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.

Using Business Service Management to Succeed in a Tough Economy

Whether the economy is booming or facing a crunch, one factor plays a critical role in business: IT. In today’s business environment, almost all business activities are tied with the IT department. However, most of the departmental heads have no idea of the impact of complex technology on their respective business processes. Many a times, department heads have no means of identifying and preventing bottlenecks within applications so that end users are not affected. In today’s tough economy, Business Service Management can come to the rescue of many IT managers as well as departmental heads to ensure a smooth running of business processes.

The importance of knowing end to end performance is not only applicable for large enterprises, but smaller entities too. In fact, monitoring end to end performance of applications is more important for small businesses, considering that they function on a very tight margin. In order to stay on top of any performance issue and to effectively solve it, business owners need application monitoring tools through which they can monitor whether their business services are functioning properly. Such application monitoring would also inform them of any bottlenecks in advance and prevent any large scale impact on end users. Business Service Management enables both the teams to do just that.

Business Service Management solutions help bridge the gap between the departmental heads and the IT team. When a BSM solution is put to work, the business department can work in coordination with the IT department to ensure that all the services are available and any potential problems may be solved before they start affecting end users. BSM helps in detection of IT issues, tracing their root problem and solving them quickly.

With Business Service Management,

o Issues related to business-critical applications can be dealt with proactively
o Departmental heads can start prioritizing tasks according to their importance
o Information can be presented according to the role of the person concerned
o IT Service Management is easier to put into practice

Businesses hence need to consider Business Service Management as a necessary component in order to know the end to end performance of all their critical applications. However, businesses are sometimes forced to choose between two extreme BSM solutions: one which is inexpensive but lacks functionality, and another, which is expensive and needs a lot of manpower to support it.

An ideal Business Service Management would be one which is integrated, affordable and easy to use. A business should not have to make a compromise in quality due to the cost of the BSM solution. An ideal solution would allow end to end performance monitoring as well as management Service Level Agreement. It would also not require any manpower to manage it.

Until sometime ago, only larger APM vendors used to offer BSM solutions; even then, these solutions were expensive and complicated. But now, with the popularity of Business Service Management, other vendors have started offering affordable and easy to use solutions which can be applied in small businesses as well.

The increased dependency on IT for business critical functions has made Business Service Management as well as IT Service Management a must for any business. Both IT managers and departmental heads can work together to ensure that business services are available to end users without a problem.

7 Best Bookkeeping Business Services

If you’re a small business owner considering outsourcing your bookkeeping, keep in mind that bookkeeping business services include much more than just keeping track of your finances. If you hook up with a true professional service they can become much more than an accounting service, they can become important partners helping you optimize not only your cash flow but planning your financial strategies. Here’s a short list of benefits and services you can expect from a full service bookkeeper.

1. Time

Actually this may be the most productive benefit of all the services an outsourced bookkeeper can provide. By taking over the responsibility of accounting, the bookkeeper service effectively gives you more time to do what you do best and that’s run the business. Accounting is an absolutely necessary part of a business but it is not a profit center and it plays no part in driving sales and revenue. Any time you devote to that function is time taken from engaging in an activity that can generate sales or profit.

2. Financial forecasting

Using your firm’s financial history an experienced bookkeeping service can develop financial models that will allow you to play “what if” games that can predict your financial performance in the future. For example a business owner can ask what if sales increase 8% in the next quarter or what if the marketing budget is increased by 10% what kind of sales can be expected. This is a complex model that requires the knowledge of experts and would not be readily available to the owner unless he outsourced the function.

3. Tax planning

Running your business to take advantage of opportunity to minimize tax liability can be the difference between taking a loss and making a profit. The same goes for licensing and other local fees. A knowledgeable service will not only prepare your returns but show you ways to reduce your tax bill.

4. Real time reporting

Gone are the days of receiving monthly reports from your accounting service. In today’s business environment you need to know where you are financially right now and that’s what a professional bookkeeping service can provide. Thanks to ASP technology you can log onto your account using an ultra secure server and access all of your reports at any time and from any where you have an internet connection.

5. Customized reports

Your bookkeeping service will work with you to build reports that make sense for your particular business. Profit and loss statements, sales reports, receivables reports, all can be designed so they present the information in a way that you can best evaluate your position.

6. Assistance with lenders

A sign of just how tough and competitive the economic times are is the expansion of bookkeeping business services into areas that they previously did not participate in. Assistance with loan applications or even introductions to lenders is an example of the “new” services being offered by many firms. Loan applications can be intimidating and confusing to many business owners and the accounting service can offer valuable assistance in insuring that the right, and best, financial information is included in the application.

