How to Set Up an Online Service-Based Business
As you embark on your journey to become self-employed one of the decisions to make is the type of business to run from home. A popular option is to go with an online service-based business. There are a variety of services you can offer based on your skills, such as writing or editing, graphic design, or web design. These are services many people need and are willing to pay top dollar for. Take a look at these tips to learn how to get your service business started.
Online Service Based Business Getting Started Tips
Start With a Business Plan
Regardless of the type of service business you want to start, you need to begin with a business plan. This goes over all the major components of starting and operating the business, from start-up costs like computer equipment and inventory, to choosing if you want employees, deciding on legal aspects of the business, and even setting prices. With the business plan in hand, the rest of the process is much easier. When you begin working on your business plan, this is when you make a lot of your decisions, including what online service or services you will offer and what to name your business.
Make Your Business Legal
With the business plan and main decisions done, you can then make your business legal. Depending on where you live, this often involves a few different steps. First decide if you want to run the business as a sole proprietor, or if you will choose a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. If you are starting the service-based business with someone else, you might also want to start a partnership. This then leads you to figuring out taxes, filing a business license, and making sure you can operate a home-based service business in your area. Your local small business bureau can help you get started.
Get a Website Up and Running
Having a website is crucial to providing services online, so this should be one of the first things you do. You need to have a well-designed website that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Make sure it is responsive, where it also works with mobile devices. The website ideally has some background information about you, your experience with the service you intend to provide, a list of services and prices, and a portfolio showing your experience with these services. Adding a blog to the website is highly recommended as it allows you to keep updating it with fresh content which helps your website get indexed. When that happens, it is easy to find new clients based on web search results.
Choose Your Rates
If you have not done so already, you need to get specific about the rates you will charge for your online service. It is important that you don’t undercharge people just to get work, but that you offer a decent and competitive rate. A good way to figure out how much to charge is to consider how long each type of service takes, and how much you want to get paid an hour. Don’t forget about all duties required for those services as well. If you intend to offer writing services, calculate the amount of time it takes to research a good topic and research the article, do the writing, editing, formatting, and finding pictures if the clients requests them.
By this point, you have all the most important things done and are ready to start finding clients for your new online service based business. Good luck!