Learning how to start a service business requires extensive planning, research and resources. Some businesses sell electronics, furniture or supplies, while other types of businesses sell services that are in demand, specialized and/or necessary. There are many additional factors to consider while planning your service business. Even though you are not necessarily "selling" a tangible asset, you are in essence selling yourself and your skills to potential consumers.
Examples of Service Businesses
- Dog walking services
- Tax Services
- Party Planning services
- Design services
- Lawn services
After deciding on the type of service that you are qualified to offer, you should consider ways to make your service unique and marketable. Not all services seem necessary: party planning, design services, dog walking, etc. In order to remedy your consumer's misconception with your service business, strive to offer your clients something unique, they aren't able to do themselves, or possibly don't have the time to do themselves.
Planning and Preparation
Planning is the first step to understanding how to start a service business. Just like any other business pursuit, you will need to plan your budget, resources, ability, time and monetary situation.
The resources you will need to start a service business are dependent upon your specific type of service. But, some of the general resources you will need to start a service business are:
- Office space/home office
- Capital/financial backing
- Tools and supplies specific to your service
- Fax machine
- Business phone system
- Accounting services
- Software and computer needs
Planning your business is necessary to ensure a successful income, budget and business scope. If you don't have experience with this, visit Writing A Business Plan to find more information on writing your business plan.Writing the actual planning document is only part of preparing your service business. Some of the other initiatives to consider when learning how to start a service business include:
- The type of business you want to own: Minority business, LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.
- Paperwork required to start your business
- Budget estimates
- Hours of Operation
- Business name/identity
- Extent of services offered
- Services beyond your ability
- Long-term business goals
Pricing Your Service Business
Determining your service business fee, is somewhat complicated and will need to be calculated depending upon a number of factors, including but not limited to:
- Price of tools used
- Hourly wage
- Price of wear and tear on car/person/clothing/etc.
- Level of difficulty
For more information on how to calculate the price of your business services, visit Calculating Freelance Rate.
Advertising, Promotion and Media
Learning how to start a service business will reveal obstacles that involve different types of planning techniques, as opposed to a typical business selling physical products products. In order to ensure your success, consider your prospective client's demographic, ideas, needs and wants. For this reason, marketing ability and/or research is necessary when deciding how to start a service business.
For example, if a consumer needs batteries, they will go to the closest store and purchase batteries, taking little heed to price, proximity and customer service. They need the batteries and they are widely accessible for that reason. A service business typically competes with a vast amount of companies, offering clients something that may not be essential, but beneficial and overall convenient.
Some general things to consider when planning your service business marketing strategy include:
- Customer service
- Customer follow-up media/mailing/e-mail
- Offering incentives
- Communicating to customers
- Your company/service is easy to contact, timely and capable
A service business will require additional resources for advertising purposes. Using the above example: Batteries are a commodity and necessary, but a service business needs to somewhat illustrate to clients the advantages of the service being sold.
Advertising Your Service Business
- Business cards
- List service in online and print business directories
- Advertising companies
- Invest in ad space on local coupon books and magazines
- Outsource copy writers and/or promotional writers
How to Start a Service Business Conclusion
Starting a service business can be similar to starting any other small business in that you have to fill out appropriate new business paperwork, you will need resources and tools, possible office space, office supplies and even professional tax services.
Keep in mind all of the additional initiatives you need to make, while planning and maintaining your service business. Your service business will excel if it exemplifies quality customer service, proper business planning, marketing, advertising, communication and professionalism. Overall, make sure your client's needs are being met and plan your service business around your budget and the target consumer.
Written by Christina Freeman