7. QuickBooks Consulting

Even if you don’t hire a bookkeeping service and you use QuickBooks in house to do your bookkeeping, you may find that the service can help you do it better. QuickBooks has added so many features and has become so much more than an accounting platform that it has created an entirely new support industry. If a QuickBooks customer wants optimal performance from his system, it’s likely he or she will need the advice of a certified QuickBooks consultant and the bookkeeping service is a ready, qualified resource.

A combination of rapidly improving technology along with an increasingly competitive market has caused bookkeeping business services to evolve into something greater than the traditional accounting services. Smart businesses will take advantage of these services to remain competitive and optimize earnings.

Importance of Business Services Is Second to None

What are the various business services that I should consider?
Business services include a whole host of services including client refreshments, postal services, copy services, meeting rooms and training rooms, telephone handsets and call packages, wireless internet access, purchasing discounts and others.

The decision to opt for services are governed by your business needs. The trade-off is between engaging your own resources versus seasoned professionals of the service providers. The decision is between taking a longer time to get started versus getting started right away with the available and well oiled administrative services.

Can business services be customized as per my needs?
The range of customization of business services offered depends upon the service office provider. It could be an off-the-shelf package that offers little or no customization or it could be pick-and-choose from the boutique of services provided.

At a short notice the service options can be individually scaled to your changing needs and expanded to include the items and services that are most important to you.

As an example, the services of a business centre can be tailored to very specific needs. As an alternative to the full-service office, various combinations of services can be provided as well. In addition, they offer a variety of standard services: copier and fax machine, access to meeting rooms with state-of-the-art conference technology, etc. Professional staff answer calls in the company name; welcome visitors and handle clerical or secretarial work. The advantage to the clients is that all services are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, they only pay for services and facilities they are actually using.

How much do I pay for it?
There are multiple different payment models for availing the business services. It could range anywhere from a completely variable option on a pay-as-you-go-basis, being partially variable or a fixed service with monthly, quarterly or annual payment options.

How can a business centre support you?
Serviced office provider such as Avanta offer an attractive business service package with NO hidden costs, which give its customers a clear advantage above the competition. Their goal is to provide you with the business services you need when you need them.

Business services for entrepreneurs or small businesses can be bundled with your physical office or virtual office membership at Avanta, and clients can purchase “Business Services on Demand” as needed. Avanta’s virtual receptionist will answer calls using your company’s customized greeting and route each call per your instructions. Each office at Avanta comes equipped with a full-service, IP-based PBX phone system featuring call routing, voicemail and low-cost long distance rates.

Why don’t you combine various business services such as internet connectivity, client refreshments and postal services into a simple, monthly package? This gives you the ability to forecast and plan their total cost when taking using a business centre in Delhi.

Get Freelancers for Your Business Services Needs

While running a business, there are many essential services that are required on a day to day basis. Business services are an important element of any business that ensures its survival. For small business that struggle to hire full time staff, outsourcing these services to freelance providers could be the ideal answer. If you decide to get freelancers for your business services needs, there is no doubt they would turn out to be reliable and a necessary part for your business processes.

Once the company has found reliable freelancers, results will become obvious that the business will start to develop and grow into successful entity. There are many freelance websites which offer opportunities for both businesses and the freelancers to find each other and work together. One can find a lot of different business services offered by freelancers and it is these diverse resources that businesses will be able to leverage and improve their current situations.

Whether it is accounting services, financial services, IT services or any other required service by the business, one can find experienced freelancers for all business service requirements. Once you get freelancers for your business you will find out how reliable, convenient and cost effective they are. To get freelancers whenever they are required, employers find they soon become a necessary investment. Freelancers have the ability to do anything in their chosen fields, it won’t take long before they become an integral part of the companies processes.

To get freelancers is not a very difficult task; there are many freelance websites where one can find freelancers for every kind of business service. Freelancers can really make a big difference in the development and growth of a business through their efficient services. In today’s world, businesses are worried about their profit margins and are always on the verge of contracting their budget and expanding their profits. Hiring a freelancer for business services is a great way to cut costs effectively.

Hiring freelancers for performing various business services has become a trend for many companies. It is a cost effective way to run a business, but make sure that the services you acquire from the freelancers are up to the mark. But overall it is a very effective way of running a business. The only thing required is to keep a close communication with the hired freelancer to make sure there are no misunderstandings along the way.

