If you’re running a small business out of your home, you’re probably trying to wear the hats of 10 different workers in an effort to keep costs low. But investing a moderate amount of money in outsourcing a few tasks can have a major impact on your company’s profitability, both by freeing up your time to do what you do best and by making your business seem like a professional and credible operation. Here are some services to consider:
- A National Answering Service
Hiring answering services for small businesses offers a few distinct advantages. First of all, it allows you to give out a business number that isn’t your personal cell — the service will simply forward the calls to you. Second, it will appear on your client’s end that you have a receptionist, since the phone will be answered with your company name. And third, if you hire after hours answering services, your clients will be able to get basic information or leave messages without disturbing you during the time you should be spending with family and friends (or sleeping). Just be sure to hire a national answering service so that your clients aren’t put off by the difficult-to-understand accents that often become a problem with overseas call centers.
- A Virtual Office Company
A virtual office is a real-world address you can use for registering your business and receiving mail, separating your home address from the business while still allowing you to work at home. Since you’re not actually renting office space there, your monthly costs will be much, much lower than a traditional lease. Many virtual office companies even let you rent offices or conference rooms located in that building on an as-needed basis, so you can give clients a professional impression.
- A Top-Notch Website Designer
If you’re working from home, it’s likely that much of your customer interaction will occur through your company’s website. It may be tempting to get started with a cheap or free option such as WordPress. But it’s worth investing in a professional website that will provide a custom and up-to-date look, enhanced functionality and reliable security. Your website will probably be your clients’ first impression of your business, so having a shabby website is equivalent to bringing your clients to a run-down office building for your first meeting.
What other services should home-based small businesses consider hiring in order to project a professional image? Share your ideas in the comments.