With more and more people working from home, many others may be considering opening up their businesses from their homes. Usually, these are virtual-type businesses that require a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, but you can also open up a service-oriented business from inside your home where your clients come to you. Before you do this, you must keep in mind that there are certain zoning laws and restrictions that prohibit you from running a home-based business where you live. However, if you’re legally able to run a home-based business, here are five ways to make it look and feel more professional.
#1: Invest in a Good Desk and Chair
No matter what type of home-based business you have, it’s likely that you’ll have an office space set up dedicated to administrative tasks. Because of this, you’ll want to invest in a functional desk and chair— especially if your clients will meet you/check in at your desk. Depending on the type of business you have and your preferences, you may choose a standing desk, but everyone should follow the ergonomic guidelines when creating any type of workspace. Whether sitting or standing, you’ll want to be comfortable, and ergonomics help achieve both comfort and proper form to decrease pain and increase productivity.
#2: Instal Proper Lighting
Again, specific lighting will depend on the type of business you run (i.e., photography, dance studio, hair salon, etc.), but there are some general lighting tips that almost every type of business owner can benefit from. For example, incorporating natural lighting can greatly decrease the occurrence of eye strain and blurred vision when working at a computer for the majority of the day. However, natural light isn’t the only option— you can also use LED daylight bulbs as opposed to incandescent light bulbs. Daylight light bulbs aren’t as yellow as incandescent light bulbs, making any room they’re in look brighter.
#3: Don’t Ignore Your Decor
Using a residential property (that you’re not living in) as a business is much different than operating a business (that invites others inside) from within your home. When doing the latter, you’ll want to create a space that is just for business— separate from your home— and the right decor can help with that. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your entryway and main business space(s) are always clean and decluttered. After all, this is a professional business.
Also, make your entryway look as welcoming as possible, starting with a welcome mat right outside the door. Hang some decorative paintings on the walls, have a small table styled, and include some indoor plants. All of these are aesthetically pleasing ways to decorate a business located inside of a home.
#4: Play Some Light Music
Have you ever noticed that you always hear music in just about every business you enter? Music creates a more relaxing and enjoyable environment for customers and clients— as well as employees and employers. So invest in some wireless speakers to play classical, smooth jazz, or any other type of music you feel is appropriate for your business. If your business is a music studio, you may not need to invest in wireless speakers for music because you and your clients will be making the music.
#5: Invest in Commercial Accessories
Just because your business is located in a residential building rather than a commercial building doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize commercial accessories. For example, all home-based businesses can benefit from having a water fountain installed because water fountains are a basic commercial accessory and necessity. Home daycares will need larger trash cans, catering companies may need larger kitchen equipment, and photography businesses can use commercial curtain tracks and curtains for their backdrops. You may also need commercial cleaning tools and supplies, as well as commercial auto insurance if you use your vehicle for work purposes, and home business insurance for your actual business.
It is entirely possible to make your home-based business look as professional as a business located inside a commercial building. Even though it’s still your home, you don’t want the business part to look too much like home for professional reasons and for your mental well-being. Having your business area look as professional as possible can help you keep your home life and your business life separate so you don’t feel like you’re at work all of the time. This will also help you to be a more productive and more successful home-based business owner.