Starting a Home Business Service – Tips

With so many people having lost their jobs in recent months, home businesses in the service industry has become a rapidly growing trend. As regular 9 to 5 positions are becoming harder to find, having a home business service is increasing in popularity. It is becoming more and more attractive as the start up cost and overhead is very low when compared to a brick and mortar service business.

If you have been thinking about using your talent to start a home business service, and you feel that you are ready to commit to providing a home business service, then read these tips to help you get started.in the right direction.

First I would like to clarify what a home business service actually is.

A home business service is performing a service or task that will help other people with tasks they either don’t want to perform or are unable to perform on their own. A service business supplies the solution to a need and can include anything from walking a dog to figuring out a clients taxes. Virtual assistants have become a very popular service that is provided from home.

I’m not going to cover the benefits of having a home business as it is already common knowledge, I am sure that you already know what your reasons are for wanting to work from home and why.

Getting Started:

1. Set Up a Home Office

Getting a home office set up for your home business service is one of the first things that needs to be done. Getting a business phone is an important part of selling a service as you will need to be able to communicate with clients. If this is out of the question because of your budget, at the moment, get a business line added to your home phone as soon as you can.

You will need a separate office space from the rest of the house, especially if you are planning to have clients come to your home.

2. You Will Need a Website

You not only need a computer, which I assume you already have since you are reading this article, but you will also need a website. A website will be the gateway for your business in your local area. It is imperative to develop an online presence for your business. The Yellow Pages are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and the cost of running an ad in the Yellow Pages is often beyond many entrepreneurs financial means while in the start up process.

Having a website is much more effective than the Yellow Pages as you can get it up and listed in days, while you have to wait for the next publication of the Yellow Pages to be printed. Also, more and more people are going online to find local services and businesses than are looking in the Yellow Pages. Finding a listing on the web is faster and more current that the phone book.

3. Research Your County Laws

You will need to know the legalities for registering your home business service and for any zoning restrictions that may be applicable for a home business in your neighborhood.. Every county in every state has different laws and ordinances. The county clerk may be able to help you with this information or will at least be able to direct you to the right place to get it.

4. Get a Business License

You can usually pick one up at either the county court house or the county clerk’s office.. The license won’t cost you anything, but once your business is started it will be subjected to a different tax structure.

I am not a tax attorney and cannot offer any advice on the tax exemptions for your state or with the Federal government. What I can tell you, is that you will be allowed more exemptions that you are getting now for using your home for your business. You can get more information online at http://www.irs.org.

5. Set Up a Business Plan and Set Goals

Having a home business service can develop into a very lucrative business. Be sure to have a definite business plan strategy worked out that is measurable and that you can use as a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly guide. Remember to set goals that can be achieved. Set your beginning goals in small time frame increments. Cross them off your list when you have achieved them and then add bigger goals to strive for.

6. Advertise Offline and Online

Get some business cards made to hand out to everyone in your neighborhood that you come in contact with. You never know when the service you are providing will be needed in the community. You can get business cards free online at Vista Print.com. You only pay the shipping which is about $6.00

Print fliers with details of the service you are providing and remember to Include your website URL and your home phone number. Pay a high school kid in the neighborhood to pass them out for you.

Put fliers and business cards up on bulletin boards at grocery stores, liquor stores, apartment buildings, laundromats, the post office, and any other place you can think of that will allow advertising.

Offer a free gift with your home business service. Vista Print often has promotions for free advertising venues such as tote bags, post cards, refrigerator magnets, etc.

Place small ads in local newspaper and free press newspapers. Place ads on web sites such as Craig’s List, eBay, and USFreeAds. Be sure to list your home business service with Google Local Directory so that you will be placed on their Goggle business map for your area.

Use viral marketing, email marketing and article marketing online to get people to your website. Submit a press release about your new business both off line and online. There are several free sites you can submit to. Do a Google search to find them. Until you begin receiving clients, spend all of your scheduled work time marketing your home business service both online and offline.

Once you start receiving clients it can be very difficult to manage your work time, your marketing time and your family time. Plan accordingly. Schedule business tasks that need to be done daily between time spent with clients. Set a limit as to when the work day will end in order to spend time with the family. I hope these few tips will give you a place to start in getting your home business service off the ground and running.

Break the Mold in the Service Industry – Let Products Enhance Your Services

It is time for some out of the industry thinking in order to seriously break the mold in the service industry. Think about the service that you currently or are planning to offer. Then think about what products you could create or obtain legal rights to that would enhance your services? It may be hard to wrap your head around. Here is an example to simplify this concept and to get you thinking.

