How to Start a Home-Based Office Clerical Business

A home-based office clerical business requires low start-up costs and few resources. Also called virtual assistance, you can offer clerical support to customers from your home. Customers outsource administrative tasks such as answering emails, creating documents, scheduling, travel arrangements, creating and maintaining databases, mail merges and sending correspondence, among other activities. Some virtual assistants specialize in one area such as project management or marketing support or in one industry such as legal. Starting a home-based clerical business is achievable with the right marketing tools and the appropriate equipment.

Make a list of the clerical services you can offer customers from your home. In addition to basic clerical support, consider niche services you can offer based on your expertise. Play on your strengths and past success.

Decide upon and register your business name, if applicable in your state. If you plan to incorporate or become a limited liability company, follow the links on business.gov for information on how to complete the process in your state. Obtain a federal tax identification number from the IRS.

Create a website to market your virtual clerical business. Keep your website simple and professional and include a list of your services, contact information and why companies should hire you. Once you are established, include customer testimonials. Submit your website to search engines, online directories and enhance your website with wording for strategic search engine optimization.

Purchase equipment for your business such as a computer, printer, office supplies, desk and chair, telephone line and a fax machine. Keep an inventory of these purchases and all receipts, as you will be able to deduct them from your taxes if used for your business.

Join professional associations such as the International Virtual Assistants Association and Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce. These organizations provide advice and offer resources including forms and templates, newsletters, articles, member forums and listing in directories.

Market your business by posting flyers in community areas, asking everyone you know for referrals, handing out business cards, attending networking events and going door to door to local business with a brochure about your home based clerical business. Show potential customers how you can help them including by saving them money.

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About the Author

Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.