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Friday, June 1, 2012

7 Mistakes Secretarial Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them

Are you a secretary, word processor, data entry processor or typist? Are you interested in typing from home? Providing secretarial services? Running a secretarial business?

By knowing the challenges involved in running a home-based secretarial business and learning from other people's mistakes, you can increase your profits and become successful faster. 

Mistake 1: Spending too much start-up money.

Don't spend thousands of dollars before you're getting secretarial work and clients. Start your secretarial business on a shoestring. Spend as little money as possible when getting started to minimize costs and maximize profits. Only buy equipment and supplies that are essential. Start with a computer, printer and a ream of paper. Buy small amounts of supplies. Then, when you start getting regular clients and are making money, you can buy additional equipment and supplies. When you start to get clients, then you can buy additional equipment and supplies.

Consider buying used equipment. You can find used equipment for your secretarial business in your local newspapers and computer publications, at garage sales, second-hand stores, and at message boards. Check eBay to find low-priced business supplies and equipment. Look for sales and specials at local stores.

Mistake 2: Untargeted business name.

Your business name should clearly indicate what kind of secretarial services you're providing. If your business name doesn't describe the nature of your secretarial business or typing services or has an unclear meaning, it won't catch the attention of prospective clients and they may not realize that you offer services they need.
Your business name can also help you differentiate your secretarial services and convey your unique selling proposition. For example, HyperTyper tells what this typing service does. Not only does this home-based secretary type, but she types fast. Express Legal Secretarial Services and Accurate Medical Transcription both indicate their secretarial specialties in addition to indicating that they offer a fast turnaround and accurate transcription work.

Mistake 3: Not charging enough for your secretarial services.

Pricing is often a challenge for home-based secretarial services.  Some secretarial services think that if they charge less than their competition they will get more work. This is not true. Don't be tempted to reduce your fees to get the sale. Don't underestimate the value of your secretarial, word processing, typing and transcription services, and commit to asking your full fee.

Charging too little for your secretarial services reduces your profits and can leave you resentful. Have confidence in yourself and in the secretarial services you are providing.

Mistake 4: Not specializing.

Successful secretarial services specialize. Do you want to target academia, legal, medical clients? Do you want to provide word processing and transcription services? For example, Ann Johnson's Legal Transcription or Creative Designs immediately indicates what those people specialize in. Specializing does not mean that you have to turn down other secretarial work or word processing work.  But you can reach your market better if you appear to be a specialist in a particular field. For example, if you put an ad in the Yellow Pages with a name like "A Winning Resume" you'll be taken more seriously as a resume writer than if your ad says "Tina's Typing Services."  Determine what sets you apart from other secretarial services, and then emphasize your uniqueness.

Mistake 5: Failing to market or marketing inconsistently.

Lack of marketing is the biggest mistake secretarial service businesses make. They may send out flyers, postcards or letters once, or call a prospect once, or place one ad once, and then they'll expect the phone to ring off the hook. The key to marketing is repetition. It usually takes more than one contact for a customer to start using your secretarial services. In fact, it typically takes 5 to 7 contacts. You want your name to be in front of your customers and prospects on an ongoing basis. You want them to think of you when they have a problem and need word processing or secretarial services.  If your prospects have seen your name only once, and your competitor is sending them a mailing every month, your competitor will get their word processing and secretarial work.

Mistake 6: Untargeted marketing.

Many home based secretarial services think that every business or entrepreneur is their market. You don't want to advertise to everyone hoping that someone out there will need your secretarial services.

Your marketing and advertising has to be targeted to your goals to generate sales. Untargeted marketing is ineffective and will cost you money. Target your promotions and messages to the type of clients you want to work with and the kind of secretarial work you want to do. For example, if you want to provide medical transcription to doctors, you should go to medical facilities instead of putting flyers on bulletin boards at grocery stores. If you are targeting students, go to colleges.

Be sure to know your preferred audience. Then advertise in publications your customers will read. Research which advertising medium will be effective for your secretarial business.

Mistake 7: Trying to reinvent the wheel

Learn from other people's mistakes. Great marketing strategies work over and over again. Look at proven marketing strategies that are successful for other secretarial services and copy their success instead of trying to create new ones.

There is a high demand for secretarial services. If you having typing skills, consider running your own home based secretarial service business.

Fortunately for you, you have the opportunities to learn from others' mistakes, and avoid making the same mistakes yourself in your own secretarial business. Do your home work and find out as much as possible about starting a secretarial service business. Then, dive in and get started.

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Source White Market

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