Self-Employed

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Why You Don’t Need To Super Size

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
By Suzanne Martin

Once upon a time, home businesses made every effort to appear larger than they really were.

The theory was that potential customers would shun small-fry businesses that operated from a spare bedroom for fear the outfit wouldn’t be around next week. The bigger your business seemed, the more clout and credibility you earned with potential clients. Naturally, many home-based business owners attempted to hide the fact that they were, well, home-based.

But, home businesses are now legit and ubiquitous. Operating out of a study or a bedroom or a garage isn’t the handicap it used to be, as long as you put forward your best professional self.

Few people in the business world look down on home-based companies these days. But if a potential client balks because of your firm’s lack of size or real estate, use your smallness (and your homeyness) to your advantage. Here’s how.

Embrace Being The Boss

Customers not familiar with home businesses need to be reminded of the perks that they’ll enjoy. And the No. 1 perk is that they will deal directly with you, the boss.

They and their important projects won’t be handed off to a junior underling in training. Instead your customers will get personal attention from the Chief Operating Officer In Charge Of Everything. In a home business, that’s the highest rung on the corporate ladder.

Tout Cost Savings

Clients love to save money. Luckily, home businesses are strategically positioned to deliver products and services in the most cost-effective way.

You don’t have to fund a lavish office space. You don’t have to pay for a receptionist or a mail room clerk. Your overhead is low. That means your services and products can be priced accordingly, probably less than your competitors who opted for swank office surroundings.

Name Your Reasons

There are noble reasons (or at least practical ones) for working from home:

  • Being at the house when the kids return from school
  • Caring for an elderly parent
  • Practicing thriftiness by not renting an office
  • Reducing your carbon footprint by not commuting to an office
  • Balancing your work life with your passion for rescuing stray dogs or training for a marathon
If a client ever asks, don’t be shy about stating your reasons for working from home. It could gain you some appreciation, or at least some understanding.

Share The Cool Factor

When a customer admires the fact that you work for yourself in your own home, accept the admiration gracefully and admit that you have a great gig.

Plenty of people dream about quitting their 9-to-5 job and working where they want, when they want, in the way they want. You’re doing it. From home. That’s cool.

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Freelance writer and editor Suzanne Martin has worked from a home office for 20 years. And she’s never kept it a secret.

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