Any Questions?

Maintain a Professional Business

10. Will I be taken seriously as a professional if I operate my business from home?

Absolutely-as long as your Web site, letterhead, other print materials and your telephone manner all communicate professionalism. Most important is your own attitude. If you're confident about working from home, others are apt to pick up on that optimism. They'll also pick up on any insecurity you have. You don't usually have to tell people where you work, as in your home or a building-a city or area is sufficient.

11. I'd love to work for myself but don't like to sell. Is there any hope for me?

People often associate selling with cold calls, high-pressure sales or method approaches taught by sales gurus-the sort of tactics you'd likely experience if you were buying a car. In reality, successful people find ways to market themselves that are molded to their personalities. Some are good at one-on-one contact, so they network in organizations; others aren't and may develop a few key referral relationships that can keep them busy. With conceivably dozens of ways of marketing your business, your task is to seek out those that complement you and your business in the best way.

12. Can you really make money stuffing envelopes?

We've been asked this hundreds of times every year for almost 20 years, and the answer is still a resounding no. All of the plans we've seen for stuffing envelopes work something like this: you place material into envelopes that explains to other people how they can send money to find out how to make money stuffing similar envelopes. Automated machinery and workshops do all the real work of the envelope-stuffing business.

13. Does every business really need a Web site?

We say yes, even for local service businesses, because many (very soon, most) consumers look on the Web before they look in the Yellow Pages. So even if your Web site is only an "electronic brochure" that tells people about you and what you do, having a Web site is in the best interest of your business.

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Any Questions?.

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