The current trend is towards more home-based businesses. They require lower overhead and startup money making them easier for entrepreneurs with limited fund. If you are thinking about starting a home-based service business, here are a few tips for getting started on the right foot.
What is a service business?
Service businesses are those that provide help to others. This can be anything from mowing the lawn to managing business accounts. The basis of a successful service business is one that supplies a need. In your area, it may take some research to discover the top service needs and then figure out which one you can provide.
Benefits of a home-based service business
There are several benefits to running a home-based service business. First of all, you can run the business from your home. Since you already pay a mortgage, utilities and car payments, the only thing you need spend money on now is the equipment for your business. And, running a service that began as a hobby means you already own most of the needed equipment.
Secondly, a home-based service business requires low overhead and startup costs. We alluded to the startup costs above and the low overhead means no employees but you. The key to keeping the overhead low is taking on only as many projects as you can safely and efficiently handle by yourself.
Home-based service business options
As we mentioned, you can usually run these service businesses out of your home. Establishing a website for selling your services lowers the overhead even more and maximizes your profit. With the Internet as your potential customer base, the opportunities are endless for marketing and finding clients. Here are some home-based service options.
Virtual assisting has taken off in a big way in the last ten years. Using a computer, fax machine, telephone, and Internet access, you can perform various administrative duties for large and small companies. You are paid for the work that you do so there is no extra charge for the company. Virtual assisting skills run from transcription to accounting to managing email and company websites.
Transcription by itself can be a profitable venture. Medical offices and businesspeople are always in need of someone to transcribe their audio or video files. It is far easier and less time consuming to record an interview or dictate a medical procedure. Your job will be to turn that file into a document for patient charts and online use by various businesses.
Ghostwriting is the process of writing articles, novels, eBooks and more for an individual or a company. Using your writing talent, you can make a lot of money creating literary works (print and electronic) for others who need them.
Getting started tips
There are considerations before beginning any type of business even a home-based one.
1. Check out the local laws for registering and zoning a home business. Most home businesses require no zoning issues unless you will be meeting clients in your home and posting signs in the yard.
2. Small business tax laws. Now that you are a business, you are subject to different tax exemptions, deductions and payments. Sites like www.irs.gov can give you the information you need.
3. Set up a separate work space at home. This could be as simple as using a spare bedroom or den with a door to keep your work separate. If you rely on the telephone a separate phone line can be added. When a workshop is needed, consider using a garage or purchasing a large outbuilding.
4. Use on and offline marketing methods to find clients. This includes: viral marketing, newspaper and Yellow Pages ads, flyers and direct mailings, email marketing, article marketing, setting up a website and etcetera.
5. Create a schedule to divide time between work and family. Balancing both is hard. Scheduling time and sticking to it means more gets done and no one is slighted.
A home-based service business is an alternative for people who want to know entrepreneurship without spending a lot in upfront costs. If you have a talent and can meet a need, consider a home-based business.