Keeping your relationship with clients professional is key to client retention and securing new clients. The key to professionalism is communication. Remember with whom you’re dealing when you write emails, and always err on the side of professionalism when you’re making phone calls.
Even when you are running your own business from home you can still take advantage of similar amenities that a big company offers. You can order customized business cards for you and your employees. This will make a professional impression on your clients, and they’ll always have you in their back pockets. Depending on the word processor you use, you can take advantage of free templates like those for invoices, time cards, and sales information. It’s easy and cheap to develop a customized domain for your home business. You can buy domains and create customized email addresses for, usually, less than twenty dollars. If you don’t want to invest the money in a domain name, make sure your email reflects you and your business. Use a reliable email service like g-mail. It is standard practice to use your name or some variation in your email address.
Do the job right. You may want to cut costs by having fewer employees do more jobs. But, if your employees are going to be wearing many hats make sure that they know what they’re doing. Do not hire someone for marketing, writing, and sales if they cannot do each of those jobs effectively. You’ll win more customers and work more efficiently if everyone is doing their job correctly.
Below are some changes you can make right away to cut costs for your home business.
- Take advantage of tax incentives. If you work from home you can make deductions on your tax forms for those things you use strictly for business. If you have a home office that is used solely for business purposes you can cite that on your taxes and get a tax break. For a home office deduction you use the IRS Form 8829. If you have a business computer or a landline used for your business you can make these deductions too.
- Use an online or voice over IP phone service. If you use a VoIP small business service like SendHub you have all the benefits of a phone service at a much lower cost. Some VoIP services even offer free options.
- Don’t invest in an expensive word processor unless you really need it. Word processors like Microsoft Word are constantly changing, with each year becoming less compatible with updated models. You can use free word processors like Google Docs or Open Office. These alternatives have most everything that a pay version has, and they are free. Google Docs also gives you cloud compatibility, so it’s easy to share documents and work on them simultaneously.
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