Monday, November 19, 2007

Home-Based Business - Home Office Consultant

  • Start-up cost: RM5,000-RM10,000
  • Potential earnings: RM30,000-RM45,000
  • Typical fees: RM40-RM50 per hour
  • Advertising: Direct mail to entrepreneurs, networking with entrepreneurial assistance organizations, Yellow Pages, newspapers
  • Qualifications: Business degree or previous entrepreneurial experience
  • Equipment needed: Computer, printer, fax/modem, copier, pager or cellular phone
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Slow payment for your services as many beginning entrepreneurs have cash-flow problems
  • Lowdown: Home offices are a large part of the burgeoning entrepreneurial marketplace—and you can cash in on the ground floor if you have the expertise needed to help a home office get off on the right foot. Your biggest problem will likely be in locating those thinking about working from home—although there are a few directions that may prove helpful. One excellent way to find clients is through on-line services and work-at-home forums, where you can offer your expert advice free of charge in an effort to get your name and company information out there. You can also comb the business, professional, and entrepreneurial groups that meet in your community for potential clients. Once you get a client base going, you will work with each client on projects that range from advice on computer systems to office ergonomics to marketing strategy. You really need to be well-rounded in your realm of experience, as you’ll be giving the best advice you can on a wide variety of topics. Make sure that you focus heavily on the types of equipment a home office might need, as well as tips on balancing home and family (since both are closely entwined in this venture). The trouble is, your likelihood of having repeat customers is low, since most home offices only launch once; stay on top of things and be constantly on the lookout for new prospects (many will come via referral).
  • Start-Up: Your launch fees (RM5,000-RM10,000) will mostly cover your basic office setup and some preliminary list rentals so that you can send some direct mail pieces to folks who work from home. Expect to earn RM30,000-RM45,000 once you get established; charge RM40-RM50 per hour for your services.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: While it may be interesting and even exciting to be part of an innovative young company’s beginning, it may take a while to secure payment for your services. If you can charge up front, and particularly if you accept credit cards, you’ll have a much better chance of collecting what your services are worth.

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