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Old 01-23-2011, 10:30 PM
windah windah is offline
 
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Default People coming to your house

Hi

What do you guys say to a customer that wants to drop a pc / laptop off at your "shop" when you are working from your house?

There's a couple of reasons I don't want people coming round, firstly I'm set up in an area that you need to come right through the house to get to. Strangers traipsing through my house isn't something I want.
Secondly, we have recently got a dog (bull terrier) he's really soft but is very protective of his home and family, thus turns into a mad man when a stranger comes to the door.

The reason I ask, is that someone contacted me re: a laptop issue, he wanted to drop it off, I told him that I was mobile and he kinda didn't want to know.. If a bunch of people have the same attitude, I'm more or less dead in the water before I even start.

Cheers
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:37 PM
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I routinely have people over to my house and haven't had a problem yet. My situation is a bit different than yours... I have no dog, and I usually let people in through my garage; my office is the first thing you see when you come in, so no trampling through the house.

As for the mentality of it.. most of my customers drop off their computers. I do charge extra to go to their home first off... secondly, I prefer they drop it off because I am more efficient when all of my "tools" are available, and I can work on more than one machine at a time.

Sincerely,
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:54 PM
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I'm working on a drop-off program. We're planning on enclosing our front porch and turning that into an official location, separated from the rest of the house. In the meantime, we have two Jack Russell dogs, young and friendly. So far, everyone has loved them and they're fairly well-behaved but I still want to make business vs. personal more distinct.
I don't mind them coming by. My house is kept clean; my workbench is in sight of the door and I don't keep valuables in sight. Still, the goal is simply a greater delineation.

Edit: And I've got business insurance.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:16 AM
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I ran my computer repair and website development business from my home for 6-7 years. It was pretty convenient for most of that time. But then about 3 years ago I started to get really, really busy (a great problem to have). People were stopping by my house at all hours to drop off computers or chat about their website projects. It became disruptive when trying to eat dinner or put the kiddos to bed. Then I decided it was time to seperate home life from work life. I am glad I did it, but it is so much more expensive to have a brick-and-mortar shop. So, working from your home is a fantastic place to start out.

An issue you must, in my opinion, is insurance. Get that squared away in case your dog decides he/she doesn't like one of your clients, they trip and fall, blame you for lost data, etc. Protect your ass(ets).
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:30 AM
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I second checking on insurance. My insurance agent told me that my homeowners insurance probably wouldn't cover someone coming to my house because it was business related. I would need some kind of business insurance and even then it there could be some issues if anything ever happened.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:38 AM
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I get really nervous with dogs and the clients, you just never know. Even though you know your dog won't bit or attack, there are those times that the dog may not like the feel of the client. I would be very leary.

When I home officed, I put my dog in the bathroom when a client came over and I really didn't like that anyway as I smoke and with clients in the house, I worried of the smell. Back then I didn't smoke in the house, but it bothered me anyway. I also didn't like clients seeing my home.

I would opt to meet them, no clients in the house. Did it for 6 months, got a shop after I had 5 computers in the house, that was enough for me to get an office and I have had 3 now. I keep outgrowing or moving around.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:02 AM
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I will never allow people to my house for one reason, and one reason only.

L I A B I L I T Y

If a customer trips over my sprinkler system, they can sue me.
If a customer trips over my stair, they can sue me.
If a customer feels I should have exit signs, they can sue me.
If a customer needs handicap access, they can sue me.

I don't know about you guys, but I don't like being sued. It's always best to rent a cheap office where the property owner has liability insurance.

Other reasons also include the professional aesthetic of it. I'm trying to build a brand, not a Mom & Pop shop, so for now I'm "In-Home" only, meaning I go to my clients.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:29 AM
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When someone asks if they can drop off equipment, I tell them that I am "strictly a mobile service" and am not home during the day anyway as I am "busy servicing clients". I will always encourage to meet them at either their house/business or another suitable location.

I agree with JosephLeo... LIABILITY is a key issue with me. The other is PRIVACY for my family as well as my personal life.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
If a customer trips over my stair, they can sue me.
Doesn't homeowner's insurance cover that??

Quote:
What do you guys say to a customer that wants to drop a pc / laptop off at your "shop" when you are working from your house?
My living room looks like a repair shop. No couches or pictures or anything like that. I basically sacrificed it for my business. I only take drop offs by appointment so that gives me time to make sure everything is presentable with my business sign by the steps, etc.

There are more and more lawyers who work out of their homes these days. In my area there's a "music school" and a "dog kennel" that are home based.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegEdit View Post
Doesn't homeowner's insurance cover that??


My living room looks like a repair shop. No couches or pictures or anything like that. I basically sacrificed it for my business. I only take drop offs by appointment so that gives me time to make sure everything is presentable with my business sign by the steps, etc.

There are more and more lawyers who work out of their homes these days. In my area there's a "music school" and a "dog kennel" that are home based.
Home Owners does not cover "business" accidents, and the first thing someone will say is they were dropping off their computer to be repaired.
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