A landscape architecture firm provides drawing sets and consulting services to a wide variety of clients- from individual residences to cities to developers creating new community developments. Let’s say this particular firm focuses on the individual residence. The landscape architect builds a quality relationship with a client base over the years. But as the years go on, in order for the landscape architecture firm to continue to function, new clients must be added. The lifespan of individual residences is fairly low, typically one residence per client.

In order to keep the clients interested in the firm, the landscape architect produces a newsletter with updates, tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy yard, and new promotions. The new promotions may be a seminar series in which the landscape architecture firm teaches a group of its clients the best tips on gardening. The company may also create a manual as well as a book showcasing projects that will be sold at the retail level as well as used as a marketing tool. To take it one step further, the company could also take a custom designed set of furniture for one of its clients, redesign it to make it a unique, and license and protect that design. The company could then joint venture with a manufacturer to build the furniture and then sell it through catalogs or at boutique stores.

The idea here is to take what you already do and turn it into another source of income. The furniture becomes an asset for the company in which they receive income each month from the sales of that product. Whether the company sells its services, they are still earning money from their licensed furniture.

Communication In Business Services Firms

Good communication in business services firms can make or break a sale. When you market your company and services, the only thing a prospective client cares about is what you will be able to do for them. Clearly communicating that with them isn’t as simple as displaying a list of services. It involves give and take and a thorough understanding of the prospects in your marketplace.

To apply the principles of good communication, you can start by learning as much as you can about your prospects. Understand their desires and their pain. Identify their needs and prepare for your meetings accordingly.

You can anticipate generic problems that your prospect might have, not just company specific ones or problems inherent in the industry. Your client expects you to be ahead of that curve. If you are pitching a new service to an existing client, can you communicate how you might help the customer become an internal problem-solver or address pandemic challenges. You can actually help transform your client’s liability into an asset through quality communication.

In some industries clients might be afraid that they’re not working with the newest equipment, or perhaps they feel they can’t increase product production speed and efficiency. Another fear that clients experience is the fear of lagging behind, not being able to match their competitors or serve their customers with the best products or services. There could be a fear that they won’t be able to apply state-of-the-art information systems, improve client communications, or have a market-savvy web site. These fears can be allayed by offering the value of your perspective along with open, clear communication.

Another difficulty common in sales situations may be the need to overcome hidden decision making. This is an excellent example of the need for communication in business services firms. A firm’s strategy must include a systematic approach to finding out what the decision makers won’t reveal on their own. Do you know who is the real buyer of the service or product you are selling? Who is the real user? When are the decision maker and the person the company sent to the sales meeting actually the same person? Having clear communication with your sales team and with your prospects will alleviate the tangle that can result from the absence of this information.

The way you sell products and services should directly reflect the way you work internally. Where it’s appropriate, you may want to propose regular meetings with your team and include budget reviews as items on the agenda. Likewise, you’ll want to make the buyer feel just how assiduous you are in keeping them aware of what is happening and how much it is costing. This level of communication is uncommon in business services firms, but it can make or break the future of your client relationships. Your investment in communication will translate directly to your bottom line.

Break the Mold in the Service Industry – Create a Sense of Mission Which Drives the Company

The service industry is one where competition is high and fierce. Start-ups are fairly low in part because the majority of work is dependent upon the entrepreneur selling his or her skills. One major problem is that companies offering very similar or the exact same services often times are weakly differentiated when it comes to what they offer. They may state that their service is superior over their competition. What does this really mean? Having that as the separation between you and your competition will only make it harder to win the contract.

Companies that are recognized for their innovation, creativity, and passion are ones that have a sense of mission. It is not enough to just have a mission statement where you state your goal of the business. These days, you have to win people’s trust on a global scale. How do you do that? Find something that you and your company want to fight for. Whether it is to improve the environment, help the orangutans, or end starvation, your company must be driven through that sense of mission. By doing this, you set the company apart from the competition immediately. It is also clear why you are in business- and it is not just for the money.

A great example of this is Tesla Motors. They are a new auto-maker started in Silicon Valley. The company’s mission is to make exotic, super cars that have zero impact on the environment. They are out to prove that electric cars can be just as powerful, if not more powerful than their gasoline cousins. Through this sense of mission, people who want an alternative to gasoline vehicles and believe in helping the environment and understand the company’s stance on environmental issues. This creates a connection between the company and customer. As the company further markets their stance on the environment and how their products help it, people will start to believe more in the company and be more willing to purchase their products.