Dealing With Customers and Suppliers

When you work at home you want to make sure that you and your business are taken seriously by customers, clients, and suppliers. You can do your part to ensure this happens by keeping the following points in mind:

  • Dress in a manner conducive to doing business in your chosen field whenever you think you might be meeting with customers, clients, and suppliers. If your business involves frequent or unexpected visits from members of these groups, you may have to dress this way all of the time.
  • When setting up your work area, make sure that customers, clients, and suppliers see a professional workspace, rather than someone's living area. You may want to have a separate entrance or even a separate structure for your business, if possible.
  • Answer your phone in a professional manner. If your home and business phone line are one and the same, you don't necessarily have to answer with your business name; a dignified "hello" is sufficient. The same principle applies to your answering machine message. If you can't answer your phone personally, you don't want potential customers, clients, or suppliers hanging up because they think they have the wrong number or because they're turned off by your message.

As a home business owner, you must be able to rely on your good reputation when you're dealing with customers and clients. Customers and clients who are happy with your service or products can get you more business through their good recommendations. If your customers and clients are not happy with you, while they may not bad-mouth your business, they're certainly not going to recommend it either!

A few simple steps will go a long way in fostering good client and customer relations:

  • Deliver what you promise, whether it's a product or a service or a combination of the two.
  • Don't promise more than you can deliver. Let your customer or client be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed.
  • Deliver your product or service in a timely manner. If you don't deliver on time, chances are you won't get paid on time!

If you need suppliers in order to run your business, you will want to create a relationship with them based on good faith and trust. Pay your bills on time! This simple act will foster a good relationship between you and your suppliers and they will be there when you need them to go the extra mile for you. If you need an order delivered right away or you need credit with another supplier, they'll be happy to vouch for you. If your suppliers provide you with reliable, timely service, you can provide your customers and clients with the same.