8 Ways to Add Professionalism to Your Home-Based Office Meetings
By | Elena Stewart
If you’re an entrepreneur who works from a home office, you may struggle to feel that you’re working in a professional setting. Consider the following tips from Human Engineers for adding professionalism to your meetings that take place within the walls of your home office — whether virtual or in-person.
- Upgrade Your Aesthetics
If your home office began its life as a guest room with a makeshift desk in the corner, it may still feel cobbled together and amateur. Take time to envision your desired ambiance for the room, how you want clients to feel when they walk in, and what you want the color scheme and furniture style to say about your growing enterprise.
- Install New Lighting
According to business experts at The University of North Carolina, the right lighting can lend professionalism as well as productivity to your growing business. It’s difficult to concentrate on work in dim light — and having a room that’s lit like a living room or bedroom might give your clients the wrong impression of your competence. Consider replacing your warm lights with daylight-spectrum bulbs, purchasing additional lamps, or calling an electrician to install overhead task lighting.
Such upgrades to the home office can add value to your property, so make sure it’s done correctly and professionally. Be sure to save all your product and installation receipts so you can justify the expenditures.
- Stage the Space for In-Person or Virtual Visits
Technology can keep your business running even when you can’t leave the house. You may invoice your clients from afar or set up a payment portal through your website. You might even conduct virtual meetings or sessions with your clients.
If you plan to be on camera, conduct a practice run to determine the best background and lighting for your virtual visit. Keep the background simple and uncluttered, but try to stay away from plain white walls. Remember — you’re trying to help your virtual client feel that they’re in a professional, inviting space.
Don’t rely solely on virtual visits if you expect that some clients will meet you in person. Ensure that your office is clean, inviting, and set up to receive your client for a productive meeting.
- Keep Your Office Clean
Keeping a clean office reduces the risk of accidents, such as trips and falls and helps to create a more pleasant environment for visiting clients. One simple way to prevent clutter and keep your home office clean is to vacuum regularly. Vacuuming prevents dust from accumulating on surfaces and sucking up any loose debris that might scatter when you sit down at your desk or move around in the room. When vacuuming, remove small debris first, overlap your lines, and empty your vacuum bag when it’s half full.
- Create Automated Invoices that Show Off Your Logo
If you network in person, you likely already have a business card to hand out to potential customers. If you have virtual clients or you wish to use technology to minimize contact, iTech notes that you might also consider automating your invoices and styling them with a similar typeface and logo.
- Organize Your Documents
You may have thrown out your paper documents when you converted them to digital files such as PDFs. If you’re struggling to organize your online space, get in touch with a professional organizer who can help you organize and declutter your office.
When you’re organizing digital archives, you may want to merge certain PDF files to make them easier to find and organize. Doing so is easy when you use a PDF file merger, an online PDF combiner tool that can get what you need in a five-step process that’s provided for free. Once the files are merged, you can move PDF pages to get your records in the right sequence.
- Register Your Business
Registering your business as a limited liability company can protect your personal assets and add credibility to your fledgling business. Before registering your LLC, check on the rules and requirements in your state. You can form an LLC online through a formation service to save on lawyer fees.
- Find a New Home
If your current home doesn’t have space for a standalone office, consider moving to a larger house. When considering size, make sure that whatever space you decide on has enough room to accommodate desks, file cabinets, and any other larger pieces of equipment or furniture required for your work-related activities. Additionally, consider amenities like the amount of natural light in the room, or access to ethernet cables if you need to connect multiple devices. Lastly, pay attention to the home’s location so that you will enjoy being there during your workday. When you’re ready to begin your search, start perusing online listings in your desired location.
Often, the difference between a hobby and a business lies in the details. Create an air of professionalism with your business cards, invoices, and official business name, follow up by redecorating your home office space to match your intentions for your brand, and choose a business structure that protects your personal assets. And if your home isn’t large enough to accommodate a home office, consider purchasing a new house.