
Make sure the bathroom is clean and well equipped with a working tap and basin for guests to refresh themselves.
If you don’t have time to clean on a regular basis, do a quick tidy up prior to your clients’ visit, or consider using a cleaning service.
Kids, pets and noisy neighbours. Some things you can control, others you can’t.
If you can’t avoid these noisemakers, try to schedule any meetings around the quieter times in your household (or neighbourhood).
Place a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door and educate your children to not interrupt you when the sign is up.
If you have pets, keep them contained. While many people love animals, your clients won’t appreciate drool and paws on their expensive suit.
Regularly vacuum visiting areas to avoid any potential allergic reactions.
Consider organising someone to take care of your children or pets during client meetings if things get out of hand.
It is possible for a business and a home to co-exist in harmony. You want your clients’ experience to be memorable for the right reasons. Your business acumen should stand out to the client, not the dog that scared them half to death, or the toys that littered the living room.
Follow these tips for setting up a home office: The 5 secrets you need to know to impress your clients, and you’ll appear professional, feel professional, and be remembered, as professional.