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I always laugh at the ads in the home-based business magazines. "Starting a home-based business can be an exciting venture. Get started cheap, and make big money overnight."
Starting a home-based resume writing business can be exciting, and you can get your start for under $1000. But it takes hard work to make big money, and you want to avoid some of the most common mistakes in order to see your home-based resume writing business succeed.
Here are some of the top mistakes:
Failing to do your homework. What's that old saying, "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail"? (One good resource is my "Ready, Set, Goal: Business Planning and Goal Setting For Resume Writers" special report.) It's also important to research the industry. Here's the link to the results of the 2011 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey, which outlines typical hourly rates and average package prices for resumes/cover letters.
Failing to choose a niche. Yes, you can be a "general" resume writer, but you'll be more successful in standing out from the crowd if you ALSO pick a niche. Your niche is what is going to help you determine who your target audience is (and market to your ideal client), and what kind of career services they need. Without choosing a well-defined niche, you'll find it harder to attract clients. (Especially online!)
Failing to legitimize your business. Many people start a business without getting the proper credentials and licensing. Check into what your city, county, and state require in terms of business permits and licenses. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is your federal tax identification number for your small business.
Failing to know the law. This is especially important if you are planning on offering career coaching in addition to resume services. Some states require you to be licensed to offer career advice. You need to know if that's a requirement in your state. Also, some cities have zoning restrictions on home-based businesses. Research the law in your area so you don't get shut down!
Failing to get involved in the industry. One of the easiest shortcuts to success in the resume writing industry is to learn from your colleagues! This is truly a business that sees other resume writers as colleagues, not competitors. Join one of the professional associations in the resume writing industry, and get involved in the e-lists. Consider attending a conference! (Jon and I will be at the National Resume Writer's Association conference in Chicago in September. I'd love to see you there!)
Failing to market the business. Without a marketing plan you cannot have a successful home-based resume writing business. You might get away with that a little bit with a brick-and-mortar business in a busy mall, but you cannot get away without marketing if you're home-based. If you don't market, prospective resume clients won't know you exist. (Use the search box in the upper-left hand side of this blog -- type in "Marketing" and check out the blog posts that relate to marketing your home-based resume writing business.)
Failing to persevere. A home-based resume writing business can take time to build, and you'll need to actively work on your business each day in order to make it happen. Many resume writers -- including me! -- started by working part-time in their resume writing business before making the leap to full-time.
By avoiding these mistakes often made by home-based resume business start-ups, you're more likely have a profitable business that you can be truly proud to call your own!