According to this source, service businesses account for 6 out of 10 of the fastest growing industries in Australia. Service-based businesses are so desirable to business owners for a myriad of reasons. This article is going to show you how to set up a service-based business from home, including why working from home actually works, the 5-step process to getting started, pros and cons, the most profitable services to tackle and more.
Here’s how I started my foray into the service industry just 5 years ago.
How I Started My Service-Based Business
I left my 9 to 5 job for a product-based business over 6 years ago. After running that product business (an eCommerce store) for a few years, it became very overwhelming. The income was great and I experienced all the perks of running my own business, including:
- Freedom to create my own schedule
- Unlimited income potential
- Being the boss
But, with that came the burden of running a business as a solopreneur.
I was the head of the company and with no staff by my side, I was in charge of every aspect of the company from customer service, marketing, sourcing, fulfilment, and more. It became very stressful and it started to take a toll on me and my family.
While I loved that business, I was ready for a change, so after selling the company, I transitioned to a service-based business which I still operate today.
I took one of the components that helped drive the success of my product business and turned it into a service-focused business, around social media marketing.
Social media was a driving force in the success of my product business. I was able to amass over 150,000 social media followers across multiple networks in a short time and received a large portion of website traffic from social media.
I decided to take that skill and use it to help other businesses achieve the same or better results for their companies!
As a social media marketer, I worked one on one with clients, instead of thousands of customers, like with the product business. And, clients saw me as an expert so I was mostly left to work my magic and grow their social media accounts like crazy.
I still run that business today and it has brought me a ton of joy and even more perks that I didn’t get to experience with the product business.
If you’re curious about this type of business, services, keep reading while we explore the ins and outs of setting up a service-based business from home!
What is a Service-based Business?
A service-based business is a business that sells services. This is different from a product business because your business will be centred around actions you’ll perform, versus products (physical or digital) that you sell.
Experts perform services to help consumers solve problems.
For example, if your air conditioner stops working, you’re going to contact an A/C technician, an expert with air conditioners to fix the issue.
This is a service business. The service performed is repairing A/C units.
Services can be very expansive targeting consumers and businesses, just like product-based businesses.
Check out this list of service-based business examples.
Service-based Business Examples
What are some examples of a service business?
Here is a service business ideas list to inspire you:
- Digital marketing
- Resume writing
- Graphic design
- Social media marketing
- Home appliance repair
- Floor renovation
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more service-based business examples that you can explore.
What kind of service business should I start?
When determining what kind of business you can start, think about your passions and consider how you can help others.
For example, if you have a love of interior design, the first service business idea to come to mind will probably be an interior designer.
Beyond that, if you think about the components of design, like furniture, flooring, wall art, consumer electronics, various rooms in a home, you can look at these services:
- Flooring repair
- Project management
- Tapestry design
- Baby proofing
There are many directions you can take this but what it boils down to is, you must be solving a need in the market. Keep this in mind when brainstorming what kind of service you can offer the public.
Working from Home in a Service Business?
Operating your service-based business working from home is much different than running a product company.
With a product company, working from home could easily bring all your employees right into your living room or spare bedroom to run the business.
You’ll be handling customer service, marketing, sourcing, fulfilment and shipping, and other business tasks right out of your home. This can save a lot of money for product businesses but doesn’t come without its burdens as well, like navigating work/life balance, for example.
It can work for a lot of product businesses but not everybody likes this dynamic.
With a service business, it’s completely different. As the expert, you’ll work independently in the quiet of your home office, one on one with clients.
And, if you’re in an industry that requires meeting customers in person, this will take you away from the home which is great and can lead to better work/life balance, believe it or not.
So, can operate your company from home in a service business work?
How Do I Start a Service Business?
Once you’re ready to kick things off, follow these steps to start your own service business:
- Idea formation
- Market research
- Business development
Forming the Business Idea
First, there’s idea formation where you brainstorm possible services you can offer. Behind a service business is an expert and that person will be you.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be the best at the service but you do have to possess more knowledge and expertise than your clients, arguably.
Services aren’t always purchased from the best experts on the market. Budget, timeline, and other factors come into play.
You can be the best but also the most expensive. You can be the fastest but not the best. You can be the cheapest but not the fastest.
So, don’t feel put back if you aren’t the best expert in your field.
Market research is the research process of identifying a need in the market for your service. You want to make sure that there’s an audience for your business so you can be profitable and scale for growth in the future. This is what market research will help you do.
