Starting your own company can be a tireless, isolating endeavor. You’ve probably spent long hours in front of the computer, researching market trends, updating your website, or balancing your accounts. But eventually, every small business needs a team. There are many reasons you might need to meet with people in your home, whether they’re co-workers or employees, clients, or just a network of friends and colleagues whose support you’re hoping to gain for the future of your business. Even if you work out of your home office, you can still hold a work-related meeting. Don’t believe people who tell you that meeting in your home is unprofessional or signals you’re not successful enough for an office – that’s a thing of the past! Now, people want to leave the office and work at home, and the internet has made it a much more common occurrence. If you plan your meeting right, both workers and clients will love combining a professional environment with a personal one.

1. Setting Up Your Meeting

The location in your home where you plan your business meeting will depend on how many people you’re inviting. Remember, if you want to get a strong number of people to show up, send out as many invitations as you can. There will always be a number of cancellations and no-shows. But you might also be focused on just a small group of employees or clients. Make sure you have enough chairs for everyone! That’s one small detail guaranteed to lift your home business meeting to a more professional level. You can arrange them in the den or living room, or even hold your meeting in the backyard if the weather’s nice. If you’re going to be using powerpoint or video, though, make sure you can situate the meeting around the television.

2. Keeping it Professional

Remember first and foremost that this is a work meeting, not a party. Snacks and drinks are a great idea, but don’t go overboard with fancy appetizers and think twice before serving alcohol. You should, however, make sure the house is clean and as empty of distractions as you can make it. You probably don’t want children or dogs running in and out of your meeting, if it’s possible to avoid that. You should have a set schedule of exactly what you want to talk about at the meeting, but you should leave a little room for people to ask questions or bring up other topics. If you’re marketing a product, you should always have samples available, both for clients and for employees and colleagues, so they can understand the business better. Also, as professional as you are aiming to be, you should also be able to joke and set a relaxed mood – too much seriousness or an aggressive sales attitude will turn people off.

3. Other Things to Consider

If you’re inviting a large number of people, always think about where they’re going to park and make suggestions for parking part of the invitation. If you can, put your own vehicle in the garage and free up space in your driveway. You should also make sure you can accommodate any clients with special handicaps or or needs you should consider. And make sure you know exactly who you are inviting to your home. The attendees of your home business meetings should be people you’ve already established a professional or personal relationship with or people with a credible reputation, just for your own safety.
Running a business from your home can be much easier than you think as long as you can keep your work and home lives separate. But giving your business that fun, at-home touch can work in your favor. Letting workers and clients into your home is a great way to make a first impression, and it can make you feel empowered to take on both your personal brand and your professional future.
About the Author
Sara Randall writes for where you can find out more about developing effective work environments.