One of the greatest issues facing home-based businesses and their owners is that of credibility. It’s rarely personal, but clients and companies often hesitate to trust individuals they’ve never worked with before.

Anyone can start a small business, though few can make them succeed, and there’s no guaranteeing that the owner will be reliable, competent or professional. If you are having trouble bringing in clients, you may be suffering from a lack of authority.

Home Based Business

These are seven ways to boost your home business’ credibility and ease the fears of your potential customers.

Have a Professional Website

Nothing screams novice like a poorly designed website. Sites based on basic HTML, with animated images and bright or flashing colors will have people clicking the back button as quickly as possible.

There are so many resources available today that allow anyone to create a professional website, and there’s no excuse not to use them.

Check everything twice for grammar and spelling, publish attractive images and keep the information up to date. Clients will look you up online, so ensure that their first impression is a positive one.

Respond Promptly

If someone sends you an email during business hours, respond on the same day. Always return a phone call or email within 24 hours, unless a call is placed before the weekend.

In order to foster trust, you must first create a positive air of professionalism and enthusiasm. Be polite and courteous, and treat every inquiry like it could be your next big earner because, simply put, it might be. A responsive business shows clients that you are dedicated and will be available to meet their needs.

Gain a Reputation Within The Community

If you can prove that other members of your industry or local area trust you with their business, others will follow.

They may be referred by your clients, or at least recognize their names. Do everything you can to generate publicity and get your business out there.

Talk to the local newspaper, write posts for related blogs and participate in nearby events.

Make Hard Information Understandable

It’s important to show that you know what you’re talking about, but don’t bore your clients either. Practice putting all of the technical terms of your field into context, making them easy to understand for an outsider while still projecting an air of confidence.

Clients love working with experts who are also skilled at public relations, and it’s one more favorable impression that may win you their business.

Gain Certifications and Awards

It’s one thing to call yourself an expert, but it doesn’t mean much. The real value comes from the recognition of others. Take specialized exams in your field to earn certifications, enter competitions and strive for community awards. Prove that you are a true professional with valuable experience, not empty platitudes.

Reach Out with Social Media

As a small, home-based business, your flexibility and personal interactions are your greatest strength. Use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to develop a following and communicate with your customers.

These networks require a different voice than a website. Stay professional, but don’t be afraid to make big announcements and write in a more natural tone.

Offer Surety Bonds

All of the prior suggestions will help your business make a good impression on prospective clients, but they may not be enough to break through their reservations. In these situations, offering a surety bond is a form of insurance that protect clients from businesses that fail to complete a project.

The mere fact that you offer them will be a positive sign for your customers because it shows that you are ready to back up your promises.

After you have worked with clients for some time, you will begin to establish trust and your credibility will build naturally. This is the steep curve that many businesses fail to climb. If you manage to get past it, you will be well on your way to future success.