Working from home can be like a dream come true. You don’t have to commute during rush hour, you don’t have to worry about making small-talk with colleagues you don’t know, you don’t have to go out in bad weather, and best of all: you can work in your pajamas.
However, when you’re running a business from home, it can sometimes feel exactly like a business run from home, which doesn’t always work for people who want to buy from a legitimate company. One of the biggest challenges is to establish your business’ credibility with your target audience, so here are some steps to take to ensure your home-based business looks legitimate to potential customers.
Set up a mailing address separate from your home
Aside from the fact that you can avoid customers looking at your home on Google Maps, having a separate mailing address for business mail establishes some credibility. Setting up a P.O. Box for your home business is a useful way to improve your professional appearance and is a simple and cost-effective solution.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about missing out on important business mail if you’re away or not home to receive the delivery. Using a mailbox service will always mean your mail has been received and is being held in a secure place until you pick it up.
Invest in a quality website
Poor quality websites won’t do you any favors, and in fact, they probably will even drive business away. Just because you’re running a small business at home doesn’t mean it needs to appear as such, and websites these days are essentially business cards. They are the first look that potential customers get of your brand and also what will primarily leave an impression on them, so you want it to leave a good impression.
If you don’t have the technical or design skills or know-how, consider spending a few full days learning the basics (WordPress themes are a good place to choose website templates). If you don’t have the time but you have the budget, hiring a web developer or small agency to build a custom, high quality website for you is a great investment. That way, you can get it exactly as you want and don’t have to worry about doing it yourself.
Have branded merchandise
Without going overboard, having a few items with your branding or logo on them can help legitimize your business when you’re out in public or meeting with clients. For example, having a sticker on your laptop with your logo on it while you work at a coffee shop can draw some attention to your brand, or sending branded t-shirts out as gifts or prizes for small contests can help boost brand awareness and credibility. To print custom t-shirts, try local companies. Whether you need London, Bristol, Manchester, or Glasgow based t-shirts printed, you’ll be able to find the right choice online.
Delegate tasks (even if you don’t have any employees)
Trying to get everything done yourself completely on your own may result in you cutting corners to save time, therefore unintentionally leading to a lesser-quality end product. Focus on your business goals and product or service, and leave some of the other tasks for someone else. It could be updating your website on a regular basis, or your social media maintenance, or replying to customer’s inquiries, or any other tasks which you’ve identified aren’t your strong suit. By taking some of the more time-consuming or difficult tasks off your plate, you can free yourself and your energy to focus on the tasks that help your business run better.