Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget

from Elaine Gordon Evans 

One of my favorite things about a service industry business is that it can be started on a shoestring budget. It usually doesn’t require much money or training. For example, in housecleaning, all you need is you and most often, you can get paid the same day for your labor.

I started my first maid service while I was just a nineteen year old a single mom on welfare in Florida and subsequently, I was able to get off welfare and grow my business to be one of the largest maid services in South Florida.

Years later, I was able to start from scratch again, this time I was homeless with five kids and my youngest was a newborn.

So where do you begin? First of all, decide what kind of service business you want to start. To do that you have to figure out what you like, what you are good at, and what you think you can be successful in.

Next, get yourself a sole proprietor business license from your state’s Department of Licensing. Those usually cost around twenty dollars. I recommend that you use your name as your business name because then you have the flexibility to do whatever kind of business you want and even change what services you offer without having to change your business name. You can always “do business as” another more specific name.

Then you will need to test the market and see if there’s a need. Of course if you are going to start talking to people about offering them a service, you need to be ready with prices so figure out what you are going to charge first.

Call up other businesses offering the same service and find out what they are charging. I recommend that you undercut the market a little bit just to get started, then, once you are established you can raise your rates up to current market prices.

Now you are ready to ask your friends, family, and people in your area, if they have a need for this service. Word of mouth is one of the best methods of marketing your new business and it’s free!

So there you have it, you are off and running. For the cost of a business license and whatever supplies you need to provide your service, you have yourself a business. Next post we will discuss marketing your business on a shoestring budget.

That’s all for now, remember to go do something good for yourself today!

Elaine

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