Starting, managing, and successfully growing a home based business requires the same skills and determination as any other. However business owners who work from their homes have another obstacle to contend with: a lack of credibility.
This is interesting considering companies like Apple, Dell, and even Ford began as home-based companies. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), approximately half the small businesses in America are based out of homes. Even with that, owners need to ensure they, and their businesses, are taken seriously.
A business is a business, regardless of its geographic location, and home-based companies need to approach theirs in the same way. Just as you would set retail store hours, manage your work day and interact with customers managing an offsite business, the same is needed working from home. In this way your customers, vendors and suppliers will see you the same as any other business owner.
Form a legal entity for your home-based business. Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) are ideal for the small business owner. Your customers and suppliers will take a different view of you and your company when it becomes a separate entity. The separation between business and personal assets (and liabilities) offer additional benefits as well.
Steps to Building Credibility
Get a D&B D-U-N-S® Number, just as any other business would. As your company grows and the need to either employ others or expand your professional reach increases, your number becomes a valuable tool. Suppliers, vendors, and even customers use this as a gauge to determine the legitimacy of your business. For the same reason, joining the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce will also enhance credibility.
Open and maintain a business checking account, using it for all your business related transactions. Just as you would not walk into a retail store and make a check out to owner, your customers and business partners should not expect to do that either.