If you want your home-based business to be successful, you have to run it like a professional.
This is very important if you have just opened a business from your home and you are trying to build up a clientele.
It is irrelevant how small or big your business is. Success depends to a large extent on professionalism and it does not make any difference whether you are operating from your home or from an office.
You must always present a professional image to your clients and prospective customers, even if you are working in the comfort of your home.
Image is very important if you want clients to continue doing business with you and, of course, for your prospects to be enticed.
People like to be associated with professionals and when you present a professional image, even if you are running a home-based business, your business can proliferate like a business operating from a business site.
You must make sure that your communication etiquette is impeccable because some customers would communicate through the phone rather than face-to-face. An unprofessional person on the other end of the line will put off a prospective client.
In addition to marketing collaterals such as postcard printing materials, a phone call is one of your initial means of communicating with clients.
Use your phone professionally. Answer calls in a proficient and clear tone so that the person on the other end would be able to understand what you are saying.
When answering your phone, make sure that there are no children around or any other noise that would distract the conversation between you and your client.
Even if clients and prospects know that you are working from home, they might not cope with your children's noise, and they don't have to.
Never allow your children to answer your business phone.
It is imperative to have a business phone that is not used by other members of the household.
To improve phone etiquette and professional image, one marketer suggested that when you are away, use a voice-mail message that can be changed on a daily basis.
Mentioning the date in a voice message demonstrates an efficient and professional business.
You could add in your voice mail that your business is by appointment only.
By doing this, you will be sending a message that you are busy with other appointments and commitments and create a good impression.
When clients make a booking or a reservation, make sure that you give them the correct date and time of the appointment.
You must also let your customers know that they have to give a 24-hour notice if they wish to cancel the appointment.
This will ensure that your customers do not take you for granted just because you are working from home.
To make sure that they comply with your arrangement, you must make sure that you have their phone number, just in case you have to call them.
You must display your credentials prominently where customers would be able to see them. People do need assurances that the person they are dealing with is qualified to provide the service that they need.