Just because you make money online from the comforts of your home, does not mean that you should allow those who you interact with know just how comfortable you are. In fact, I am sure that you can think back to more than one unprofessional situation which you had engaged in with someone in the past. Perhaps you received an inappropriate e-mail, had a poor experience with a clerk while shopping, or a phone conversation which left you scratching your head. In any case, the balance between professional behavior and unacceptable behavior is slight, but extremely meaningful.
As the principal of your home business, you have a myriad of duties. In one hour you may be performing administrative duties, which in the next hour you might be discussing business development with the president of a medium sized company. No matter which task you are taking on, it is critical that you remain professional at all times.
It is not difficult to maintain a professional standard with your home business. Thus, we will look at five things which you must do to maintain your professional image. Many of these things will seem obvious. Nonetheless, they are overlooked way too often.
1. You Have To Use A Spell Check
It really does not matter what you are doing. If you are about to send an e-mail, working on your website, or writing an article, you need to check your spelling. Poor spelling and grammar is a reflection of your work ethic and quality. If a customer sees that you are too lazy to spell check, they will not trust your business.
2. Use Your Best Manners On The Phone
Have you ever called your favorite retail store to hear them answer, “Hello?” Maybe you have, maybe you have not. One thing that I can tell you is that if you have, I am sure that you just automatically assumed that you had dialed the wrong number.
Instead when you call a business, the person who picks up the phone lets you know who you are calling. The customer receives confirmation that they have dialed the correct number. This sort of etiquette is especially important for online businesses. Call it unfair, but the fact of the matter is that people have a lower degree of trust for online businesses than they do brick and mortar businesses. Therefore, you must do whatever you can to portray a professional image to the public. Make sure that when you answer the phone, that you state the name of your business. Furthermore, your voice mail greeting should not only name your business, but give a secondary means of contact. Be sure to frequently check your voice mail and respond to messages promptly. Do not ever let your voice mailbox fill up so that the person calling cannot leave a message. If you are forced to share a phone line with others in your home due to financial constraints, make sure that others know how they are to answer phone calls. A more appropriate option is getting a distinctive right put in for your business. However, if you live in the United States, it is possible to just use the product MagicJack and pay $20 per year for phone service with domestic long-distance included.
3. Professional Appearance
One of the best ways to put the public on notice that you are a professional business, is via a professionally designed website. Your website must be well organized and intuitive to follow. Each of your visitors should be able to determine the subject matter of your website within the first 7 to 10 seconds after their arrival. Also, make sure that your website does not take a long time to load as your visitors will easily become impatient and leave.
Also, avoid using free e-mail addresses at all costs. Nothing screams “amateur” louder than this. It is easy to simply log into the cPanel of your hosting plan and create an e-mail address which matches your website’s URL.
4. Be Pleasant and Mannerly
Smile when you are on the phone. Say please and thank you. Treat each and every phone call and email with this kind of care, and you will surely see repeat customers and referrals. Let customers know you appreciate their patronage. A sincere “thank you for your business” will go a surprisingly long way. Dealing with a home-based business is often a new experience for customers. Show them your level of professionalism by keeping your manners in check.
5. Become The Expert on Your Business
It is most unprofessional when the owner of a company does not know the answer to a question about their business. When someone asks for a quote, they are expecting an answer of how much your business will charge to provide them with a service. The last thing that potential customers want to hear is that you are just redoing your pricing and/or you have never done this before. Remember that you are the professional. Professionals give clear answers to the inquiries which they receive about their service offerings, pricing, policies, etc. You need to do this as well.
From the outset, you must know that a lot of work is involved for those of us who make money online. Furthermore, online business is relatively new, so expect to experience some push back from customers from time to time. Nonetheless, your professionalism can do a lot to negate the stereotypes regarding online business, and instill the confidence your customer needs prior to purchasing your products or services.
Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot Make Money Online. However, you must maintain a professional demeanor if you want to Work At Home and be viewed as legitimate. Drop by and visit us at SOSComplete.com.