Information to help your business benefit from telecommunications

Running your Business from Home

Working from Home
Happy is the person with a large study they can retire to when it comes to writing a few letters or reading the newspaper in quiet. For most of us that large study is at best a spare bedroom and at worst maybe a dark corner under the stairs or on the kitchen table. Finding room, and enough of it, can be a considerable challenge, but it's one that's facing more of us as we increasingly set up home based micro-businesses and let our entrepreneurial spirits soar. Apparently one in ten homes now houses a business, contributing £300bn a year to the UK economy; micro-business is big business!

Making SpaceRunning your Business from Home
And that's the differentiator, because running a micro-business implies that this is an income generator, and if that's an income to be relied on then making space and doing it right are vital...working on the kitchen table may work for a time, but as the paperwork builds and the files stack up having a dedicated work space becomes a priority. There's more to having a dedicated workspace though, and it's to do with boundaries. Your workspace is where you work; the rest of the house is where you live. Mix the two and you'll either be working all the hours that you're awake, or watching TV, walking the dog and making tea all the hours that you know you shouldn't. It's not easy, but both you and your family need to know that work time is just that.

There are two elements to your communications that really need to be thought through before deciding to work from home, and these are your broadband connection and the phone number/s you use. Let's first consider-

Phone Numbers
Giving the right impression and appearing professional are both vital ingredients of a successful business, and if there's one sure way to let the side down is by using your domestic phone number for business.
How will you know if it's a business call or your son's best friend?
How about calls at the weekend or in the evenings...and if your family pick the phone up?
It doesn't work! And neither does using your mobile number, it just gives the wrong impression and makes it look like you work from your car...which is fine, of course, if you're a taxi. The answer is to have a dedicated business number, be it an 01 or 02 number, an 0800, 03 or whatever is right for your business. Each of these has a purpose and sends a subliminal message about you and your business and, with the right service provider, can be fully mobile, so you can take the number with you wherever you go and when you move.
Taking transferability a step further, wouldn't it be handy if you could seamlessly transfer your business calls to your mobile, or have a voice mail service that answered after-hours calls, or incoming calls when you're already on the phone.
The answer is that you can do all of this and more. You just need to talk to the right service provider!

It is likely that you already have a domestic broadband service and this may suffice if you just need to do a bit of web browsing and send the odd email.  
The main issue with domestic broadband is how many other people in your house and local area are using it and what for?   You may have noticed that everything slows down or becomes unusable when the schools close or other members of your household are gaming or streaming video.   If so you will know all too well how frustrating it can be (to understand why this happens watch this video on broadband contention).

Speed of upload and download will inevitably be a priority...but consider this: A day lost because of a connection failure could cost your business more than any saving you may make by having a cheap connection. You need to ensure that you have a fast and reliable broadband connection from a quality supplier who takes the time to understand your needs.

If you think a business grade broadband connection is outside of your budget it is worth checking what all that downtime is really costing you with our Cost Calculator.

Making it Happen
Our best advice is to get advice! Talk to a trustworthy communications service supplier and let them know how you work and what you'd like to achieve. Once they understand your business they'll be able to tell you what's possible and how to make it happen. You'll be surprised at what can be done to make working from home a very viable and cost effective option.

If you would like to discuss your home based business requirements then please get in touch.

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