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Licensed Gas contractor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after 4+ years in business I had my first encounter of a customer showing up at my house to pay his bill. While it was nice he didn't want to waste a stamp it still concerned me. So after having my home address for my business on my invoices, I went out and got a mailbox at a local mailbox place. I'm glad he came to pay a bill and was not some upset customer, although I don't have any of those.
 

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Yeah what's the problem? Is your home embarrassing?
 

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Inner10 said:
Yeah what's the problem? Is your home embarrassing?
I once drove to a subs "shop" and it was his house. He talked like he had a commercial space so I assumed he did. When I realized it was his personal residence, I called ahead. Did your customer show up unannounced, that would bother me if I worked out of the house.
 

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I understand you wanting to keep business and personal separate.... especially if you are a volume type "call in" business.

You may very well work for people you do not know, or know on a very short term basis.

(My work does not happen to be a volume type business...,., and I would have no problem with it) (A call in advance would be a nice courtesy)
 

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I once had a potential customer ask why my address wasn't on my business card as if I was hiding. I do have my address on invoices and estimates.

It wouldn't bother me if my payment was hand delivered to my home. While I won't waste space for an address on my business card I do think people would be reluctant if no address or a P.O. box is given.

My customers wouldn't deliver to my house though. I'm usually paid before the job is completed and some just transfer money into my bank account.
 

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Wouldn't bother me, though I would prefer they call first. How else will they know I would like them to grab me a cheeseburger on the way over. :thumbsup:

Besides, if you house is decent and you've done some nice work on it, it can be a great way to get more work.
 

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I have had customers come to my home many times in the last---- oh say almost 30 years.

I don't have much of a problem with it------- but I do think a customer showing up UN-announced on a Sunday is over the line.

all in all ,however---- you can't have it both ways----- you can't do business from your home, put your address on your paper work----and then object to customers going to that address wanting to do business.

in all that time--- I think only one person crossed a line with me. I had roofed his house maybe 5 years previously---- installed what was at the time 40 year shingles( same shingles later became "50 year shingles---and then a few years later magically were designated as lifetime shingles)---------------
anyhow I had roofed his house 5 years previously
then we had a hailstorm
he wanted an inspection( along with everyother customer I had had over the previous generation)
so---- following the hailstorm---since all these people were my family,friends,neighbors,fellow parishoners etc.--- I was doing my absolute best to take care of EVERYONE----- at that time I was getting up at 4:00AM---working in the office at home untill 6:00 am or so- then going out to work rooftop from 7 to 4 or so----and then inspecting roofs from 4 untill dark------------ so on the day I had scheduled to come look at his situation----- he came over and parked on the street next to my driveway to see if I came home in the afternoon----- he spent 3 hours parked by my driveway( as my wife tells me) in case I came home first before going to his house............. what he thought that was going to accomplish, I don't know.

Stephen
 

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Licensed Gas contractor
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not embarrassed the least bit of my house. I live in a very nice neighborhood and the house and yard are taken care of very well. In fact he may have thought, "This is why he charged me so much." I have had other businesses in the past and always used a mailbox place, no PO Box. I just like to keep my personal space as mine without customers coming along. Granted it was only just this once, but I wonder if any others have come by but not stopped. Oh well.

What I have now is a real address, not a PO Box. Of course if anyone wants to stop by they can have a nice chat with the guy that owns the place, if they stop during business hours.
 

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I think if your home is going to be your business location then you have to assume people can come to your business. Fronting it with a PO Box in my mind just creates questions in prospects minds....are these guys legitimate???

Rod
Blue Sky Glass of Bellevue
I don't front my business with a PO Box, I have to use a PO box or the post office returns my mail.

Not everyone using a PO Box is trying to hide something.
 

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I don't front my business with a PO Box, I have to use a PO box or the post office returns my mail.

Not everyone using a PO Box is trying to hide something.
PO boxes are pretty much the norm in my parts. No one really seems to care or think it's shady, but I am in a fairly small community so it is easy enough for someone to check and see if you run a reputable business.

I don't even have a mailbox at my residence, if I did it would have to be on the road a couple hundred yards from the house. Have a separate PO Box for business and personal.
 

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Ive always run the business out of my house and my father before me..Had someone pull up to my house a while back looking for my showroom. Guess i have the appearance of a big business even though im just a tiny operation.
 

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I don't like customers coming to our shop, yet alone to my house. Its a distraction for everyone in the office. Most of them come by just to linger, say hi and turn a necessary 10 minutes into a 2 hour story time and operational critique.. The other problem is soliciters from suppliers dropping by. I find that annoying. We have a mailbox that we use, the real shop address is very well hidden.
 

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I don't like customers coming to our shop, yet alone to my house. Its a distraction for everyone in the office. Most of them come by just to linger, say hi and turn a necessary 10 minutes into a 2 hour story time and operational critique.. The other problem is soliciters from suppliers dropping by. I find that annoying. We have a mailbox that we use, the real shop address is very well hidden.
I hate reps.
 

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I hate reps.
Working out of my house has made a huge difference with having to deal with all the sales guys who would always stop by at my partners old business. I'll get the random flier with machine specs hanging on the mailbox sometimes but don't have to deal with someone wanting to sell me something and bs for 10 minutes. Pretty nice!

We only get checks typically once a month from customers and don't deal with residential so I'm sure it's pretty different for us to use my home as the office.
 

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wouldnt bother me one bit.....actually id prefer ALL my customers hand deliver their invoices to my house!!!

id worry about the angry customers instead....i have been worried one would show up...i get 1 or 2 nuts a year......

Does your State have the Castle law???
 
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