6 Tips to Get Your Service-Based Business off to a Great Start
#1: Understand What Your Service is Worth
When you’re first starting a business, it can be difficult to understand what your service is worth. Many new entrepreneurs tend to undercharge for their services because they want as many clients as possible and think that charging too much will turn people away from the business. However, if you charge an amount so low that it barely covers overhead costs such as your phone bill or your website hosting, then you’re not going to be able to make enough money from the business.
Do some research on what other businesses are charging for a similar service so that you can set an initial price point for yourself which will allow you to cover overhead costs. Not only will this help you to set appropriate prices for your products and services, but it will also give you a good idea of how much profit you can expect to make from each sale. You can use a variety of resources to help you determine your service’s worth, including online calculators and comparisons tools, as well as personal consultations with industry professionals.
Similarly, get a sense of how much it will cost to run your business. This will give you a benchmark on how much you must charge to turn a profit.
#2: Focus on Customer Service
One of the most important aspects of any business, service or otherwise, is customer service. As a new business owner, it’s essential that you make your clients feel valued and appreciated from the very beginning. This means responding to inquiries in a timely manner, keeping appointments, and providing quality workmanship on every job. This holds true for service based businesses as well. Make sure that you put a lot of effort into ensuring that your customers are satisfied with their purchases. For example, if you’re offering an online service, make sure to reply to all client questions as soon as possible and provide them with guides or tutorials for any problems they may be experiencing.
If you can manage to exceed your clients’ expectations, they are likely to refer you to their friends and family members, which can help to grow your business without having to do any additional marketing. A majority of consumers will recommend a business after having a positive experience with it, so focus on providing great customer service.
#3: Increase Sales by Offering More Payment Types
Getting paid is a lifeline of your business. The quicker you get paid, the healthier your cash flow could be and having the right payment solution for your customers can make it easier for them to choose you over another service provider.
Depending on the type of service you offer, you may need to invoice customers after completion. Many electricians and plumbers have moved towards this approach as most households do not carry cash on them. Alternatively, you can consider accepting debit and credit cards through something like an EFTPOS machine – especially if you travel to where your customers are.
You can learn more about how to accept electronic payments (online or in-person) including credit card and debit cards in this guide by Westpac ‘How can I take payments in my business?’.
#4: Create a (Solid) Business Plan
Before you start your service based business, it’s a good idea to create a comprehensive business plan. This will help you stay organised and on track throughout the entire process of getting started.
Writing up a basic draft of this document can be done fairly quickly using online templates or guides, but if you decide that you want something more complex with more in-depth financial analysis, you may want to consider hiring a business consultant.
#5: Don’t be Afraid to Self Promote
As a new business owner, you’re going to have to do some self promotion in order to get the word out about your company. This doesn’t mean spamming people on social media or sending out unsolicited emails; rather, it means finding meaningful ways to put your business in front of the right audience.
One way to do this is by promoting yourself. This means having a strong online presence, including a well-designed website, an active blog, and social media profiles on platforms where your prospective customers are. In addition, don’t be afraid to reach out to potential clients directly and offer them your services.
An effective way to promote yourself is to speak to your customers and understand why they chose you over your competitors. Then you can fold this into framing how your service is the best solution.
#6: Continue Learning and Growing
No matter how successful you become, remember that the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to continue learning and growing. One way to do this is to seek out feedback from your customers, listen to what they have to say, and to take action!