Many entrepreneurs start their businesses from home as they ramp up operations or simply because they have limited funds to invest in startup office space. For some, running a business from home is more about convenience and they don’t have the need for designated office space due to the parameters of their business. Whatever the case is, there are a few ways that a small business owner can effectively run the business from home. In a recent Business IT article, contributor Adam Turner outlined a number of smart things people can do when running their own business from home.
“Running your own business from home is not just about being your own boss – it’s about gaining the flexibility to be away from your desk during business hours and still stay on top of work,” Turner wrote. “It’s not hard to look professional even if your office is your dining room table. Whether you’ve gone solo or are working with a small team, modern technology can help your small business look and feel like a big business.”
Tips for Running Your Own Business from Home
1. Domain names
Turner first suggested that one way to look professional is to use your own domain name for your email and website, noting that nothing quite sends up those unprofessional red flags like using something like firstname.lastname@example.org on business cards.
2. Address and deliveries
Turner also recommended setting up a P.O. Box, as this can make a home-based business look more professional instantly and protects your privacy by keeping your home address away from your business. However, post office staff won’t likely sign for couriers if anything is sent to the P.O. address. One other option for those receiving packages is a managed postal address. Besides keeping people away from the home, this investment will give a home-based company a big-business feel by eliminating the use of a residential address.
3. Multiple phone lines
When running your own business from home, it can be easy to let the personal life merge with business dealings. However, Turner recommended setting up separate phone lines for personal calls and work calls. This is where a virtual PBX system’s value can clearly be seen, and Turner suggested pursuing Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP telephone service.
“We’ve a tip here: If your internet service provider offers VoIP you’ll often find it’s more reliable than third-party consumer-grade VoIP services. The other advantage of having two phone numbers is that you don’t need two separate phones on your desk” Turner wrote. He later added, “Here’s another tip: If the work phone line is a VoIP telephone service, you might be able to divert it to voicemail at night so an after hours work call won’t ring your bedside handset but a personal call will.”
AccessDirect’s hosted PBX system can be particularly useful for home businesses, as it provides efficient call handling with an advanced auto attendant feature to appropriately direct all calls across many different extensions. Professionally recorded greetings can go a long way toward giving a small business the look and feel of a large corporation, and when combined with the auto attendant feature, any company can be sure that all of its calls are directly appropriately and no call ever goes unanswered.