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short term offices / small business advice / temporary office space

Starting a serviced-based business from home

In our previous blog Starting Your Home-Based Business, we pointed out that service-based businesses make up the majority of the most profitable small businesses you can start. We all have our own skill set and areas of expertise. The trick is to find the knowledge and skill set that you have that others are willing to pay for.

Sometimes it is not your skill set, knowledge, experience or expertise that you could be selling. It could be that of others or products and services of others! You may not be an accountant, bookkeeper, tax specialist or be able to provide payroll services, but that does not mean that you cannot be the person who introduces those who need these services to those who can provide them. Just like a real estate agent does not own the property he or she is selling, you can bring a buyer together with a seller and get paid to do so.

Almost anyone with a need or desire to earn extra money, work from home, or start and operate a full-time business, can sell a service – as selling a service does not require much knowledge of how to perform that particular service. In some Industries like real estate and financial products, you need a license or certification to sell the products. But it does not take that long to learn and get those licenses.

Beyond being your own boss and having control of your future, the freedom of being self-employed has many advantages. Setting your own hours, what you will charge for your services, deciding where you will be working from, and what work/life balance you want, is why many other entrepreneurs start their own home-based businesses.

When you work for someone else, you can only take home one salary; but if you own your business, you can often take home more. As your business grows and the number of hours in your work week gets filled, you can hire and train additional people to replicate the work you do and garner profits from their work. With added service or salespeople, you can increase the number of customers your business serves. You can also hire and train people to perform the same service in another city or town, giving you an even larger potential market for the services you are selling.

The great thing about selling a service is that you can decide to do it full-time or part-time (depending on your financial needs) and only have yourself to answer to. Keeping your current job while building another business can also be important in terms of retaining healthcare benefits until you can afford them on your own.

Taking the leap to sell services on a full-time basis can often lead to anxiety and stress over not having the “safety net” of a job to fall back on. This is why, if you have a job that pays your bills, you might not want to go “all in” to a full-time business until you know that the business will keep up with your financial needs.

Besides part-time and full-time home-based businesses, there are also service businesses that you can take on seasonally. As mentioned in our previous blog, tax preparation services is one of the most profitable. You could sell and take on clients for a tax preparation services full-time during tax season (using accrued vacation time) and sell courses on how to do tax preparation part-time in the off-season. Learning how to prepare taxes for other people does not require any specific accounting designation, nor does teaching it.

If you are running a seasonal business that requires physical office space for clients to meet with you in person, you may want to consider temporary office space that does not require you to sign a long-term lease, but only pay month to month. This type of arrangement can be further beneficial in providing you with a professional business address throughout the year when you do not need physical office space. An office business centre can offer you short-term or temporary seasonal office space when you need it and then telephone and mail service for the months you do not require office space – all without having to change your address or telephone number.

Whether you start a full-time, part-time or seasonal home business, the most important thing that you need to do is find the right business that works for you. Even if you have the skill set and experience to provide the service, you still want to find a business that you enjoy. You also need to make sure that the business you want to start is one that you can afford to start and operate, because it may take some time to break even or to make it profitable. You need to be sure that you can cover operating expenses for the first few months before you start seeing money coming into the business. Bottom line: The most important thing to consider when starting a business is if it has potential to gain the income that you wish to make after the bills are paid.

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