11 Jul Working from Home- the way of the Professional
Do you run your small business from home? You’re not alone. The number of people working from home jumped 75% between 2008 and 2018- a huge phenomenon you’ll have noticed all around you. That’s 1.54 million people work from home for their main job according to the ONS Labour Force Survey, the largest study of its kind in the UK. Homeworking can have advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility, and productivity. But you still want to look polished, efficient and highly professional- not easy when your office is a small cluttered corner of your spare room. Here are some quick, simple, affordable steps your home-based businesses can take to boost your reputation and maintain a professional appearance.
Get a Business Address – Because of First Impressions Count
16 Rosebank Crescent sounds delightful- but not to your clients! They want to work with established businesses they can trust. Your business card and website need to reflect on how serious you are about your business. At Mantle we know from networking at local groups that it’s instantly obvious if a company is a new start-up- one glance at the home address on their business card tells you an awful lot. Your potential customer base could assume there’s no history or substance to your company. They’ll guess you don’t employ any (or enough) staff. It makes you seem like a risk rather than a safe option. Even a postal box address will work against you, as it suggests you don’t have a ‘real’ office or location where they could meet or contact you. Unfairly judgmental, even ignorant, you might be saying. And maybe, but there’s a good solution…….
We do offer physical offices (the lower-commitment kind known as serviced offices) – a great option- but we know even that can be too big a commitment or too expensive for smaller, newer companies, or maybe just not the right option for you. After all, you chose to work from home!
The alternative is simply to pay for a neutral, professional business address, letting you appear large and impressive. At Mantle we offer this service either annually or on a month-by-month basis for as little at £40 per month plus VAT. It’s also a sensible security measure to keep your home address private- who wants disgruntled clients or suppliers knowing where you live? Send them our way instead!
Answer your Availability Problems with a Telephone Answering Service
If you work alone or in a very small and busy team, it’s hard to complete the workload without being disturbed by incoming calls, especially during seasonal busy patches. What are you best at, anyway? Playing Receptionist or developing your life’s passion- the business you started? Presumably the latter! Our telephone answering service frees you up to devote more time to building your success using your unique skills, and a lot less time doing the tedious call handling eating up your valuable time.
Remember also that voicemail is gradually fading away. Just last year there was an 8% drop in the numbers using answer machines. It’s actually more likely someone will hang up than bother leaving you a message! It’s, therefore, becoming even more crucial to answer each call.
This is such an easy job to outsource to the professionals (that’s us). It’s certainly more affordable than hiring extra staff to do the job. No National Insurance or employee benefits to consider, and from just £55 per month plus VAT.
Not only can our telephone answering service ensure all your calls are picked up, but we’ll also give the impression you are efficient, organised, easily contactable, and that you care about professional customer service from the word go. We get messages to you incredibly quickly, the way you want it done.
And the difference with us is that we’re a smaller company ourselves. You won’t be just a number. We enjoy getting to know your business, and our friendly team will remember to answer the way you choose. With just one month’s commitment required, it really is worth a try.
Easy Meeting Room Hire
If you work from home or intend to do so, it must have crossed your mind: where on earth do I meet up with my clients, suppliers, and interviewees? Inviting them into your home is awkward and can give the wrong impression (and annoy your family!). Hotels, coffee bars, and pubs are noisy and irritating, not to mention that hotel foyers and cafés are hardly confidential spaces. There won’t be enough space to layout any papers, plans or documents to show them properly. And forget making a Powerpoint presentation or using a flipchart….
For all the above reasons, our meeting room hire has recently- with the rise of home-working- become very popular. We hire out rooms to everyone from big established organisations to one-person enterprises. Our rates are more competitive than you’d think- you needn’t pay more than £15 per hour, even with refreshments thrown in. That’s a bargain for you, and your clients are bound to be impressed.
If you’re one of the increasing band of home workers and you’d like any help in exploring these services, contact Team Mantle on 0118 977 8599 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.