starting a service business

5 Steps to Starting a Profitable Service Business in 2021

28 December 2020 | by Gina Lucia

Starting a service business in 2021 but don’t know where to actually start? Well, look no further because this article will break it down for you step-by-step so you can get right to it. Plus, I’ll be giving you some refreshing advice you might not find elsewhere so stay tuned!

When looking to start your own service business, you might have a lot of questions. From how much to charge for your services, to what niche you should be in. Well, this article will take you through all that and help you start your journey into becoming a successful service-based business owner this year and beyond.

Starting a service business – the basics

First, let’s outline what a service business is, so we’re all on the same page.

What is a service business?

A service business is essentially any business that offers professional support to its clients. This support is deemed a service and can take the form of anything from accounting, to design work and more.

Service business examples

That’s pretty vague, so let’s break down what a service business is with some examples. Here are just some of the services you could offer as a service-based business:

So now we understand the basics of what a service business is, let’s start laying the foundation. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide on your niche or speciality.

service business niche

Deciding on your service business niche or speciality

Before you even think about setting up your website (I just know you’re itching to!), the first thing you’ll need to do is to pick your service business niche or speciality.

This is important because, in order to figure out who your ideal client is, first, you’re going to need to decide on what you do.

Of course, this entirely depends on the industry you want to work in. So let’s say you want to start a copywriting service business, you know your broad niche or speciality (copywriting), but you’ll need to break this down even further.

The area of expertise or niche you go into will be determined by your experience, interests and/or what you want to learn. For example, you could be a copywriter who offers any of the following types of copywriting:

  • Website copy
  • Blog posts or articles
  • Sales page copy
  • Email marketing
  • Product descriptions
  • White papers
  • Press releases
  • Social media copy
  • And more

This step shouldn’t be rushed. It’s more important than you think to really make sure your chosen area of expertise is going to work hard for you. 

In fact, when starting a service business, it’s even more important that you pick one of these areas to be your niche and specialise in it. It will help you gain new clients when you have a speciality, instead of being a jack of all trades.

Decide on your services

Now you’ve decided your niche or specialism, you’ll then want to decide what services you’re going to offer. As a business owner, this is your bread and butter and perhaps the most important part of starting your service business.

The service you create entirely depends on the niche you’re in, but I’d recommend starting with just one service. 

This will be your signature service that’s very specific and tailored to your ideal client. Trust me when I say, it’s easier to perfect one service than have three services that don’t work so well.

You’ll want to make sure the service you offer is something that will either save your potential client time or make your potential client money.

These two things are the key to any successful service. Clients want you to achieve one, or both of these things for them so make sure your service delivers. 

Setting up your website

This is perhaps one of the least important steps on this list (even though I know you’re excited to get it done). 

Believe it or not but you don’t need a fancy website with tons of blog posts and content to be successful as a service-based business owner. 

In fact, all you need is a simple website which ticks a few boxes. 

Rather than go into this in detail now, bookmark this post to read once you’ve finished this one. 

That post talks about the 5 things your business website needs to turn visitors into customers. Those 5 things are simple and you don’t need a designer or developer to help you do them. 

service business clients

How to find clients for your service business

You have everything set up, now it’s time to find clients to pitch your services to.

Here’s where my advice might differ from other people’s:

  • I don’t think you should set up any social media accounts (unless you’re offering social media services)
  • I don’t think you should build an email list (unless you’re offering email list services)
  • I don’t even think you should be blogging to get new clients (unless you’re offering that as a service and even then, keep it to a minimum)

The fastest way to get yourself up and running (whether you’re just starting, or as you go) is to invest your time in cold emailing potential clients. 

Don’t forget the important stuff

Setting up your service business should be enjoyable, but you mustn’t forget about the important stuff.

Making sure you have a contract to send clients once they agree to work with you is vitally important and making sure you manage your incomings and outgoings is too. As is your onboarding process, including sending a welcome packet.

So if you need some extra assistance, here are some more resources to get you going:

So, are you thinking of starting a service business? Has this article been helpful? Leave me a comment below because I’d love to hear from you!