Items You Need to Help Your At-Home Business Look More Legit
The first two years of owning and operating a small business are the most crucial.
18:32 24 May 2021
Twenty percent fail within the first year alone, mainly due to poor operations and management. A major problem for these small business owners is that they forget things that are so small and seem so obvious they just go overlooked. You calculated the cost of buying the printer, but did you factor in the daily cost of ink? Simple every day expenses are sometimes unnoticed and can spell disaster for a small business relying heavily on every cent of income. This shortlist of important items will help you keep in mind the easily forgotten tools of your trade.
Papers and Envelopes of All Kinds
Working or starting a small business from home can require the shipping of certain materials including important files, some of which cannot be folded. Having several different types of envelopes on hand is much easier, and a far better investment, than heading to the office supply store or post office every time you need a new type of envelope or have to mail something. Windowed envelopes are a good answer for important documents that cannot be folded. You can purchase some at https://www.envelopesuperstore.com/window-envelopes as they can prove to be difficult to find in some stores.
There are several different types of papers and cardstock you might be in need of. For example, legal paper is 8.5”x14” instead of the standard 8.5”x11”. Custom stationary is also a good investment as it has your company logo printed on it and shows off a professional feel. Learning what you’ll need for your business will save you embarrassment in the future.
Things like custom pens and lanyards are not something that your mind may go to immediately when thinking about building a small business, but having some of these things around can make your at-home business look more legitimate than the next. Think about every job interview you’ve ever had. You might have been given a pen with a company logo on it, or perhaps a company keychain. These little promotional products help keep the company in your head the next day. Maybe you let your friend borrow that pen and they forgot to return it. Now they have a constant reminder of that company right in their pocket. With your logo on something that people will use every day, you provide a subconscious reminder to them that you exist. It also shows that you are doing well enough to give these items out for free, even though in reality they do not actually cost that much. So, go ahead and buy those 38 cent fidget spinners with your company logo on them and hand them out around town.
One of the most basic tools of any trade is the business card. This little piece of paper has all the relevant information about your business on it in a handy 3.5”x2” rectangle. Your company name and logo, email address, and all relevant phone numbers are standard to have on your cards. With the intense push towards online and remote working, all company social media sites are extremely beneficial to having as well. The most important are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Instagram and TikTok are also helpful, but are not as business-oriented as the others. That’s not to say you cannot have them, provided they stay within the realm of your business and are quality and professional.
You may find you have some extra space on your cards, or perhaps you want to utilize as much space as possible for efficiency. Adding the most common jobs your business performs, as well as the prices for these jobs, is also a handy idea, and your customers or clients will appreciate having a cheat sheet in their wallet to help them avoid searching the internet for a price point.
Always Look Professional
Another common item business owners often forget is one of the most glaringly obvious: professional attire. When a potential customer is discussing doing business with your company, they will want to see professionalism. They are hiring you to do a job, and just like a job interview, a nice shirt and pants go a long way to proving that you’re ready and capable of the job at hand. Even if you are meeting with someone on a virtual call, professional attire is still required. Far too many times small business owners will forego a suit and tie for dirty jeans and a comic character t-shirt, and this just screams ‘unprofessional’.
Similarly, always make sure you are well-kempt. A scruffy beard or messy hair may come across as unprofessional, and you stand the chance of losing your customers or clients to a competing business.