When I struck out on my own 18 years ago, having your office in your home wasn’t stylish. It wasn’t even acceptable. I did everything I could to negate the question in my client’s presence or at least go around it. I talked in terms of my team. I never mentioned my office. I made sure I was always available on their time and terms so they never had to come to me.
I was ahead of my time. I was saving money in overhead and energy and passing those savings along to my clients. Now, working from home is the American Dream.
Every business needs is a few tools, all compliments of our great world of technology. Implement the right ones and you can compete with the Fortune 500 companies of the world. Actually, you can be better than the Fortune 500 companies because they’re layered down in bureaucracy and meetings. You’re free as a bird.
Never mix the home phone and the business phone. Cell phone, in my opinion, is a necessity. Don’t have an 800# unless it’s absolutely necessary because it costs you money, however, an 800# makes you automatically look big.
Have a website. Get one for free on WIX (www.wix.com) and get your own domain name for $12 bucks or less at GoDaddy (www.godaddy.net). Wix will host your site for free and when you’re ready you can add e-commerce for less than $10 bucks a month.
Never hire staff if you don’t have to, there are too many outsourcing options available and you can hire the talent you need only when you need it.
Keep your marketing activities limited to 2 or at most 3 items. Most small business owners go in a million different directions (which I call shiny object syndrome) and end up with negligible results.
Look big. Stay manageable. Savor your resources and give the kids a hug.