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.

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.

Winning in the Financial Services Industry is a Lot Like Making the Money in the First Place

In turbulent economic times, working in the financial services industry can be quite challenging. Even when recovery is on the way investors are sketchy, fearful and almost hostile towards anyone in the industry. Although it’s not easy to win during such a global economic crisis as a financial services professional, it is possible, let me explain:

You know money is a lot like winning. If you don’t care about it, you’ll never have any. Any money. Or any wins. If you are a financial services consultant or sell financial products you might wish to make a note of it. If the financial company you work is having difficulties in this market, it can become a catch-22 if you do not do it right.

For instance, you need to make money to live well, but if you sell people financial products that are not appropriate you’ll lose your way for violating your integrity. Thus, you have to think of it this way; You must make money, by making other people money, or make money by saving people money.

Therefore you are doing a valuable service for them, and thus, YOU deserve the money you make. And if you are successful in your services to help them make money, you will get referrals and have no trouble asking for referrals, because? Well, because you have earned them and YOU deserve the money you’ve made.

Many financial firms have quotas, and since that type of sales is a numbers game you have to obviously focus on the number of folks you get in front of and talk to. I suppose they already told you that you need to see X amount of people a day, week, month, to meet your goals.

All goals should be broken into sub-goals and you must treat the sub-goals as important as the main-bigger goal. Always remembering “service first” in other words YOU resolve to help people make money or keep more of the money they make.

Maybe to help you in this dilemma, set your goals to how much money you saved or helped grow for other people and set that goal in the millions of dollars per week or month? Whatever number that should correspond to your firms goals.

If you find you cannot make people money, say due to the economic situation, consider how much you saved them from losing now, and as the economic factors shift how much money you grew their portfolio, investment (s), etc. If you find a better way to make them more money on their money or grow their nest egg with a different firm, then quit and work for the better company.

This will give you a strong personal conviction in what you are doing. You must have PURPOSE to win, (participation without purpose is not noble, it’s just busy work) a reason and one which matches your personal character.

If you had a low personal character or integrity value, then you’d need to go take care of that prior to focusing on making money, otherwise you will set yourself adrift towards a dead end. Think of it like Niagara Falls, it’s important to know it’s there, just don’t go over it.