Look more professional, even if you sell from home! Selling online is largely about trust, and many online consumers can be wary of buying from a Home Based Business. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with running an online business from your home. It’s a HUGE part of the overall online marketplace!

However, when you’re selling online, you’re asking people to trust your business with sensitive information. Like their Credit Card numbers and with sensitive materials, like their MONEY. You’re also asking people to trust that you will deliver a product that they really want in a timely manner and in one piece!

Perception is the key.

A tremendous number of online shoppers will not buy from a business if it’s obvious that the business is run from home. Perception is the key here. You’re an honest person, you’re selling good products, you are working hard to provide great service for your customers, right?

Of course you are! BUT, when a careful online customer checks out your store and looks for some basic information on your business, what are they going to find? The potential customer’s perception of your business is going to make all the difference when it comes to whether they buy from you or not.

If they find that your registered business name is “Matt Smith” and your business address is “123 Main St. Apt 4”, your email address ends with “AOL.COM”, you have no privacy policy, no shipping policy, no return policy..etc in your online store, forget it! The customer is going to go somewhere else. You’re going to sit at home wondering why everyone else is making money selling online and you’re not.

Your customer must perceive you to be a legitimate business, because you are one, and they should not be able to easily tell that you work from home. So the following 5 tips are designed to help you with this.

Look More Professional Tips

FIRST: Get a Legal Business Name. There are many reasons why you should form a legal business. We talk about that all the time on our website and blog. This situation is just one of those reasons. It’s not hard, nor expensive, and it WILL make your business look more professional to your customers.

When choosing your business name, don’t tie it to a particular product or service. A business name like “Matt’s Mittens LLC” isn’t going to work well if you decide to open another store to sell fitness clothing. But a business name like “Matt Smith Enterprises” or “Matt Smith & Co” is a much better sounding generic name that can easily be retained and used for other online ventures.

If you need help getting a business name, we recommend MyCorp. We have worked with them for many years and they are great at what they do!

look more professional with a business name, business address, business phone and clear policies

2. Think about your home address. If your home address is 123 Pansy Lane, potential customers are going to be pretty sure you are working from home, and a quick Google search will confirm that. If that’s the case, think about getting a Mailbox, like from Anytime Mailbox. These addresses will give you a much more professional sounding address than your own, or a PO Box. They will bundle your mail and send it to you!

3. Get a business phone number: It’s not a good idea to put your personal phone number out there. You should keep a clear separation of business from personal in order to keep your life organized. It also looks even more professional if you provide a Toll Free number. We highly recommend RingCentral for this. You can setup a professional greeting that your customers will hear first, and that will allow them to choose to be directed to another number of your choosing OR they can leave a Voicemail. This service is amazing! Highly recommend!

Fourth. Get a domain name for your business. Please don’t accept and answer your business email from your personal gmail.com account. Nothing screams small business like an email address like that. Once you choose your business name, get a domain that matches it, like “www.mattandco.biz or .com” That way you can setup several email addresses like orders@mattandco.biz or support@mattandco.biz. That’s very professional! Especially if you are going to sell on third party sites and not your own online store you need to communicate with your customers or suppliers. You can get a domain name in lots of places. Just choose your fave, but make sure they have email capability!

5. Have your policies displayed on your store site. What are policies? Just go to any big, professional online store and take a look at their privacy policy, refund policy, shipping policy, terms and conditions, etc. Then create policies of your own containing the same kind of information related to how you do things in your business. This is very boring to do, but it’s important not only to look professional, but also to help protect yourself and your business.

Look and act like a pro.

If you let yourself look like the little guy, you will be the little guy. Look and act like a pro and you will be surprised at the difference in the money you can earn online.

By Tisha Hedges

Director of Operations for Worldwide Brands, Inc

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