Working from home is growing in popularity. According to a study by Stanford University, around 10% of American employees work from home on a regular basis. It’s particularly popular amongst small business owners, as working from home significantly reduces the overhead costs associated with running a separate office.
However, working from home can make some business-related tasks difficult. Client meetings, for example, can be a struggle. Although tools such as Skype and Google Hangouts have made virtual meetings simple to facilitate, sometimes a traditional, in-person meeting is essential. There are several solutions for business owners who work from home – each with its own benefits and challenges.
Hold the meeting in a public place
If you decide to hold your client meeting in a public place, it’s important to choose the right location. The ideal public meeting place is quiet, well-lit, and spacious – hotel bars, library meeting rooms, and quiet cafés or restaurants are generally suitable. Avoid pubs and coffee shops if at all possible, and always book a table in advance. And white doing so make sure that you put in a preference for a corner table or as far from the general seating as possible.
Be sure to check whether the venue can provide everything you’ll need – such as WIFI access and power sockets – before you book. If you need to present material to your client, ensure you’ll have enough available space to do so. Arriving well before the meeting’s scheduled start will give you time to deal with any unexpected problems.
Hire office space for the day
Hiring an office for the day is another option for home workers. Although more expensive than holding your meeting in a public place, a hired office or meeting room will give your business a more professional appearance. It also guarantees a quiet, private space for your meeting – giving you peace of mind.
Some small business owners choose to hire a room from a dedicated office rental company. These often have prestigious addresses, and can give the impression that your business is larger than it really is. Hotel conference rooms are another popular option – many hotels offer refreshment packages, ideal for larger meetings.
Hold the meeting at your home
If you have a limited budget, or a portfolio which is difficult to transport, you may decide to hold your client meetings at home. You should have a separate office space in your home – ideally with its own separate entrance. If your working space is in your kitchen or bedroom, you should seriously consider holding your meeting elsewhere.
Your office space should be clean, tidy, professional-looking, and large enough to comfortably seat everyone involved in the meeting. Ensure that the path from the entrance to the office is similarly immaculate, and don’t forget to clean and tidy the bathroom. If you have children, it’s best to hold meetings when they’re not in the house – background noise and interruptions are highly unprofessional.
Guest Post Contributor:
This post was written by Anne Haimes of AH Interiors. Anne is a passionate interior designer with over 20 years’ experience, based in Henley-on-Thames, England.