When you first start your home-based business, you’re taking a big leap by going out on your own. It’s easy to get bogged down in the small details, so how do you know where to focus your time and energy? Once you have an idea, a business plan, and the funding to make it happen, what you need next is a welcoming home office and clients who bring in work.
Creating a Welcoming Home Office
Your home office is the heart of your business, so it’s worth the effort to plan it out right. When you have clientele who will visit, the visual appeal of your space is even more important because it will impact the first impression you make. One of the top priorities is to have it be a clean & functional space.
Stay Clean and Orderly. Having a clean and orderly workspace is the foundation for your business success. If you end up swimming in papers or staring at dust bunnies, it’s hard to get anything done, and you’re definitely not giving off a good impression when clients visit.
Start by setting up your office in a part of your home that is separate from everything else. Doing this helps you stay focused and also keeps everyday clutter out of your workspace. Once you’re up and running, make regular cleaning of your home office a priority.
Clear away work at the end of each day, take mugs to the kitchen, and generally keep things tidy. Do basic cleaning tasks like dusting regularly, and hire out the larger tasks like window cleaning.
Plan Your Layout and Organization. Give careful consideration to your office layout when you’re setting it up to make sure it suits how you work and leaves a comfortable space to talk and collaborate with clients.
Your setup should also include plenty of storage space so you can stay organized. To get a feel that is more personal than your typical corporate office, consider alternatives to filing cabinets for storage, such as open shelving with decorative boxes or built-in storage.
Go For Warm and Welcoming. Decorating your home office is where you can really have fun and give it a personal touch. Bring in colors and elements that are warm and inviting, but keep the overall look professional and appropriate for your niche. The Balance Small Business recommends avoiding decor that could be distracting or potentially offensive to any clients.
Another way to make your space inviting (and conducive to productivity) is to utilize natural lighting. Set up your desk or seating area near windows, and bring in some houseplants. Enjoying the natural light is another benefit of keeping windows clean too!
Creating the ideal home office is only a start. Now, you need to bring clients in and keep your business running strong. It’s important to market your business in spaces where your clientele spends a lot of time, such as social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest. One of the best ways to increase your followers when you’re first starting out is to join engagement groups and work with influencers. Another great strategy is to repost other people’s content, with their permission.
Whether you’re communicating through your own website, blog, or social media, you can also reach more potential clients by posting often and creating value. What expertise or unique point of view can you share? This type of content will drive clients your way and give them confidence in your product or service. And as important as online marketing is, don’t forget about word of mouth. According to Business Know-How, providing excellent customer service is still one of the best ways to guarantee current clients will recommend you.
An Exciting Journey
Starting your home-based business is a big deal, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Through all the other details, don’t overlook the importance of a clean and welcoming office. While social media may be the face of your brand online, welcoming clients into your perfect home office is where the rubber meets the road.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.