I got my first home PC in 1997 when I was living in my flat. I knew instantly that I wanted to make some money with it and the first thing that I thought of was doing secretarial work from home.
I done some research Online, which was all very new to me. In fact Google was just a little unknown search engine then, the main dominant search engine was Excite!
Anyway, I done some Internet research and found a lady in the USA who ran her own secretarial business from home and she was selling a book explaining how to go about doing this yourself. The book was a physical book (ebooks weren’t around then) and had to be shipped from the US.
The book came about two weeks later and I couldn’t contain my excitement as I opened it. I read the whole thing in one sitting and instantly started making notes to start my own little secretarial business from home.
My memory is a bit foggy now 16 years on, but this is basically what I done then. Remember, this was 1997 and no-one really knew how to build websites then and blogging wasn’t around either.
Stating A Secretarial Business in 1997
#1 I went to my local BusinessLink and talked to one of the advisor’s. She said that I was entitled to a business start-up grant. A few weeks later I got the grant, I think it was about £250.00 and I bought a fax machine and some stationery.
#2 I looked through the Yellow Pages and made a database of all the local small businesses such as chartered surveyors, solicitors etc. I then sent out a letter to each of these businesses.
#3 I worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne so I used this to my advantage. I made up an A4 poster, took it to work, photocopied it and sent them to all the Departmental Secretaries within the University through the internal mail system. Some secretaries put my poster on the student and staff notice-boards.
#4 I informed the Inland Revenue about my new little business venture.
That was it really, nothing too hard about setting up a secretarial business up from home. My main duties were typing business letters, reports and university student dissertations.
I continued with this in my spare time until 2001 when I had my first child.
Starting A Secretarial Business Today
Starting a secretarial or typing business from home today is still just as easy but there is much more competition now. However, with thanks to the Internet and digital technology, there are also more and more individual and small businesses popping up who require clerical help so virtual assistants are always in demand.
Home-based typists or secretaries are now called virtual assistants and a virtual assistant can do any type of job from data entry, email customer service or even web or graphic design. Your clients don’t even need to be local, you can have clients nation-wide or even world-wide, you simply communicate through email or free software such as Skype (www.skype.com).
So this is a brief run-down of what you need to do to start getting clients:
#1 Decide which services you want to offer. What are you good at? What are the skills you use today?
#2 Although it’s not 100% necessary, I would recommend you build yourself a website where you can show-case the services that you offer and your pricing structure.
#3 Decide who your target market is. Do you want to work for Internet marketers? Authors? University students?
#4 Send out a mail-shot to your target market letting them know of your services and direct them to your website for further information.
#5 Keep advertising and marketing your business until you reach the number of clients that you feel comfortable with.
#7 Inform the Inland Revenue.
#8 Set up other business legalities such as opening a business bank account, get adequate insurance and get a book-keeping system set up.
As I said earlier, the Internet and digital technology has opened up a multitude of opportunities for women to work and earn from home with their own virtual secretarial business. You just need to know where to get your clients from and you could easily be making a full-time wage without the need to leave your home.
Go here if starting a virtual assistant business appeals to you.
Go here if you want to learn how to make £1,200 a month with your own typing from home business.