QUESTION ON Starting a Business of Helping Others
I am a truck driver, and the only passion I have is the computer, and the Internet. I am not specialized in anything, but I do know some about a lot of things. I find it all very exciting, like photo editing for example. What are some things I could do at home to start a business. Maybe at least spare time, and make it full time? Would really appreciate your help. One idea I had was helping people with there first computer, getting started, teaching Internet use, maybe even in the selection for purchase. Maybe with senior citizens. If something like that might work. How would I get started? Thanks
Advice by Mershon Bell
Congratulations on considering doing what you love! Having passion about the computer is an important first step towards success.
Here are a few things to consider when starting a computer business from home: Find out about starting a business. Having a successful business is alot more than just doing what you do well. It is about accounting, marketing, business plans, office equipment, etc. Visit www.bizstarters.com or read Small Time Operator by Kamoroff or hire a business coach for a start.
In the computer field, consider offering an HMO type of arrangement for small business people. For X dollars a year (a retainer type fee) you service their ongoing computer needs. This would include installing upgrades, cleaning out the system, defragging, consulting on new add-on equipment. With this arrangement you have some security in terms of clients and money; your clients know you’ll be there when they need you.
Start out by giving talks about the Internet, photo editing, etc. at your local library or senior center. This can be a great way to meet people, demonstrate your knowledge, and locate potential customers. Offer a free month of service as a give away. Chances are they will pay you for a year’s worth.
Network, network, network. Talk to everyone who will stand still about what you want to do, who your ideal clients are and how they can help you succeed. Marketing is the key to a successful small business.
Target your market. Is it senior citizens? If it is, become known in this arena. Go where they go, find out what their needs and interests are, write articles that will appear in publications they read. Become known as “the” computer guy for senior citizens! This is called branding (like Oprah).
Devise a plan of action and take it a step at a time. As Walt Disney said, “If you can imagine it, you can do it!” Get started on your dream today!
Recommended Resources on How To Start a Business of Helping Others Start a Business
- Successful QuickBooks Consulting: The Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Growing a QuickBooks Consulting Business —Ideal for Bookkeeping or Bookkeepers, Accounting or Accountants, or Consultants
- The Work-at-Home Success Bible: A Complete Guide for Women: Start Your Own Business; Balance Work and Home Life; Develop Telecommuting Strategies
- Millionaire Mumpreneurs: How Some of The World’s Most Successful Mumpreneurs Made a Million Online and How You Can Do It Too!
- New Business Creation: An International Overview (International Studies in Entrepreneurship)
Article originally published in July 2001. Updated March 4, 2012
Category: Q & A