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5 Ways for Your Home Business to Look Bigger Than Life

by Jean Murray on December 17th, 2008

A home business is a pretty small business, usually. There is probably only you. Maybe you have a spouse, children, a friend helping you. Maybe not. But there’s no reason that you have to look like a small one-person business. You can and should look bigger than you are, give people the impression that you are a REAL business and that you should be taken seriously. No one needs to know that you’re working at the kitchen table or out of your garage. One secret to success is to look and act bigger than you are.

There are lots of tools out there to do this; most of them are web-based, and few cost much money. I have been using some of these tools and I have some recommendations:

1. Set up a toll-free phone line. You can get a toll-free line for under $15 a month. I use PhonePeople, but there are plenty out there. A toll-free line lets customers call you toll-free, which is always a benefit. You can have someone pick up your line if you are not there; you can even have multiple lines answered: “Customer Service,” ‘Orders,” etc. And PLEASE don’t have your child do the voice mail response message; save the cute little voice for your home phone.

2. Get a Business Fax. If you don’t have the money for a fax machine, you can get Fax By Email. I use GoDaddy’s version, again for under $15 a month. I’m sure there are other similar ones out there. You will need a scanner but you can buy one of those all-in-one printers (more about that later).

3. Use Printed/metered postage. I have written about this before. Nothing looks small like a written postage label. There are several ways you can get postage printed off your computer. Do it. It looks more professional, makes people think you are bigger than you are.

4. Take credit cards. Not just PayPal. Get set up with credit card processing, through your bank or an online vendor. I pay $15 a month for processing, plus a “discount” (don’t know why they call it that) as a percentage of each transaction. If you are selling online, you can set up a shopping cart very simply. In my opinion, not taking credit cards makes you look small.

5. Get a brand identity. The rest of the stuff I mentioned above is important, but this one is the most critical. Get a logo. Get a signature for your emails. Have everything in your business reflect your brand, so that people see you as a legitimate business who can help them and who looks like a professional.

No matter what kind of home business you’re in, you need to look professional, act bigger than you are. You will be surprised how people will respect you and buy from you, once you’ve set yourself up this way.

There are many more ideas like this, but you get the idea. The more you can do to make your business look professional, the faster you will grow into

Note on Image: This garage probably doesn’t look familiar, but it’s a historic landmark. The garage is where Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett started Hewlett-Packard (HP); it’s considered the birthplace of Silicon Valley. If they can start in a garage and build a huge corporation, you can build a great home business that makes you look bigger-than-life!

Tags: credit card processing, fax

POSTED IN: Branding Your Home Business, Business Ideas, Online Resources

4 opinions for 5 Ways for Your Home Business to Look Bigger Than Life

  • Jeff
    Dec 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    don’t forget the basics — a website and email with your own domain. Nothing says I’m as small fry like .

  • Jean Murray
    Dec 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for the reminder, Jeff. I agree! When I receive an email from a business owner that is a .aol or .yahoo or .gmail , I know the business is pretty small-time. It doesn’t take much to get a web page and email from your business url.

  • 2 More Ways to Help Your Home Business Look Bigger Than Life
    Dec 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    [...] of the ways you can help your small home business look bigger than life is through branding, as I mentioned in my blog of a few days ago.  Here are a couple of specific [...]

  • 2 More Ways to Create a “Bigger Than Life” Home Business
    Dec 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    [...] of the ways you can help your small home business look bigger than life is through branding, as I mentioned in my blog of a few days ago.  Here are a couple of specific [...]

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