If you are a work-at-home professional, you’ll want to read Tips For Work-At-Home Professionals. If you are a client, continue reading the article below for some useful advice when conducting business online.
- Do your research. Would you buy the first house you see? Would you lease the first vehicle you come across? Some people spend more time deciding on which brand of sugar to purchase than they do which individual or company they desire to entrust their online presence to! Just because someone has good pricing, good terms, and a nice portfolio doesn’t necessarily mean they are reputable. Find out what their policies are regarding references. Ask around about them — social media is a powerful tool. Search Twitter using keywords that match their business name. Look through their portfolio and see if you can contact a random client by locating their website to inquire about their experience. Whether it was wonderful or horrible, most people are more than happy to divulge that information, especially if the company happens to offer referral bonuses!
- Be reasonable and perhaps even somewhat flexible. More and more people are doing business with individuals who work at home. Why? Because generally they are more accessible, less expensive, and willing to go the extra mile for their clientele. I have no problem catering to a 2am client with a crisis if I happen to still be awake. This being said, one must also take into consideration that in addition to being businesspeople, we also have lives — lives which, from time to time may interfere with our accessibility and perhaps even our work schedule. We all know that most benefits require us to make small sacrifices… one of the sacrifices you may have to make in order to reap the mountain of benefits you experience from contracting work-at-home business owners’ services is that you may experience delays. You should expect any delays to be communicated to you as quickly as possible. If you are asked to extend the target deadline and it is at all feasible for you to do so, you should be willing to grant an extension for appropriate circumstances. You may even be able to talk them into including a little something extra for the inconvenience :) I’ve been personally known to extend hosting for up to an entire year for patient clients who understand that life happens!
- Be receptive! We all have our preferences, and that’s great. There is nothing wrong with knowing exactly what you want. However, I’ve seen clients totally butcher amazing work and turning it into something the designer cringes at the thought of attaching their name to! Respect the experience and expertise of the people you trust to make your blog or website look good and give serious consideration to their insight and feedback. Let them take your ideas and translate them visually… and aesthetically. Just because you may like something doesn’t mean it looks nice and when it comes to online presence, it is important that the visual translation of your ideas ends up being something attractive and appealing. Something to basic won’t hold anyone’s attention very long, but something too busy will wear them out before they make it halfway through your site. Let the professional you choose assist you in deciding on what works — and what doesn’t! In the end, it’s always up to you, but being receptive of their input will benefit you greatly.
- Communicate clearly and thoroughly. Explain what you want in detail and avoid supplying one-word answers or answering questions with a simple yes or no. Most of the time, when you contract services you will receive a survey of some sort or at least a simple questionnaire. This is meant to relate more information about your project and provide a more insightful glimpse into where you want to go with it. For example, answering ‘What is your favorite color?’ by saying, ‘Blue,’ or ‘Have you ever had a website or blog before?’ by saying, ‘Yes,’ doesn’t tell someone much about you. Explain what shade or shades of blue you enjoy and give a little more of an idea of the type of website or blog you’ve operated or been associated with in the past. Things like this may not seem like much to you, but they communicate critical information to us!
Recommended reading: check out The Four C’s of Successful Working Relationships!