If you’re particularly skilled at something, you’ve probably considered starting a service-based business to cash in on your skillset. What many people forget about, however, is everything involved in running a service-based business that’s not related to your talents.
As any business owner could tell you, starting a business from scratch is no easy task. It takes hard work, long hours, and a lot of sacrifices. Starting a service business is no different. Sure, you’re proficient at your skill, but what about finding clients? What about managing difficult clients? What about securing start-up costs?
None of this is to say that it’s impossible to start a successful service based business; it’s just going to take some perseverance, diligence, and hustling. Here are a few considerations to make when trying to build a service-based business from scratch.
Find Your Niche
We’ve already established that you’re good at something that you can profit from. But have you contemplated whether or not you’re the only one capable of offering a service based on this skill set? Finding a niche is the first step towards finding success in the service industry.
If you’re skilled in finance, insurance, or real estate you’re in good company, as 58% of these businesses were still operating after 4 years. Don’t be discouraged if these are not your industry, however; just be prepared to work a little harder in other areas where there might be more competition.
The best way to deal with competition is to find a focus within your niche. For example, you might be a skilled computer technician, but so are many other people. However, are you better in one area of computing than others? If so, concentrate on using that skill set as the basis for your startup. If everyone else is fixing Microsoft, you should cater to the Apple crowd.
You need to thoroughly study your intended market to find what’s missing and then focus on that. If you can’t find your unique place in the market, focus on how you can do it better than the next person. Finding or creating your niche isn’t always easy, but it’s essential if you want to avoid failure as a result of being just another member of an already crowded herd.
Make a Plan
It sounds silly to even suggest the idea of starting a business without making a solid business plan, but some people still do it. If you have a complete business plan, you will be twice as likely to succeed as those who jumped straight into a venture without strategizing first.
Your plan does not need to be overly-extensive. Actually, it’s probably better to keep your plan simple at first as you will probably go through several iterations of your business plan even before you open your doors to the public. Accordingly, your plan should be flexible and adaptable.
Furthermore, it’s okay to ask for outside help when creating your business plan. Hire a consultant, talk to people who have done what you’re attempting to do, or run your ideas by friends. Hiring a service like ExCapsa to provide insight into an area of your business plan with which you’d otherwise have trouble can be invaluable. Furthermore, according to CreditRepair.com, chatting with a professional can help you financially, as well. Having an outside perspective will go a long way towards ensuring that your plan is grounded, unbiased, and realistic.
Get Some Clients
You’ve found your niche and you’ve created a great business plan. Now it’s time to find some clients.
Many service-based business owners find it difficult to sell an idea. You’re not selling a product accompanied by shiny marketing and packaging, you’re selling yourself. You need to find a way to convince people to buy into what you’re offering without being able to necessarily demonstrate a physical item. A great way to start is by blogging and by spending time marketing yourself on social media. 72% of adult Internet users browse Facebook, so that’s a great platform to start with.
If social media isn’t your forte, consider blogging. Azazie.com isn’t a service-based business, but they’re a perfect example of using a blog to get their name out there by writing about their past customers to gain new ones.
Find a way to demonstrate to potential customers how satisfied your past customers have been with your services.
Keep Up the Quality
On average, returning and loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. Because of this, it’s especially important that you maintain high-quality services to keep your clients as happy as possible.
The best way to prove your worth to potential new clients is through your track record and reputation. This means that you shouldn’t cut corners with your credibility. Instead, go the extra mile to make your customers pleased and excited to use your service, and don’t sacrifice quality in the name of growth.
Service-based businesses can be among the most rewarding types of organizations to run. By making sure you follow good protocol and planning, it can also be financially successful.
What are some other ways you can grow your service-based company?