Imagine a world where clients viewed your business through a purely objective lens, 100% of the time.
How good would that be?
Unfortunately, in the real world, people do just the opposite.
Like it or not, clients unconsciously judge your business based on their own perceptions and superficial observations.
This is because perception is reality, and customer perception determines how your customers feel about you.
Whether they base that on online reviews, social media, customer service, or the office you work from, customers and clients judge your business by measures you might not even be aware of.
That’s why meeting clients at home is a turnoff that might even kill your small business.
While working inside the comfort of your own house has a number of perks – it’s convenient, more affordable, and saves time on commuting – the practice raises some problems when it comes to meeting clients.
Let’s have a look at how home office meetings with clients create negative impressions and the alternatives you have to project a professional image without using your living room to meet clients.
Table of contents:
- Why meeting clients at your home office is hurting your business
- Where to meet clients when you work from home
1. Why Meeting Clients at Your Home Office is Hurting Your Business
Thanks to the Internet, home-based businesses make up a sizeable portion of companies in Australia.
In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly 64% of managers and professionals were working from home one year after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, even in a tech-driven world, customers and clients still value face-to-face meetings and positive first impressions.
That’s why having clients come to your house can be unprofessional and sometimes even awkward.
Ask yourself – Do you really think you can end up doing a $5,000 deal in your living room full of your personal items while your family is roaming around?
Would you be able to impress your clients as they stroll through your kitchen to reach your cramped home office?
Here, the downsides of hosting clients in your home office:
- It’s unprofessional
This is perhaps the most obvious reason why you should never meet clients at home.
Holding meetings at home makes your business appear small and amateurish, especially if you cannot always keep your home spotless or avoid household smells like last night’s dinner.
Sure, you might think that what ultimately makes your business stand out is your product or service. But as I mentioned at the start of this post, perception matters more than reality in business.
So let’s be honest here – It’s difficult, if not impossible, to create and maintain positive customer perception in a home office setting.
- It creates logistical issues
Accessibility is a key factor to consider when inviting clients to a meeting.
Ask yourself – Is your home office located in an area where clients can comfortably commute to? Is there a free parking area for your guests near your home? Is your home accessible for clients with disabilities?
What if one of your clients is allergic to pets, and you have a dog?
Your home office may create lots of logistical issues which can ultimately impact your ability to close more deals.
- It poses legal risks to you and your business
Before inviting clients to your home office, it is important to consider the legal issues you may face if your client slips and falls or your dog bites them.
You might have insurance to cover this, but still, it’s best to avoid any such incident.
This is especially true if a slip-and-fall accident on your property turns into an injury, medical treatment, or even surgery. In that case, your client may want to pursue legal recourse for compensation and even sue you.
- It puts your safety at risk
Meeting with new clients can open new doors of opportunity, but keep in mind that they are strangers and could be putting your safety and the one of your family at risk.
Unless you run extensive background checks, it is difficult to know whether or not a prospect could be a thief, stalker, or worse.
That’s why it is extremely important to protect your privacy when working from home, especially if you deal with a difficult or angry client that might even show up at your door unannounced.
2. Where to Meet Clients When You Work From Home
Now that you know why meeting clients at your home office may not be such a good idea, you might ask yourself where you can have your next business meeting.
Renting physical office space certainly isn’t an option for many small businesses and startups operating on a tight budget.
This is because a physical office is the largest expense that businesses typically take on – whether they rent or purchase. Traditional offices are often very expensive and come with complex contracts that lock you in a long-term lease agreement.
However, in a perfect scenario, your meetings with clients should take place in a professional meeting room or boardroom.
This shows your customers that you run a reliable and well-established business and ensures a high level of professionalism.
Sure, if you’re looking to cut business expenses and keep your overheads down, you might think that it could be worth considering a cafe or coffee shop for your next business meeting.
However, meeting clients in public spaces means you don’t have much privacy to discuss important business topics.
Not to mention that in a cafe or coffee shop you have absolutely no control over the noise factor so you risk holding your meeting in a place where it is too loud to hear yourself. That doesn’t exactly scream “professionalism”.
Luckily, there are other alternatives for small business owners to project a professional image without renting expensive office space.
Our street-level building is only a short walk from the famous Lygon Street Italian precinct, and we have parking outside the door, too.
All of our meeting rooms and boardrooms are completely furnished and equipped, with amenities such as LED Smart TV, unlimited high-speed Internet, office facilities, video IP telephone, noise reduction system, and much more.
Our office space has no lock-in contracts, which makes it the ideal solution for someone running a business remotely.
Plus, we have a dedicated receptionist who will greet your clients and direct them towards the designated meeting room.
Your clients – and ultimately your bottom line – will appreciate the professional and welcoming environment.
Remember, while setting up a home office to meet your clients may seem the most affordable and convenient option, renting meeting rooms like B2B HQ’s is the first step towards building a positive reputation and confidence in your company.
Conclusion: If you work from home, it can sometimes be difficult to find appropriate meeting spaces.
However, meeting with clients at your home office means handing out your personal address which poses security risks for you and your family.
Plus, hosting your clients in your home office will only make your business look small and unprofessional and massively reduce your chances of retaining that client.
Luckily, you can always rely on rentable meeting rooms to get the most out of your business meetings and wrap the deal up.
Have an important meeting with clients and want to increase your chances of closing the deal? Contact us today to book your ideal meeting space and enjoy fabulous amenities in a professional and welcoming environment.
If you want to make your business look even more professional, you may want to consider one of our virtual packages that provides you with a wide range of services, including a permanent business address to keep your company and family details separate. For more info, check out our virtual office package (that includes rentable meeting rooms, too).