Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No
Every business needs those unsung heroes or heroines behind the scenes,the ones who do the word processing, filing and bookkeeping. But mostSOHOs don’t have the funds–or sometimes even the space–to accommodateassistants. If you’ve got the secretarial right stuff, you can be asmall-business person’s knight or knightess by providing businesssupport services.
You’ll take on all those office tasks–wordprocessing, filing, bookkeeping and even desktop publishing. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work at home, you get aninsider’s view of lots of different businesses, you’re always doingsomething different, and your clients are appreciative of yourservices.
Plus, with more and more small businesses out there, thisfield is poised for growth. And it’s recession-sturdy–companies thatmight no longer be able to afford in-house staff will still need help,and that’s you. You’ll need top-notch secretarial skills, includingimpeccable spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Many businesspeople skimover these tasks–part of your job will be to translate C- English intopolished prose. You should also have good communication skills fordealing with a variety of different people, and the ability to decidewhich projects need immediate attention and which can be set aside forlater.
Your customers will be small and home basedbusinesses of every type youcan imagine. Place ads in your local Yellow Pages and newspapers.Network at your chamber of commerce.
Introduce yourself and leavebrochures at banks, insurance agencies, accounting firms, attorneysspecializing in business–anybody who will have small-businesscustomers they can refer to you. Give talks at local professional andcivic organizations and get your business written up in localpublications.
You’ll need a computer system with a laser printer, a fax machine, acopier and a sharp selection of software packages, including wordprocessing, desktop publishing and accounting. You’ll also want storagespace for each client’s letterhead and envelopes, plus blank and draftpaper, extra printer and fax cartridges, and files for copies ofclients’ ongoing work.