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Blueprints for success: starting your professional services business
The Professional Services industry is certainly a varied business landscape. It encompasses everything from architects, graphic designers, and communications consultants to accountants, solicitors and HR specialists.
Referring to almost any business which provides a service or advice to clients, be they private or commercial, Professional Services showcase particular skills and expertise while sharing knowledge with clients. This can make it a great business model.
Whether you will be selling your services as a designer, life coach or financial advisor, here’s what to consider if you are thinking of setting up your own Professional Services business.
Test your business idea
Market research and development is the key to success. It ensures your business fits into the marketplace and will be found by your desired clients. Research can be done from your desk, over the internet, or in the field, Speak to potential customers and those already in the industry to gauge the appetite for your services and identify any issues with current providers. A natural step in the start-up process, test the waters by offering your services to local businesses or clients already known to you.
Write a business plan
A crucial step of stepping out your own, getting a business plan down on paper is not only essential to showcase your potential to investors. It’s a great way of highlighting your business’s aims and financial targets. It also narrows down exactly what you’re going to offer, and forces you to think about precisely how you’re going to achieve your goals.
Do you need to be regulated?
‘Red tape’ might have negative connotations, but rules and regulations cannot be ignored. This is especially the case if you’re entering a regulated industry. Do extensive research to find out if your service comes with boxes you need to tick. Independent Financial Advisers must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Trained solicitors are accountable to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Even if you don’t have a regulator, make sure you’re up to speed on employment regulations, tax requirements, and intellectual property law.
Procure the right equipment/tools/office space
It isn’t to say your one-man-band needs to rent an entire office space in your first week, but if you need something to do the job properly, make sure you’ve got it. You can often find free online apps to replace expensive software such as a CRM. If the service you provide requires specialist design equipment, architect software or accountancy systems, invest in the tech before you get started. Working from home is usual, especially for self-employed professionals. Make sure you are happy to travel to clients if you can’t invite them to your office.
Advertise your services
Today’s audiences are likely to search online for your service. Register a domain name and have a well-designed website for your business. If your expertise isn’t in web design, don’t panic. Keep things simple using an online creator tool. Think about where your desired clients are likely to be and what media they use. This will narrow down where you should focus your marketing activities.
Commercial insurance is essential for any new business, even if it’s just you and your PC. While you won’t want to waste precious resources overpaying for insurance, your start-up needs to be protected from likely risks. Tailored specifically to your business and budget, speak to Fiveways Insurance about your Professional Services Insurance package today.