The office is cooking: Making your kitchen business friendly when working from home

The office is cooking: Making your kitchen business friendly when working from home

​Working from a home office includes many benefits for small business owners. Of course, there are also pitfalls, including life's interruptions and struggling to maintain a professional appearance. An integral part of the home is the kitchen, making it imperative to keep it business friendly, as it often doubles as a meeting place/office when clients stop in.

A well-kept home office creates a professional appearance for clients when they stop by, regardless of the services you offer. Home offices vary considerably, ranging from a desk set aside in a spare room or garage, to a laptop on the dining room table, or even an office featuring an exterior entrance of its own. The following tips can help you maintain a polished appearance when entertaining clients in your home.

Seven Tips to Keep the Kitchen Business Friendly When Working from Home

Greeting clients by offering them refreshments such as coffee or tea will forge a friendly, yet professional attitude. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee, or possibly having a plate of cookies available, provides a warm welcome.

It is important to visualize what your clients see when they pull up at your office. Is the exterior of the home attractive? Is there a safe place for them to park that is easily accessible to the home? If there are steps, is there a rail? Is the sidewalk broken? It is important to make a solid first impression.

Walking in through the entrance, does the home have any odors? Are there pets that may trip or knock someone down that could be put outdoors during the meeting? Are children's toys strewn around, or is the entry clean and tidy?

Care should be taken to ensure the meeting place, whether it is the kitchen or an office, is neat and very clean. Floors should be swept, mopped, or vacuumed, furniture, glass, and mirrors should be polished, and all extra papers should be filed or placed out of the way.

During the meeting the client will require a comfortable seating arrangement, and should be provided with a flat surface to write on, pens, and possibly paper to take notes. If they bring a tablet or laptop, they may also need to be able to connect to your wi-fi connection.

Maintain a professional attitude when clients are in the home. Turn off the television, eliminate extra noise, and limit personal phone calls, just as though you were in a traditional office setting.

One of the advantages of working from home is being able to cook supper to have it ready for the evening. Bear in mind however, that some food odors are very strong, and some clients may have food allergies. Try to minimize strong food odors on days when clients will be in the home.

It can not be stressed enough that return business relies on making a good impression with clients, both with the work that is delivered, but also with the setting and effort you make. The Chamber supports home businesses and offers support and tips to help you succeed. Contact us today.

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