Are you are looking for a home business idea? If so, why not start a handwritten mail business? In the digital age, real handwriting is more special than ever. As it becomes increasingly rare, the opportunity for people with nice handwriting grows. I’m not referring to calligraphy, just neat handwriting.
The market is huge, not only for handwriting personal invitations, thank you cards, and holiday greetings, but for business mail as well. Direct mail is a $12 billion industry. And, organizations have discovered that the best way to get their mail opened and read is to hand address the envelopes. Hence, many of them are looking to outsource the handwriting of their business mail to someone. That someone could be you.
Handwritten mail makes a great home-based business for three big reasons. First, handwriting can be done anywhere and at anytime. You work when and where you choose. Second, the start-up costs are low. This is a service business that doesn’t require an investment in inventory or technology. Third, it’s totally scalable. You can keep your home business small or grow as large as you like – it’s up to you.
To start your own home-based handwritten mail business, simply follow these 10.5 steps:
1. Learn the industry – Familiarize yourself with your potential customers and competitors. Be sure to find out the industry standards for extending credit, project turnaround time, and pricing.
2. Choose a niche – Identify, as specifically as possible, the type of customer that you are planning to serve. Carving out a niche market is absolutely vital to a small company. This is the key to differentiating yourself from your larger competitors.
3. Name your home business – Good business names are market-based and original. In other words, when your customers hear or see the name of your business, you want them to think about how your handwritten direct mail will help them.
4. Select a legal structure – Choosing the right legal structure for your business might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. If you strip away all of the legalese, the core factors become the number of owners permitted, the tax treatment of gains or losses, and the owners’ personal liability for claims made against the company.
5. Form your company – Register your home-based business and apply for the necessary licenses and permits. You can do this yourself by contacting the office of your state’s Secretary of State. But, if you are uncertain of the best structure to choose or how to go about setting it up, you should consult with your legal and tax advisors.
6. Obtain an EIN – An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is instantly available from the IRS at www.irs.gov. Many banks require an EIN to open a business checking account, so get one even if you don’t plan to have employees.
7. Organize your finances – Find a local bank that caters to small businesses and open a checking account. It’s also a good idea to have a business credit card. Keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances is an important requirement for maintaining the limited liability protection of corporations and limited liability companies.
8. Set up your home office – Allocate space in your home for writing, as well as storing the materials. Make sure you’ll be able to protect the job materials from the damage that children, pets, liquids, and smoke can cause.
9. Define your processes – Try to systematize as much of your home business as possible. Begin by outlining how you intend to find new customers, manage projects, and collect invoices. This will allow you to establish and maintain a degree of efficiency, and predictability of results.
10. Start marketing – Register a domain name, launch a website, join networking groups, and order printed marketing materials. Then, design and rollout marketing campaigns that promote your strengths to your niche market.
10.5 Receive payment for your first project – Congratulations!
Home businesses are a great way to accomplish both your personal and financial goals. The rising demand for handwritten mail has made it possible for people to make money at home, addressing envelopes. It can be done anywhere, at anytime, has low start-up costs, and is totally scalable. By following these 10.5 steps, you can tap into the $12 billion direct mail industry with your own handwritten mail business.