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Companies have begun to be more comfortable outsourcing their administrative functions, understanding that it can be more flexible, efficient and cost effective than keeping their own staff. Small businesses and even busy individuals are also now looking to administrative consultants to take care of daily tasks like appointment scheduling and invoicing. If you have strong customer service skills, professionalism and attention to detail, you can succeed at this business even without a degree or other certification.
Identify your target market and how you will reach it with tailored services. You might leverage a background in medical billing to target small medical offices, offering to provide them with invoicing as well as data entry and transcription services. Or offer virtual services to start-up businesses that can’t afford a full-time administrative person on staff.
Register and set up your business. You’ll need a business license and may need to file a DBA (Doing Business As) if you’re operating under a name other than your own. In addition, set up a business bank account and have business cards and stationary printed.
Invest in software and tools for doing your work and running your business. If you’re working remotely, have a high-quality webcam and headset for talking with your clients via Skype or other video-conferencing software. A dictation software package and scheduling software can also make you more productive. And finally you’ll need to keep track of your own accounting and taxes, send invoices to clients, accept payments by electronic payment or credit card and so on. Large banks now offer many business services, so investigate these tools when you’re shopping for a business bank account.
Advertise your services. Since you’ll be sending professional correspondence on behalf of your clients, everything you communicate in your advertising should be absolutely correct, timely and professional. Emphasize the benefits that you can bring to your clients better than your competitors can. For instance, if you provide remote services, explain that you can provide lower-cost services, yet you’re working on the same time zone and are a native English speaker, helping to alleviate their concerns about remote administrative staff. Advertise in places your target customers are likely to be looking. For instance, if you’re aimed at real-estate offices, advertise in real-estate industry newsletters and multiple listing service publications.
Evangeline Marzec is a management consultant to small high-tech companies, and has been in the video games industry since 2004. As a published writer since 1998, she has contributed articles and short stories to web and print media, including eHow and Timewinder. She holds a Master of Business Adminstration from Thunderbird School of Global Management.