When working from a home office, depending on the business, times may arise where a meeting with a client is necessary. Although the meeting may be for any number of reasons, it still involves bringing business into the home. It is important in these situations to make sure that the visit is framed in a professional way. The client will expect some informality, but at the same time expect a certain level of professionalism.
Here are some tips to help organize for a client visit to your home office.
1. Call a Day Before to Confirm the Appointment
If it has been more than one day since the appointment was made, it is a good idea to call the day before the appointment to confirm the appointment time, location and a general agenda.
Even if you do not get the client on the phone, this information can be given in a simple and short message. End the message by saying that you will see them at that time and to contact you should they have any questions. This gives the client a gentle reminder while not requiring them to call back if they plan on keeping the appointment.
2. Clean the Office
In advance of the client arriving, make sure that the office area is clean. This means organizing papers and putting away anything that does not need to be out. It is fine to have some work on your desk when the client arrives, just so long as it does not look like a disorganized mess.
Items that do not belong in the home office should be removed as well. If anything like a childís toy or a kitchen chair has made its way into the room, remove it. While keeping a slightly informal and friendly atmosphere is important, you also do not want a client to feel that the meeting is too relaxed. It may not reflect well on the overall business.
Directly before the client arrives, make sure that all paperwork that is required is out and marked appropriately. If they will need to sign papers, have the relevant areas marked and pens available. Whatever files and papers are necessary for the meeting, have them all out and ready to use.
3. Have Beverages Available
It is polite to offer a client something to drink. This is dependent on the length of the meeting, but it can help to relax them and make the meeting more comfortable. Try to have water, soda and coffee or tea available. This is important to pay attention to especially if the meeting is expected to last more than half an hour.
4. Make Sure Relevant Qualifications are Displayed
To help solidify the professionalism of your business and instill trust in the client, try to have any degrees, certificates or other qualifications displayed visibly on the walls. Depending on the design of the home office, you may want to consider having the documents lighted for emphasis.
5. Make Sure the Client is Comfortable
On the day of the meeting, it is important to make sure that the client is comfortable and that the setting is as professional as possible. The client will understand that it is a home office, but it can still help to try and remove unnecessary distractions.
If any family members are home during the time of the visit, ask them to try and be quiet. Put any pets away or outside. Make sure that the path from the front door to the office is clean and free of obstructions. Also ask your family to not disturb you while meeting with the client.
Once inside the home office for the meeting, make sure to close the door. This will help to create a sense of privacy and prevent outside distractions during the meeting.
Being prepared for a client visit is half of the battle. Knowing that everything is clean and organized will help to free up mental space to focus on the client. Having all of their paperwork at your fingertips will also help. By following some common sense rules and creating an atmosphere of relaxed professionalism, the client will feel at home in your home office.
Interested in gizmos and gadgets, George Baker specializes in vacuum bags as he writes about Bosch vacuum bags and other products.