Anyone with a skill can start their own service-based business, and there are many good reasons why you might decide to. But running a successful service-based business? That’s an entirely different story. Service-based businesses often have their own operating methods, which means they also have their own unique ways of growing and developing. So with that in mind, here are some important tips to consider when launching your own service-based start-up.

Always under promise & over deliver

Good service-based businesses will meet the expectations of their clients. This is nice and all, but it’s always the very best of the best who are destined for greatness because they go out of their way to ensure they exceed those same expectations.

These are the businesses who start earlier to help their customer or driving across town to pick up a part they need, or pulling an all-nighter to make sure the new feature works as it’s intended to. They go to any lengths to ensure their clients are so happy with their service, they ultimately become brand ambassadors. By under promising and over delivering with every customer, there’s no way you can ever let them down or disappoint them, which is the type of service which earns more word of mouth referrals and ongoing repeat business.

Create your online presence

Every small business needs its own space online. The good news is that getting a professional website created these days is a pretty quick, cheap, and easy process. Especially if it’s just a basic one-page website that describes who you are, the service you provide, your contact details, and how they can book. Social media is another powerful tool you could use to promote your business online while also gaining some valuable insight into your potential customers.

Depending on your target demographic, you would most likely want to establish social media profiles for your business on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Once you have a website and are on appropriate social media apps, you can then use the internet to start building your profiles while attracting new customers to your business.

Work out your operational needs

When you’re thinking about the operational needs of your business, it’s important to focus on not just what you sell, but also who you’ll be selling it to. This will help you ascertain exactly how your service-business will operate. For example, how will you accept payments? You need to decide if you will accept cash, cheques, credit cards, or provide invoices. Do you plan on hiring employees? Remember too that service-based businesses rely heavily on customer relationships because the product you’re selling is you.

If you want the best chance of being successful, it’s essential to offer your services to the most amount of people as possible. So, when you’re working out of a shopfront, it needs to be accessible for everyone, including clients with disabilities. This means providing accessible entry, marked parking, and wheelchair-accessible restrooms, all of which with sufficient signage. After all, approximately 1/5th of all Aussies live with a disability, who are just as important as every other client.

Research the competition

Almost every service-based business on the planet has competition. Even if no other local business offers the exact same service as you, there will be some which provide similar services to your target audience. And if there isn’t now, there will be when your business becomes successful.

Start researching your competition. Learn as much as possible about them, from what they sell to how they sell it and how much they sell if for. This will help you learn where they do well, where they make mistakes, and where they can improve. You should also search for ways to set your company apart from theirs so you can differentiate yourself when you start marketing. You should plan on carrying out this type of competitive research regularly in an ongoing basis. You want to study how their business plan works so you see what makes them successful and how you can become better than them.

In order to create a strong service-based business with the highest possible chance of success, you need to start by understanding what you’re getting yourself into first. Start by following the tips above so you can leverage your skills and earn yourself a tidy little profit. Just remember that success in business is always a marathon run, not a short sprint. So just hang on, hang in there, and ultimately you’ll find a way to make it through.


Written By Luke Fitzpatrick

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.