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Talking With Friends And Neighbors About Your Business Opportunity

Jun 3, 2008
Make sure that your family understands what's appropriate to talk about outside of the home business. If you run a residential cleaning business and your kids are running around town telling everyone how filthy Mrs. Harrison's house is, you won't be in business long. Customers may cluck disapprovingly about Mrs. Harrison's housekeeping, but they'll be quick to find a new cleaning service that knows how to keep quiet.

Your family members aren't the only ones who may need some guidance and limits once you set up your home business. Once the chatty neighbors understand that you're home all day, stopping by to say hello seems like such an easy, friendly thing to do. Especially when you first open your business, you'll find many people will stop in to see what you're up to. At first, this will be a great opportunity to get the word out about your product or service. Tell them all about it. Show them your home office or work area. Tell them all about the advantages of doing business with you. Ask them to send business your way.

But you'll also want to mention your hours of operation. Talk a little bit about how busy you are setting up the business. If subtle reminders don't work, don't be afraid to simply say that you have to go work.

If you know that some of your neighbors are leery of having the traffic or noise of a home business in the area, find ways to point out the advantages of having a home business in the neighborhood. For example, having someone around all day is a deterrent to theft and vandalism. Lower crime rates can lead to lower insurance rates. Home businesspeople can help out by letting a dog out when the owner is unexpectedly delayed getting home from their traditional job. A home business can serve as a safe house for school kids who find themselves sent home early from school unexpectedly.

Regarding your neighbors, you'll have the same challenge with the telephone. Friends with time on their hands will give a call just to say hello. Don't be afraid of finding a kind way of letting them know that you are running a business and have things to do.

That said, use your ability to set your own schedule to build those friendships in ways you couldn't when working full-time. Can you take some time for lunch? Invite your chatty friend to come over then or go off to a local restaurant and treat yourselves to lunch. In many cases, business opportunities are all about living a lifestyle that keeps your priorities in order.

Some home businesses have the potential of making neighbors a bit feisty. An automotive body shop or woodworking shop can be noisy for example. You'll want to do your best to keep your neighbors supporting your desire to run a business out of your home.
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