Working from home is never easy. Not only do you have to be very organized and have self-discipline to ensure things are completed, you also have to know how to impress potential clients. After all, without them, you won’t have a business.
A lot of small business owners choose to start their businesses from the spare room of their own home. It’s convenient, it’s easy and it’s a way to save money when they’re trying to build a business from the ground up. While it’s comfortable to do so, it does make networking a lot more difficult than if there was an office for people to visit.
People working from home often dislike the one thing that they are limited in: client interaction. Here’s why:
- Using the living room isn’t really the sleek and professional place for clients to come and have a meeting.
- The space could be cramped, with no proper chairs for a sit down meeting.
- A home meeting doesn’t really inspire confidence in your potential clients.
- You could have a family in the house and you can’t ask them to leave every single time that you want to bring clients over (this is especially true for little ones)
Whatever the reason is, you need an alternative. You may well have your business registered with a virtual office address provider, which means you can’t really use your home anyway! Regardless of what you do, you need options for your clients.
Networking meetings are going to grow your business and the more money you make, the bigger you get. So, you need to know what the alternatives are to impress your clients – even when you work from the spare bedroom. Let’s take a look at your options…
How To Impress Clients When You Work From Home
A Local Coffee Shop
A cliche? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely. Buying a drink for the two of you – or a couple of drinks, depending how the meeting goes – means that you can use the space for as long as you need to. You can also spend only a small amount of your entertainment budget, which is kind to your business (also a business write-off so save the receipts!). There are downsides, because a coffee shop can be busy and loud and that can be off-putting, so you’d have to be strategic about the timing of your meeting. The best thing to do is to avoid the main chain coffee shops and find somewhere smaller and quieter such as a local mom and pop shop.
A Fancy Restaurant
Clients love to be wooed, don’t they? Giving yours the chance for a business lunch is always going to be a success. You can wine and dine them, get to know them on a personal level and at the same time, lighten the mood of a business meeting. Who wouldn’t want more food in an elegant setting that will keep them feeling coveted. If you have the money, you could sweeten the deal by allowing them to choose their own restaurants. Lunch is a meal that is casual, where dinner is formal. So, choose a daytime meeting.
Rent Office Space
Co-op office centers usually run by serviced office companies are a good place to conduct meetings. You get a boardroom, access to technology and a way to showcase what you can do. These can be hired for a small fee and you can even strike a deal with the right center so that you can continue to have meetings at a reduced rate if you know you’re going to be busy with clients that month.
Hotel Conference Rooms
It’s too intimate to meet in a hotel room, and you get the publicity of a hotel conference room. They can seem steep to hire, but you get the supplies you need to pull off an impressive meeting, and you can even have food catered for the event – especially if you need a few hours for the room. For the most part, you can pay for packages that last you the whole day and you can really get your message across to the clients so that they will sign on with your business.
Your Home Office
We started this article by saying not to use the house and the reasons why. But what if you could? Your home office may be big enough to accommodate a table and chairs that you use for meetings. You could also cheat a little, and hold the entire meeting via Skype connection and ‘meet’ in the office even if it is a tiny one. You have that option available in the world of technology that we live in today.
There are so many places that you can meet your clients outside the home, you just have to get creative while you do it. If you do decide to meet in your home, then dress it up and make it so that your clients see the best of what you do and not the decor.