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A new approach to serving one of the oldest and most basic needs of even the smallest business community, a home based secretarial service can satisfy the entrepreneurial needs of even the most ambitious person!
This is a kind of service business with a virtually unlimited profit potential. Third year profits for businesses of this type, in areas as small as 70,000 persons are reported at $40,000, and more. It's a good idea for a traditional job that's growing in popularity and acceptance.
As for the future, there's no end in sight to the many and varied kinds of work a secretary working at home can do for business owners, managers and sales representatives.
Our research indicates little or no risk involved, with most secretarial services breaking even within 30 days, and reports of some showing a profit after the first week! Your cash investment can be as little as $20 to $50 if you already have a computer/word processor. You can set up, at your kitchen table, make a few phone calls, and be in business tomorrow.
If you don't have a good computer and printer, then you should seriously consider investing your money in a good computer system.
Whatever you do, get the best you can afford. The output of your computer/printer will be your finished product, and the better "more perfect" your finished product, the more clients you'll attract and keep.
As mentioned earlier, you can start almost immediately from your computer desk if you've got a pc. However, in order to avoid fatigue and back problems, invest in a good comfortable chair just as soon as you can afford them. Watch for office equipment sales, especially among the office equipment leasing firms. You should be able to pick up new, slightly damaged, desks and chairs for next to nothing.
When you go to buy paper, visit the various office wholesalers if possible. Buy say 5 or 10 reams (500 sheets) at a time, to get good prices. You need to buy at least 80gram white bond paper, 90 or 100 gram is even better.
In the beginning, you'll be the business - typist, salesman, advertising department, book keeper, and cleaner - so much will depend upon your overall business acumen. Those areas in which you lack experience or feel weak in, buy books or DVDs and enhance your knowledge. You don't have to enjoy typing, but you should have better than average proficiency. Your best bet in selling your services is to do it all yourself. Every business in your area should be regarded as a potential customer, so it's unlikely that you'll have to worry about who to call on. Begin by making a few phone calls to former bosses or business associates - simply explain that you're starting a typing service and would appreciate it if they'd give you a call whenever they have extra work that you can handle for them. Before you end the conversation, ask them to be sure to keep you in mind and steer youò way any overload typing jobs they might hear about.
The next step is "in person" calls on prospective customers. This means dressing in an impressively professional manner, and making sales calls on the business people in your area. For this task, you should be armed with business cards (brochures also help) and an order or schedule book of some kind. All of these things take time to design and print, so while you're waiting for delivery, use the time to practice selling via the telephone. At this stage, your telephone efforts will be more for the purpose of indoctrinating you into the world of selling than actually making sales.
Just be honest about starting a business, and sincere in asking them to consider trying your services whenever they have a need you can help them with. Insurance companies, solicitors, and distributors are always needing help with their typing, so start with these kinds of businesses first.
For your business cards, consider a freelance artist to design a logo for you. I might suggest something in the line of a secretary with pad in hand taking dictation, or perhaps a secretary wearing a Dictaphone in front of a typewriter.
At any rate, once you've got your logo or company design, the next step is your local print shop. Ask them to typeset the business card in the style you want, show them your layout, and order at least a thousand cards.
For your layout, go with something basic. Expert typing services, in the top left hand corner. Dictation by phone, in the top right hand corner. Your company logo or design centerd on the card with something like, complete secretarial services, under it. Your name goes in the lower left hand corner, and your telephone number in the lower right hand corner.
Everybody that you call on in person, be sure to give them one of your business cards. And now, you're ready to start making those in person business sales calls.
Your best method of making sales calls would be with a business telephone directory, and a supply of loose leaf notepaper. Go through the business directory and write down the company names, addresses and telephone numbers. Group all of those within one office building together, and those on the same street in the same block. Be sure to leave a couple of spaces between the listing of each company. And of course, start a new page for those in a different building. Now, simply start with the first business in the block, or on the lowest floor in a building, and number them in consecutive order. This will enable you to call on each business in order as you proceed along a street, down the block, or through a building.
You'll be selling your capabilities - your talents - and charging for your time - the time it takes you to get set up and complete the assignment they give you. You should be organised to take work with you on the spot, and have it back at a promised time; arrange to pick up any work they have, and deliver it back to them when it's completed, and handle dictation or special work assignments by phone. You should also emphasise your abilities to handle everything by phone, particularly when they have a rush job.
Establish your fees according to how long it takes you to handle their work plus your cost of your supplies - workspace, equipment and paper - then fold in a $10 - $20 profit. In other words, for a half hour job that you pick up on a regular sales or delivery call - you should charge $20- $30.
By starting with former employers and/or business associates, many businesses are able to line up 40 hours of work without even making sales calls.
Your basic advertising should be a small ad in the yellow pages, and small adverts in your local papers.
Once you're settled, you can easily expand your market nationwide with the installation of a freephone number, and advertising in business publications. There are also other things you can do to expand your work - telephone answering, mailing address, printing, photocopying, faxing, etc.
The bottom line is to remember in order to achieve total success, you need planning. Plan your initial operation through from start to finish before you even think about soliciting your first customer. Get your operational plan down on paper - itemise your needs, estimate your costs, line up your operating capital, and set forth milestones for growth.
Set profit figures you want to be realising in 3 months ... 6 months ... 1 year ... 2 years ... and 3 years from your business start up date. Learn all you can about the "support systems" involved in operating a profitable business - planning, advertising, selling, book keeping and banking - and continue up to date your knowledge with a program of continuous learning. Do your homework properly, and there's just no way you can fail with a Home Based Secretarial Service.