"I want to start a service business" is something people say when they are to apply their current knowledge and skills to an enterprise. While learning new skills and techniques is a positive step toward enhancing the chances of a successful business, it takes time. This is why using what you already know is the fastest way to get your business up and running.

Things to Consider When Starting a Service Business

When starting a service business, you can tap into the skills you've acquired on the job, through hobbies and interests, and through volunteering. To get the most out of your skills and knowledge, focus on the services you have to offer businesses that need professional talent.

Take advantage of the assets you already have, such as supplies and equipment. Use your personal computer to get the business up and running, set aside a dedicated space in your home to save on the cost of renting office space, and use any extra cash to obtain a business license and initiate advertising of your business. Using what you have on hand will save time and money since you can begin offering your knowledge and talent right away.

Set your business in motion by networking to find clients. Use current and former contacts that include friends, family, former employers, and any organizations where you currently volunteer or have done so in the past. Also, consider using online freelance sites to jumpstart your business. By registering your services, you'll have access to and exposure on their network of customers, who can hire you. This will help you create a business portfolio and garner references for potential clients.

Check with the local agency in your area regarding the required licenses or permits needed for your business. Some types of businesses, such as childcare, financial services, counseling, and pet care, require an occupational license before you can open for business.

Do diligent research on your competition. You'll want to know if you'll be competing against another business with similar products or services. Check review sites and social media for input from customers. This will give you an idea of whether the company is succeeding or doing poorly. Use the information to your advantage.

It's beneficial to create two to four buyer/customer personas that focus on the problems potential customers may need help with. You'd also include information on what motivates these buyers/customers to seek help. For each persona, explain what steps you'll take to solve their problems using your services, outline how your services will help, and outline the reasons why a buyer/customer should choose you over the competition.

Use one of the free online keyword tools to find out what terms people are using to find the of product or service you are providing. Also, create a simple, informative mission statement incorporating those keywords. In the statement, mention what you do for or offer to the specific target audience and how your business will benefit them.

Talk to friends, family members, former co-workers, and former employers that fit your target audience. Ask for input on their needs and if they would pay for services to attain those needs, and if so, how much they would be willing to pay and where they would currently go for such services.

The Basics of Starting a Service Business

The following are the basic steps to get your business started:

  • Choose a business name.
  • Check the trademark to be sure it is not already in use.
  • Consider getting a domain name for your business and setting up a website to promote your business.
  • Register the business name and apply/purchase the appropriate licenses.
  • Create a simple but memorable logo that fit your business.
  • Order business cards and other advertising media such as brochures, flyers, and promotional cards to leave at area shops, cafes, community centers, etc.
  • It is recommended that you open a separate business bank account. This makes it easier at tax time, and if you choose to accept payments online, the account can be linked to participating payment processing sites.
  • Set up a tracking tool for your finances from day one to keep track of profits and expenses.
  • Depending on the type of business, you may need to get or update any certifications as proof of your skills.
  • Speak to an insurance agent to find out if you need coverage.

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