This is the second blog in a series about the Challenges of Working from Home Rather Than at an Office Space Toronto. The fact is that working at home is not the trend of the future – it is the trend of today. We discussed previously that many do not realize that operating a business at home is not without its problems. In our first blog in this series, we focused on how the most common problems are the distractions from family and friends.

The second most common concern of many small business owners who work from home rather than at an office space Toronto is whether their clients will perceive their business as being professional and serious because they work from home. Since home businesses are often wrongly regarded as “hobby businesses,” their professional image and credibility often come into question. Therefore home business owners have to work harder to project a professional business image.

Here are some tips for keeping up a professional business appearance.

Having professionally designed business cards, letterheads and stationary is a good start, but have you considered having a professional business address by having your business within a virtual office environment at an office business centre. You can have a virtual office that is just for your mailing address at a prestigious business address as part of a full virtual office package that includes a mail service and telephone answering.

Even if you opt to have a telephone and mail service at a virtual office Toronto location, you should consider having a separate telephone line or dedicated cellphone to have your calls transferred – just like you would at a traditional office space Toronto. Basically, you want to keep your residential phone for your personal use and your family, and another phone for business calls. Most importantly, do not allow children to answer your separate business line as this could cause damage to your credibility.

There are other things you can do to overcome the stereotyping of a less-than-professional home businesses. You should have a physically separate office space for your home office space. Ideally you want to have it in a separate room or area. If a separate room is not possible, try to find an area of your home where you can work with fewer distractions, or cause a distraction.

Establish a work schedule and let your clients and customers know your business hours. You may work more hours at home than you would at the office, but do not let your customers know that you work morning, noon and night. Separate your work time and personal time and let your clients know what times you are not available – in the same way as if you were working in your Toronto office space.

The next blog will be about separating home life and work life while working from home. A prevailing attitude that many successful home-based business adopt is that “you work from home, not at home.” Do not forget to get out of the house at least once a day to remind yourself that your home may be your office, but it is not your prison.