Monday, August 12, 2013

Why You Should Start a “Service” Business!

When I first started my company, I was thrilled to be running a business selling Background Check services. 

As time has gone on, I have continued to be happy with my decision.  And I have found running a Service Business to be especially fulfilling.  

I am able to truly be a part of the success of each and every one of my client’s businesses.  Helping them hire safely and effectively has really given me a sense of accomplishment.

One advantage in providing a service is that you are able to draw on your own knowledge and skills and turn them into a marketable asset.  My background in professional writing is especially helpful to me.  I am able to write effective copy, create forms specific to my needs and write my business blog.

There have also been practical “pros”.  Having a business that provides services over one that sells items enables me to have a low overhead.  I do not have inventory, production costs, and storage issues.  Most likely my utility costs are also minimal in compared to companies that produce a “good”.

A service-based business is also easier to run out of my home.  I needed very little space to set up a work station - and also a minimal amount of equipment.  A computer (it was a desktop in the beginning!), printer, fax (which I have since eliminated), and office supplies, were all I needed - and I was in business!

This was especially helpful during my initial set-up phase.  Most of us that start our own businesses are “cash poor”.  Not having to invest a lot of my own money was invaluable.

(You can read more about running a business from home in my previous article, “The Challenges and Rewards of Running a Home Based Business”)

However, I also found some “cons” in deciding on a service-based business.

Selling services instead of products is definitely less “visual”.  

Because of this, using social sites like Pinterest is much more challenging.  I have had to be creative in finding ways to post that would appeal in a visual way.  I found including pictures in my posts to draw the eye or relevant infographics related to my article were crucial.

I also believe it is easier to grasp what it is you are selling when it is a product.  It is clear what it is and how that product will benefit you.  Instead, I have to continually work to illustrate the benefits of my background check services - especially to small businesses.

Of course businesses that sell “things” have to also deal with proving their product’s worth, but it is still more tangible and concrete than the idea of a service.  This is certainly a challenge I have to face.

Finally, it is easier to justify the price of a product over that of a service.  When setting your prices, you can take into consideration production costs like materials and labor.  Pricing my services is much more elusive.

I determine the costs of my services on less tangible factors.  I need to take into consideration my time and my knowledge.  When meeting with clients, this is much harder to convey.

I have second-guessed myself often over the years because of this. I have finally come to realize that I when I place more value in what I have to offer, so do my clients - but this was a long journey.

Despite these obstacles, I have found both enjoyment and fulfillment in running my own “service” business. 

Consider these words from Steve Farber;

“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”

And I have found I love what I do, and I believe you can too!

If you have jumped into a "service-based business", let me know.  I would love to hear about your journey!

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Also check out my website,, for more about how Background Checks can Help you Succeed in Your Own Small Business!  Thanks!


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