Developing your business is putting together all the pieces, tools, resources, and equipment to get your company ready for launch.
This might involve investing in office equipment, getting a work space or business office, hiring an advertising firm, etc.
Then, there’s marketing which is all about promoting your company. You can do this yourself or hire an expert like an advertising company to help put the word out about your business. This is super critical and should be started before you actually launch.
Lastly, you launch! This is putting together the entire process so you have a fully functional, operational business ready to take on clients!
Advantages of Starting a Service-Based Business
Like most things, there are benefits and drawbacks to starting any kind of business. Visit these to look at the pros and cons of breaking into the service industry.
Advantages can include:
- Create your own schedule
- Virtually no fulfilment process
- Unlimited income potential
- Less overhead than a product-business
- No shipping/postage costs
- No inventory
Disadvantages of Starting a Service-Based Business
- Working with fewer customers, which means more selling power required for each client
- Difficult valuation process
- Demand cutback during slow economic times
What is the most profitable service business?
Here are 7 of the most profitable service businesses of 2019, according to this source:
- Mobile businesses
- B2B services
- “Sharing” businesses
- Child-Oriented Business
- Real Estate Services
- Virtual Reality (VR) Businesses
- Personal Services
What are mobile businesses?
A mobile service business is a company that you can take with you anywhere.
For example, as a digital publisher or blogger, you only need to work from your computer.
Being location independent allows you to work from a beach in the Caribbean or in your parent’s basement while visiting for holiday.
So, more or less, it’s a business that can be performed anywhere.
Some examples can include:
- Meal prep services
- Closet organization
- Pet grooming
- Auto detailing
- Cleaning services
- Personal trainer
What are B2B services?
B2B or business-to-business services are freelance services provided to other businesses. Services provided to businesses help those companies to:
- Become more efficient
- Save money
- Increase revenue
- Outsource production
- And, more!
Examples of B2B services include copywriting, graphic design, social media management, web development, advertising, accounting and bookkeeping, business management, etc.
This kind of business can easily get to six figures annually with one person or a small team.
What are “Sharing” businesses?
“Sharing” businesses like rideshare or homeshare are increasingly becoming popular. Rideshare is offered through companies like Uber. As a customer, you pay to be driven to your destination, like a taxi service but provided by an independent contractor using their own vehicle (the rideshare driver).
Homesharing is through short-term rentals with companies like AirBNB and the idea is to use a homeowners property for a short time, like a hotel stay but with the perk of staying in a home.
It’s money-saving to guests and homeowners can earn a lot of money renting out their home short-term, without even leaving the house. It’s a great passive income opportunity and both sides love it.
These are just 2 examples of “sharing” businesses that are popping up. Other examples include RV sharing, with the company RVshare (US) or ShareaCamper ( AU), where RV owners can rent out their RV (like a class B motorhome, for example) to guests to operate short-term.
Companies are launching “sharing” businesses in tons of different industries like wellness, fashion, personal training, and more.
It’s a growing field with lots of opportunities.
What is a child-oriented business?
A child-oriented business revolves around kids, like:
- Childcare organizations
- And more!
What are real estate services?
Real estate leasing agents help potential tenants find a property to lease. Depending on your area, a license may not be required for this kind of service. If this kind of business interests you, research your current area to check requirements/licenses needed, in any.
What is a VR (virtual reality) business?
VR is one of the fastest growing technologies and there are a ton of different ways to integrate these businesses into everyday life:
- 3D movies
- Team building
- And other ways!
What are personal services?
Personal services help people in their life, in industries like:
- Pet care
- And, other areas
Services are really a great industry to be in. Consumers are craving faster, cheaper, more-efficient processes and systems for doing their everyday tasks.
That’s one of the reasons the virtual assistant (VA) role is a top growing service business for consumers and professionals. Though it didn’t make the list above, this digital personal assistant helps consumers and families manage their busy day to day lives, with tasks like appointment setting, event management, grocery list preparation, and more.
For businesses, a VA can help with scheduling social media, note taking during a virtual conference, email management, calendar management and related activities.
For more service business ideas to ponder over, take a look at these 105 service businesses to start today.
Starting a service-business isn’t easy but it can be a very fruitful endeavour, perfect for entrepreneurs that are experts in their field.
If you can help solve a problem through a service, why not try it?
You’ll really like that startup costs are significantly lower than a typical product business, which translates to a faster startup and launch, getting you one step closer to landing your first client.
If you’re ready to take on a service business, start today!
What do you think?
What service-based business would you start?