It is well known that to get freelancers for business services is quite advantageous, especially for small business. Once the business founds a reliable freelancer, it has been proven that the business would benefit a lot from the services provided by a freelancer

Cost Effective Business Services

A business services franchise is a good option for many who are willing to serve the corporate world. A business franchisee needs an investment in terms of fees, real estate, marketing, merchandise etc. there are both small business services as well as high cost businesses in the category. Here we discuss some prominent business services franchises.

Financial services: The financial services space is rapidly growing in India. It is one of the most significant business services in India. According to the latest Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) data, financial services, banking, insurance and real estate sectors have risen by 7.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2009-10. This displays the success of the financial service industry. With the over-all increase in the finance services seekers, finance service providers took to franchise route, thus creating a great scope for franchise opportunity.

Till a few years back, the franchising which was an unknown concept in this field has gained lot of momentum in the present times. Before discussing the factors responsible for this development, let us first get familiar with the term ‘Financial services franchisors’.

Financial services refer to services provided by the financial service companies. The finance service companies encompass a broad range of organisations that deal with money management. A few of these organisations include banks, insurance companies, consumer finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds etc. These companies offer various services such as asset protection, investment and savings, retirement plans, customer-orientated service, besides offering personal loans, commercial loans, mortgage loans, and education loans for the aspiring students. Financial service providers are on the rise as franchising as a mode of expansion is being opted by this industry. Manish Shah, Associate Director- Business Strategy, Equity & Product Development, Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd shared, “The belief in entrepreneurship and the drive it brings to the business, made Motilal Oswal take the franchise route. Franchising brings more scalability to the business and the business becomes entrepreneur driven.”

Courier Services: Another category of business services is courier service. The companies basically work around transportation of goods from one place to another, delivery of documents, packages, and larger shipments of products. These provide services to companies and individuals who need rapid service, accountability, and tracking that regular mail does not accommodate. Courier services are more reliable and dependable as compared to ordinary postal services due to less time consumed and delivery guarantee. However, with the introduction of modern gadgets and faster modes of transportation this system has also progressed a lot. Moreover, franchising is also one of the main stimulants of its popularity and profitability.

Franchising in this sector has grown with more and more players taking the franchise model for reaching out to far flung areas in the vast nation. Courier service companies are required to deliever important mails and parcels to any part, whether city, town or village in the country. Therefore, franchising can be the best mode for guaranteed delivery of the items. According to DS Patel, Channel Head, DTDC, “Franchising is an essential and most effective way of expanding the network. Opening our own company owned courier offices is very expensive and time consuming. However a franchise outlet is economically beneficial to the company.” As informed by Praveen Govindraj, Assistant General Manager, First Flight Courier, “Franchising definitely helps in directly reaching to far-fling areas for delivering items due to our local partners in those areas.” He further added, “Franchising can be a win-win situation for both the franchisor and franchisees as both benefit from it. The local partner (franchisee) has a much better idea of a particular locality than the main company which is based out of Delhi or Mumbai. Delivering parcels to small towns and cities becomes difficult and also take a lot of time if it is done by the company in metropolitan areas. At such times the local franchisee can be of great help.” This can be the major reason for courier companies to opt for the franchise route. Moreover, having local partners all over the nation, who deliver all items on time, also increases the credibility and profit making of the parent company.

The typical feature of the courier service franchise includes doorstep booking, customer convenience and security of each and every consignment that has been entrusted to it. Jaguar Couriers Franchise, Blazeflash Couriers, etc are some of the franchising companies under this category.

Cartridge refilling: Cartridge refilling forms another business service category. In the modern age of I.T, there is a constantly growing need of cartridgere-fills. Foraying in the cartridge refill industry through franchise route is a promising venture. A cartridge refill franchise offers to its user’s quality refills at a fractional cost. Current industry trends and future projections suggest that printer cartridges demand will continue to multiply at a very fast pace as computers and low cost printers swamp the market. Cartridge World, Cartridge CafĂ©, Cartridge Xpress are some of the good low-cost franchise options.

Challenges

Every business has attached to it certain set of challenges. Though the basic challenges remain the same across the board for all business service franchises, their relevance with each sector differs.
Before opting for any of the above options, clear all your doubts. Apart from your initial investment, take into account the ongoing costs that must be paid to your franchisor, including franchise royalties, marketing fees and other required purchases. After you are convinced go ahead and make your mark in the franchising world!