Listening to a podcast of Friday’s Banburyshire Info Business Show has prompted this blog. The conversation between Chris Hogan of OxCopy and Ray Avery of Bloxham Mill Business Centre suggested home workers often have a problem finding suitable venues for meetings.

We work from home and make no secret of the fact.  We have a well set-up office, which means lower overheads and we can keep our travelling time and costs to a minimum.

As copywriters, we work for companies literally all over the UK and overseas, and we are able to work remotely.  We have several long-standing clients who we have never met!  They’re like old friends, yet we wouldn’t recognise them in the street.  In this situation, the meeting problem never arises.

However, when we moved back to Chipping Norton and started to develop our local business, it was clear we were going to need a venue for meetings.  Like many other home workers, we held meetings in coffee shops, hotels and even the odd pub.  We also sometimes take advantage of the facilities at nearby Bloxham Mill Business Centre.

But a couple of years ago, we accidentally discovered the marketing benefits of holding client meetings in our home.  By inviting clients and prospective clients here, we give them a sense of security.  If they have a problem, they know exactly where we are and how to find us.

Some companies are reluctant to use outsource consultants who shroud themselves in anonymity.  Many home workers don’t reveal their address and only use a mobile phone.  How do you know if that person is in Wick or Wolverhampton?  If I was entrusting work to someone, I would want to know where to find them!

So holding client meetings at home works for us.  Our clients come along, sit at the table with a coffee (and the odd biscuit or cake) and it’s business all the way.  We are open and visible and our clients appreciate that approach. They are reassured to see we genuinely are a local business, living and working in the community.

There is a down-side of course.  An at-home client meeting usually means a frantic flurry with the duster and vacuum cleaner and the dog has to be on her best behaviour.  But it’s a small price to pay!

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

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