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SOHO advantages outweigh

The benefits of working from home far outweigh any negatives, says Draw Card Design Group partners Ken and Dixie Cawthorne.

The couple run a graphic design and print management business from two offices in their residence in Dianella.

Three contract designers work from their own homes nearby, as do their photographer and web designer.

Mrs Cawthorne said, while the company was “experiencing boom times”, they were reluctant to move their business to commercial premises.

“Our clientele list covers a broad cross-section from SOHO businesses to high profile government departments – testament to the fact that quality and service does not have to come with executive offices and exorbitant pricing,” she said.

Mr Cawthorne said there was no longer a stigma attached to working from home.

“Clients appreciate that it keeps overheads low and prices down,” he said.

“Our clients are too busy to visit a plush showroom anyway.

“They prefer us to meet with them in their premises and being based centrally in Dianella means I can get to clients anywhere in the metropolitan area within a short period of time.”

The Cawthornes are an example of the growing number of business people choosing not to move into commercial premises for a range of reasons – be they financial, family or lifestyle.

The Small Business Development Corporation has estimated one in every five businesses are currently operating from home premises.

Mr Cawthorne said today’s home businesses relied heavily on technology for their smooth operation.

“You need to be able to be contacted easily so separate phone lines for business phone, fax and email are a must, along with a mobile phone for when you are out on the road,” he said.

“It’s also very important to keep abreast of current affairs and industry news so we subscribe to many publications, including Business News,” Mrs Cawthorne said.

The Cawthornes said networking was crucial for home-based businesses.

“Join at least one business association and attend as many functions as possible,” Mrs Cawthorne said.

“Presenting a professional image is also paramount. Never leave home without business cards in your pocket – you’d be surprised where and when you might need one,” she said.

Even Branson, their three year old son and ‘junior designer’, has his own business cards and matching company shirt – all produced by Draw Card, naturally.

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