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Home office 101

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Bo Johnson is the chief marketing officer at Financial Independence Group in Cornelius, N.C. In that capacity, he has helped countless advisors improve their marketing and sales efforts. What about advisors with home offices? Johnson says although the company doesn’t have any brochures or packets with information specific to home offices, he does field call from advisors looking for advice.
The first thing, Johnson says, is can they treat their home office like it is their away-from-home office? If the refrigerator and the kids’ video game system will lure them to poor productivity, the home-office setup may not be right for them.
Here’s what else he tells them:

  1. Serenity. “When you’re setting up a home office,” Johnson says, “set it up to avoid distractions.” Get away from the dog, the television, the kids. He recommends getting up, getting dressed and going to work. “Be professional, even in your house.”
  2. Meeting clients. Advisors make their living by meeting prospects and turning them into clients, so they need to have a game plan for appointments. He recommends renting conference room space in an office close by. Johnson knows of several advisors who rent shared office space at low cost.
  3. Professionalism. “Make sure you still do the ancillary things to be professional,” he says. Those include a Web site, e-mail that isn’t [email protected] or or, business phone and fax, scanner, copier, conference call capability and high-speed Internet.
  4. Before any advisor makes the decision to work out of the home, however, Johnson says, “You need to know yourself well enough to know if you can do it. Don’t set yourself up to fail.”


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