“Where’s your business office?”, my new client asked? “Well, I work out of my home right now.”, I replied There was a moment of silence and then a few more questions about how that was working. I could tell by the look on their faces that they weren’t impressed. It was the last time they ever hired me.
I knew I was doing good work, as well as any of my competitors, but in their eyes I didn’t measure up.
Shortly after that another opportunity came up to work with a large company that had just relocated to Phoenix. I did a few small jobs for them and then came the dreaded question, “Where’s your business office?” I did what any self-respecting entrepreneur would do and I lied. I told them my office was near the airport.
I realized that if I wanted to keep this client I needed to have an office and it needed to be sooner than later. I was able to find an office and I immediately started working from there.
Long story short, I kept the client for 12 years and they were the most profitable client I’ve ever had.
Would they have kept me as a vendor if they knew I was working from home? I doubt it and I’m glad I didn’t find out the hard way.
You can be idealistic and tell yourself that it shouldn’t matter where you do your job, that the client should judge you by the quality of your work, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Perception is everything. Clients want to know that you are credible and trustworthy and one way they determine that is by the level of success you project. The more professional, successful and trustworthy you appear, the more confidence clients will be about hiring you.
Having your own business location and address with a receptionist who can answer your phone and greet clients goes a long way toward impressing your clients.
One of the great opportunities we have for small businesses and businesses that want to grow without spending a lot on overhead is the Virtual Office. For as little as $100 a month you can get a Virtual Office set up with a prestigious location, a receptionist to answer your phone and access to private offices and conference rooms on an as needed basis. We have a variety of plans for every budget and you ca change them as you grow and expand your business.
Getting your own office is a great marketing tool to help grow your business and show your clients you’re professional and trustworthy.