When you run a business, you need to be easily contactable by your customers. That’s why every business website has a contact page with an email address, physical address, and phone number. But this can present privacy issues if you run your business from home. Do you really want to put all of your personal details online for anybody to see? If somebody has an issue with your business, you don’t want your private life to be involved in that.
A lot of new business owners don’t consider this problem when they start operating from their homes and it causes problems further down the line. If you run a home business, here are a few measures you can put in place to protect your privacy.
Choosing A Business Entity
Separating your business and personal life is the best way to improve your privacy and reduce your risks. This all starts with choosing the right business entity. When the business is registered as an LLC instead of you being registered as a sole trader, you have a degree of separation from it and it’s easier to protect your private information.
The easiest way to protect your privacy is to use a separate business email address, but you probably already know that. However, people often make mistakes with their business email, which can compromise their privacy. Don’t use anything that gives away personal details, like numbers that are included in your birthdate, for example. Make sure that you keep a clear divide and never give your personal email out to clients. Business owners often make the mistake of thinking this is a good way to forge a personal connection and show them that you are prioritizing them, but it only leads to privacy issues later on as the line between your business and personal lives is blurred.
Giving out your home address is one of the biggest issues where privacy is concerned. But if you run your business from home, what other address can you give? In this case, it’s best to use a physical mailing address service. You pay a monthly fee and you will get a real mailing address that you can put on your website. Any post will be sent there and then forwarded to you via a virtual mailbox, which makes it much easier to manage your post. This is a great solution because it allows you to maintain your privacy and it also gives you a professional-sounding address to use instead of using your home address, which can put some people off.
Putting your own phone number online isn’t a great idea either, but there are some easy ways around it. Get a second phone that you use solely as a business phone. You can even get smartphones that allow you to use two SIMs on one phone and seamlessly switch between the two, so you don’t actually need to carry two phones. If you are still concerned about putting your phone number online, you can use free VOIP services that redirect to your phone. That way, people can contact you but you don’t need to put your phone number online for everybody to see.
Taking these simple steps will help you protect your privacy if you run a home-based business.