online-business-owner-safety

Safety Tips for the Online Business Owner

Being an online entrepreneur has its perks, like working from anywhere and partnering with clients from all over the world. We might not be locking up a store each night while checking the parking lot for suspicious looking randos, or dealing with unhappy customers showing up to our office unannounced. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have safety issues of our own to think about.

While these certainly aren’t ALL the ways you can look out for yourself as an online business owner, these tips can help keep you safe as you go about your daily life and work. And, you know, just to cover my you-know-what, please note that I’m not an expert in any of this so please do appropriate research as needed.

safety-tips-for-online-entrepreneurs

Hide your home address.

If you do any sort of shipping or email marketing, you’ll have an address out there in the world. While many folks never have an issue with using their home address on return envelopes, email newsletters, and website footers, others have had customers or clients show up to their house thinking it was an office. Awkward turtle, amiright?

In reality, you never truly know who you’re dealing with. Even though it costs you a bit of cash, purchasing a post office or UPS box can shield your address from prying eyes. Of the two, I recommend a UPS box because you email providers like Mailchimp and ConvertKit will accept it as a business address. You can also refer to your UPS box number as a suite number if you so choose. For a few extra bucks a year, UPS will forward all your mail to an address of your choice – a great option if you live inconveniently far from your box’s location.

Another way to shield your home address from prying eyes is to setup a registered agent for your LLC. I won’t get into the ins and outs here, but you can “hire” a registered agent for this purpose, or, if you have an attorney, you might be able to use their office as your registered agent. This will be great in the event that, heaven forbid, you get served legal action papers or some such thing.


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Host Meetings in Public Places.

Even if your business operates one hundred percent online, you’ll likely end up meeting with local clients or collaborators in person from time to time. Unless they’re a real biz bestie, you really shouldn’t host these meetings in your own home. If the relationship goes sour for some reason it would be better if they didn’t know where you lived, not to mention the potential insurance issues if they get injured on your property while there on business.

A great local coffee shop or relaxed café is a much better option for these kinds of fête-à-têtes. If you’re a member of a coworking space, then this problem is already solved. If not, check into your local spaces’ day rates or meeting room reservation fees for hosting “big wigs” or a larger group of people.

online-business-entrepreneur-safety-tips

Be Mindful of Location Settings.

If you don’t have a registered agent listed on your state business documents, then anyone who does a database search can find out where you live. For that reason, it’s wise to be a bit mindful of how obvious it is on social media that you are not at home for the day or off on a vacation. At the risk of sounding like a grandma, you never know who might seize the opportunity to visit your empty home. Heck, isn’t this what a good #latergram’s for anyway?

In my previous home base, I became very mindful of posting where I was in real time after realizing a man who made me feel uncomfortable was showing up at events he thought I might be at… I couldn’t figure out exactly how he knew where I had a booth at this or that market, or how I was connected to someone else throwing a party at a local venue. Once I realized what was going on, I made sure to post my “out and about” content after I was already somewhere else or if I was with other people in a closed environment.

I’m sure the risks of something creepy happening to you are low. But let’s face it – you just never know. These tips are pretty painless ways to safe out there in the online business world, so why not take them?


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Tie up the loose ends of your brand so you can prove your value and attract more customers. Sign up and get started today!


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Finding Confidence in Business

At some point, every entrepreneur feels the effects of “imposter syndrome.” This refers to that moment when we’re hit upside the head by the idea that we are not quite good enough to be doing what we are doing.

Instead of simply repeating “fake it ‘til you make it” to ourselves, let’s do something real about battling self-doubt and boosting our self-confidence.

Find a mentor.

One reason many entrepreneurs struggle to feel confident about what they are doing is because they are often blazing a new trail. Whether creating a new niche or charging for your services for the first time, it can be difficult to keep away the monster of self-doubt.

Working with someone who has been there before and is willing to teach you the ropes is a tremendous asset to building your confidence. A mentor could be someone more experienced than you at business, or even someone in your industry who is not a direct competitor.

The depth of helpfulness and knowledge you can uncover when you get out there and get to know others is truly amazing.


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Tie up the loose ends of your brand so you can prove your value and attract more customers. Sign up and get started today!


Always be learning.

Many entrepreneurs start businesses that have little to do with their formal education. If others question your skills or knowledge, the lack of a degree to back you up can be demoralizing.

However, if you’re actively learning more about your field every single day, you’ll gain a major advantage over those relying on what they learned in a classroom years ago. Plus, a long checklist of books read and courses completed reminds you of how hard you work at being good at what you do.

With countless online resources for learning any skill, it’s just a matter of dedicating the time to take advantage of the education available to us.

Look back on your old work.

It might be cringe-worthy, but every few months you should look back at what you were producing six months to a year ago.

You may wonder why someone was ever willing to pay you for that work. You might even wish you could redo it. Having those reactions is a good thing. Customers happily paid you for something you now feel is inferior and not representative of what you do. That’s growth!

Do this regularly and your eyes will be opened to the results of the incremental progress you make each day in your chosen profession.

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Say “yes” to projects that will stretch you within your legitimate limitations.

Successful entrepreneurs can often point to a project that really tested them. It proved to them that they had what it took to make their business work.

If you’re out there meeting people and getting regular referrals from clients, you’re bound to land a project that will push the limits of your abilities. If you believe you can make it happen for your client, then take a deep breath and get to work.

At the same time, you must be honest with yourself about your skills, time limitations, and infrastructure available to handle the request. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a customer is refer them to someone trustworthy who better suits their needs.

If it’s an honest look at what your business can handle telling you to say “no,” go with that. However, if it’s just fear, then say “yes.” It might just be that turning point in your entrepreneurship story.

Turn your “weaknesses” into strengths.

Oftentimes, it’s the things that seem most like weakness that make us strong competitors in our field. A lack of preconceived notions can lead to innovation. Or, it can make our customers more comfortable with us.

For example, not knowing all the industry jargon of your peers may make you feel inferior when talking to them, but your customer will feel less confused or inadequate talking to you. They might even trust you more!

Teach.

Okay, okay… I know I said I had five things on the list, but here’s a bonus tip: teach someone else. You don’t have to be an expert to help someone learn more about what you do really well. Believe it or not, sharing your knowledge with others actually helps you be better at it yourself!


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Tie up the loose ends of your brand so you can prove your value and attract more customers. Sign up and get started today!