There is more to running a successful secretarial service than good word processing skills.
You have to view this service as a business, and like all businesses, the preparation of a business plan will help you considerably. A business plan shows where you are situated at present and where you would like to be in 6 months time, 12 months time, and 24 months time. A business plan helps to keep you on your toes and assists you at achieving your set goals. An example is if you wish to have an annual turnover of $50,000 within 12 months, then you can explore many avenues that will help you to achieve this.
A major issue you must also consider is what equipment you will need. Besides owning a word processor, it is essential you have email as well. Email will help to speed up your delivery time with your finished results. You can also receive a lot of editing work by email.
Other equipment you should purchase or hire is a good printer. A laser printer is recommended for such a business, but you could get away with a good quality bubble jet. A scanner, a facsimile, and a photocopier are also required. With these pieces of equipment you do not have to spend too much of your capital. There are machines today that are a scanner, facsimile, photocopier and a telephone all rolled over into one.
Once you have the essential equipment you are ready to prepare your stationery. If you wish for your business to have a professional appearance then it is a good idea to have letterhead and business cards printed. There are companies which print stationery at a low price if you design them yourself on the Internet. Shop around and compare prices.
Before you get customers for your new business you have to consider what type of business you are actually running. Are you going to do word processing only, and only from home? Or perhaps you would not mind being a mobile secretarial, where you visit your clients offices and work there. What services do you offer besides word processing? Here are a few examples of other services you may wish to do:
- Telephone Answering Service
screening of Email
- Designing databases
- Designing web pages
- Tutoring word processing
- Debt Collecting
- Resume Typing
I recommend if you have skills in any of the above fields you should offer them as your services. You may also like to be available 7 days per week, or even 24 hours per day.
The best way to find new clients is to advertise by telephone and then by direct mail. Select a listing of potential customers and phone them and describe what services you have to offer. Tell them why they should use your services. They may be overloaded with work at a particular time of the year, or they may need to replace an employee for a temporary period. After you have phoned them send them a list of your services, professionally printed. You can either mention your rates on these printed fliers, such as typing from only $2 per page, or you can just mention that your rates are negotiable.
If you have friends who work in large companies, ask them to put in a good word for you. It is also a good idea to place an advertisement in the local newspaper. If you take pride in your work, and show your customers respect, your business will grow by word of mouth.
Customer service is very important in all businesses. Do not underestimate the power of one person. Even if you are typing up someone’s resume who has been unemployed for a long time, remember that he or she could be the link to your next client.
There is a need for secretarial services. Do not be dismayed by the amount of competition you may be facing. Many secretarial businesses start for a few months and then shut down as they expected their customers to find them. As the owner of a business, it is your job to find your customers.There is a need for secretarial services