The pandemic pushed businesses to let go of their rented office space and transfer their business operations at home. Because of this, a lot of them have to use their residential address when corresponding with clients and customers. This, however, puts their privacy in jeopardy. While using your home address as a business address is the most practical and economical way right now, it sacrifices your privacy and maybe even your safety.
There is also the matter that your business sounds unprofessional when you use your home address. Your customers will start to question how invested you are in your business if you cannot even rent a space for it. And in the worst-case scenario, disgruntled clients and customers (that happens even to the best companies) may put your life and your family’s life at risk when they visit your home because of a complaint or a failed negotiation.
Obtain Another Address
There are three ways to keep your home address private when running a business from home. The first one is to get a P.O. box address, which means that you have to routinely go to the postal office to pick up your mail. No one needs to know your home address since they’re going to use the postal office box address you will provide.
The second method is through a virtual mailbox. This service allows you to receive all mail and packages online. You have the option to have the letters scanned, so you can decide if they will be thrown out or forwarded to you. Only the service provider will know your address.
Finally, the third method is the use of email. If you go paperless, which is great for the environment, you do not have to use your home address to receive billings, contracts, order forms, and many others. You can opt for this only when all business transactions can be done via email.
Make Separate Emails
Never use your personal email address to transact with your customers and clients. Make a separate business email that you will use solely for business transactions. Never publish your personal email address, and do not give it even to your most loyal customers. They do not have to know your personal email.
When you sign up for a business email, do not use your personal information such as your birthday and place of birth. Rather, come up with a “persona” for your business. Use this information to sign up for an email address, as well as for social media accounts.
Never Use Your Personal Number
You’re already saving a significant amount of money by not renting space. You can get a separate phone line for your business. It doesn’t have to be a fancy phone or one of those unlimited plans worth more than $100 a month. You can get the most basic of plans. As long as you have credit to make and receive calls, you will be fine.
You can also look at using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) like Google Voice. This technology will allow you to use your internet connection instead of a regular phone. This is different from using a messaging platform such as Viber and Telegram because VoIP comes with a real telephone number. You can use this when you need to publish your phone number such as in the Google My Business listing.
Open a Business Bank Account
As a duly registered business, you can open a business bank account. This means you won’t have to provide your home address to the bank. You can use your P.O. box or virtual mailbox address. Even the phone number you are going to provide the bank can be a VoIP number. The important thing is for these addresses and phone numbers to represent your business legitimately.
Separating your bank accounts makes it easier to keep track of your personal and business expenses. This is good for tax filing, inventory, and the balance sheet. You get a better grip of your finances when you see how much or little your business is earning and saving.
Home-based businesses need to be extra prudent when it comes to protecting the owner’s privacy. It is easy to lose track of this detail when you’re so comfortable running the business from home. But remember that you are more than just a business owner. You are your own person, and you may have a family that you need to protect as well. Separating your business from your family life is an obligation.