Spousal Support

Something To Hide?

While homebased businesses have mushroomed in recent years, some clients still question the professionalism of a homebased office. So should you reveal you're homebased?

It depends. In many cases, the nature of the business determines whether you should trumpet your homebased status. Customers also play a role: Consumers tend to be less concerned about working with homebased firms, while large companies may find it disturbing.

Beatriz T. Halbert, co-owner of The Sequoia Group Inc., an Atlanta facility operations and maintenance company, worked from home for three years. During that time, she never revealed her company's location.

"My research indicated [my clients] were interested in outsourcing to small companies, but they were uncomfortable outsourcing to a [homebased business]," Halbert says.

Parents of young children often find revealing the nature of their site is unavoidable. "Clients may call when a child is nagging me, so I always tell them I have a home office," says Judith Lederman, owner of JSL Publicity and Marketing Inc. in Irvington, New York.

Many entrepreneurs take the middle ground. "The larger businesses I work for may or may not know I work from home," says Pam Paris, owner of Paris Graphics, a computer graphic design firm in Hanover, Maryland. "I don't hide it, but if it doesn't come up, I don't broadcast it, either."

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