7.28.2008

Anywhere, Everywhere


When I was starting my career in public relations, having an employee or consultant off-site was considered impossible. Even if you had a laptop, it was slow, cumbersome, and you had to plug it into a wall to check your email. Most professionals had cell phones, and conference calls were all-the-rage for keeping in touch with anyone who happened to be out of the office on a business trip. Telecommuters were looked upon suspiciously – like someone just cruising around for an excuse not to be terribly productive.

Today, working from your home office is considered a critical time management tool, and I use it as such. I’ll turn off my ringers for my cell and office phones, turn off the email sound – and the only “co-worker” I’m likely to be interrupted by for a “quick question” is my dog Louis, hopeful that a quick walk or treat is in his immediate future.

Today, with e-mail, intranet, internet, faxing, and overnight delivery, there is literally nothing I cannot do for a client from my home office. Of course there are clients that need occasional face time, and for those folks I’ll make the occasional visit to their offices in whatever city they might be – so far I’ve hit Chattanooga, Tenn., Knoxville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn. and Cincinnati, Ohio for occasional client visits.

Every now and then I’ll run into a potential client who is a little unsure if I can efficiently manage their business off-site. I happily explain to them I can efficiently manage their business even better off-site, because I can stay focused on making their business more profitable, avoid typical office fracas, and have no need for a long lunch break or a back-breaking commute. If they need something immediately – well, I’m just a phone call away.

I’ve led staff meetings and committee meetings on the phone. I’ve delegated administrative tasks via email. I’ve made remote presentations from my computer, and have landed numerous newspaper articles for clients (as far away as Detroit, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire) just for sending a pitch to the reporter from my desktop.

So, if you are feeling nervous about hiring someone that works from their home office, ask yourself this question: are they able to deliver professional results, on time, no excuses?
If you work from home, make sure your clients know you are devoted to making their business better – no matter where you are – and you’ll have plenty of business opportunities, contacts and clients. Everywhere.

"To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane. Then you're truly wireless. – Ted Turner

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