Maybe a secretarial service is one of the small business ideas you should pursue.
Are you good at typing, transcribing, and proofreading? Are you organized, detail-oriented, and conscientious?
This can be a way for you to put those skills to use while bringing in some extra income.
In its Entrepreneur section, About.com describes secretarial services as one of “10 Legitimate Businesses You Can Start for Under $20.”
As the article points out, “[m]any small businesses and individuals have a need for these services, but not enough need to hire a temp through an agency.”
You can provide the services that local businesses need without demanding a permanent commitment from them.
But if you provide excellent secretarial services to your clients, they will most certainly return to you when they have other projects to complete.
How would clients pay you for your services? Instead of having them pay you per hour, consider having them pay you a designated amount for each job you complete for them.
What do you need to get started? About.com makes this comment about starting small business ideas involving secretarial services: “Assuming you’ve got a computer, a printer, and e-mail (and the necessary skills), you’re all set.”
You can tackle a variety of jobs, depending on your skills and expertise.
For example, clients can email you drafts of written documents (proposals, reports, etc.). You can then proofread them, edit any mistakes in format or grammar, provide suggestions, and then email your revisions back to your clients.
In addition, clients can email you audio files of interviews, dictations, and presentations. You can transcribe the audio files into computer documents. Then you can email the documents to your clients.
So how should you spend your initial $20? The article suggests you spend $14 on a box of business cards. The remaining $6 should go towards marketing materials, including posters and flyers.
In order to get your business off the ground, connect with your local businesses. In launching any of your small business ideas, you must network.
Try joining local small business associations. If you worked in the business world for a large portion of your career, talk to your old associates.
If you have the money, you can also place an ad in your local newspapers. Avoid advertising in larger publications that serve big cities. Your ad won’t have the same results in a larger publication versus a smaller publication targeted at your local town.
As you begin to attract more clients, you can always grow your business. You can hire other employees to help you with the projects your clients hire you to complete.
You can also advertise to clients outside your local area. Your work for them would involve mostly online communication. They could email you projects, and you could email them your completed work.