The days of ordering just one product or service from just one business are over, forever altered by the Covid-19 pandemic. With the meteoric increases in online shopping, delivery, and streaming services, it’s never been easier for entrepreneurs to provide their customers with a multi-service solution.
Starting an all-in-one business is achievable and incredibly rewarding, whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur looking to get your startup off the ground or an experienced company owner ready to scale up operations.
Take, for instance, the case of Gojek Tech, the Indonesian company that launched its incredible app supplying shopping, digital payments, food delivery, and literally dozens of other services. The past three years have seen their orders skyrocket to an unbelievable 6600 times their regular volume.
Clearly, the dawn of a new era for multi-service providers is here. In this guide, we will lay out the necessary steps you need to take to launch your own successful full-service enterprise. So if you’re looking for ways to increase customer satisfaction while expanding your reach and boosting profits, read on!
What Do You Need To Start a Multi-Service Business
Source: Four Week MBA
Starting a multi-service business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But before you start, you'll need to prepare a few things. In this list, we'll go over the essential steps to get your enterprise off the ground. Let's dive in!
Strong Business Plan
As with everything in life, you will need a well-thought-out strategy before starting your multi-service business. A strong business plan will help you determine the products and services you will provide, your target market and how to reach them, and the financial resources needed to launch. Here is a list of some major components to include in your business plan to ensure you start off on the right foot:
- Company Overview. Describe your company’s mission, goals, services, and products.
- Market Analysis. Identify the target market for your multi-service platform and explain how you plan to reach them.
- Financial Plan. Outline your financial projections for the first year and beyond, including capital requirements or potential investment opportunities.
- Operations Plan. Detail how you will manage the corporation's day-to-day operations, such as staffing, accounting/bookkeeping, customer service/support, etc.
- Marketing Strategy. Explain how you will market your services to first-time entrepreneurs and businesses looking to scale. Consider social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), referral programs, and advertising campaigns.
Make sure to take your time building your business plan; better to spend more time now than court disaster later! Next, it’s on to the money.
Budget To Invest in Equipment and Labor
We get it; budgets are boring, but having the necessary funds to invest in equipment and labor is essential when starting a multi-service business. A prudent entrepreneur should set aside a healthy portion of their budget for these expenses, depending on the services they intend to offer, and it's essential you don’t underestimate these costs.
Prepare yourself, though. Some companies report up to 70% of their budget is allocated to salary-related fees alone. While this number may seem shockingly high, you will see a payoff in the long run for doing your due diligence now.
Investing in quality equipment will ensure that clients receive reliable service, while hiring experienced staff will help provide exceptional customer service. With suitable investments in place, businesses can have a solid foundation from which to grow and succeed.
Before starting a multi-service business, it’s essential to do some research to ensure your business has a chance of succeeding. Investigate the local business landscape and find out what services are in demand. Consider the competition and what makes your company unique.
Reach out to other local businesses and ask them what services they’d find helpful. Get input from your target customers and find out what they need that they’re not getting. Doing this research will help you determine what services you should offer and what prices you should charge.
Most Common Multi-Service Businesses
While there are many types of all-in-one companies out there, some stand out from the pack as the most common and successful. If you’re considering starting your enterprise, here’s a look at some of the most popular options:
- Cleaning Services. Do you have an eye for detail and a knack for organization? Then you can be successful in running a cleaning service business. You can offer various services, such as office cleaning, residential cleaning, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, and other special services.
- Handyperson Services. Got a knack for fixing things around the house? Handyperson services are in high demand, and you can make a good living by starting your own business. You can offer services such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and more.
- Delivery Business. Starting a delivery service is a great way to get your idea off the ground. You can provide food delivery, package delivery, and more. You can quickly build a loyal customer base with the right marketing and strategy.
While these are some of the more well-known all-in-one services on the market, the list is endless for those wanting to make the leap.
What To Consider When Starting a Business
Once you've got a plan in place, you're likely ready to jump in guns blazing. Hold on a minute there, pardner; you've still got some red tape to cut through.
Starting a new company can be risky, so it's critical you have the right insurance to protect you. Look into getting general liability insurance, which will help cover you against specific claims made against your enterprise.
Consider looking into business interruption insurance, which will cover any losses you may incur if your company can not operate for an extended period.
Remember professional liability insurance, which can help protect you from claims made against you for errors or omissions in your services. Give yourself peace of mind and ensure you have the right coverage before conducting transactions.
Since the bottom line for creating your own multi-service business is making money, it stands to reason you need to figure out how you will manage it. A business bank account is vital for any business, especially for multi-service companies
You'll find it best to open a business checking account to separate your company finances from your personal finances. You can easily track and manage your business income and expenses. Different banks have different requirements for opening accounts, so research the process and fees associated with each bank. It's also a good idea to speak to a banker to get advice on the best account for your industry.
Additionally, think about different features and services you might need, such as online banking, check processing, and business credit cards. Having the right financial tools can help keep your multi-service business running smoothly.
Now it's time to "show me the money." Starting a new company requires funding, and there are a few different ways to go about it. You can use your own savings, borrow from family and friends, or secure a business loan. Creating a budget is the starting point for understanding how much money you need to get your company off the ground.
You can qualify for a loan from a bank or other lending institution if you have good credit. Make sure to research the different loan types and their interest rates. If your credit score is lower than you’d like, you may need to look into a personal loan or alternative financing sources such as crowdfunding or government grants.
If you don't have the funds to cover the startup costs, consider looking into a business partner. Make sure to have a written agreement to ensure you both have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities. However you decide to fund your endeavor, it's vital to have a roadmap in place for when the funds run out.
How To Get Started
Example of a Residential Contracting Multi-Service Business on Houzz
Pick A Multi-Service Business Idea
Now that you've covered all the basics, it's time to start. How will you pick your multi-service business idea? To make sure your new venture is successful, ask yourself a few questions:
- What services do I want to offer?
- Who is my target audience?
- What will set my business apart from the competition?
- What type of resources and equipment do I need?
We’ve compiled the information below from some of the most popular types of all-in-one industries to help you out.
Professional services are an excellent option for entrepreneurs with expertise in specific areas such as accounting, consulting, legal, or technical know-how. Before starting, consider your skillset and determine which services you’re qualified to provide.
This will help you choose a multi-service business idea that fits your area of interest. It’s also important to consider the marketability of the services you want to offer. If you're going to provide accounting services, for example, consider the local competition and whether or not there’s a need for your assistance.
You will also need to determine what resources you have available to you. Do you have access to a workspace, office supplies, or employees? Knowing your available resources will help you decide which multi-service business idea is best for you.
Handyman or Handywoman Services
First off, the traditional “handyman” name is misleading since there is a rapidly growing number of women running their own general repair and maintenance multi-service businesses.
If working with your hands is your thing, then a handyman services business might be perfect. Handymen and women enjoy enriching and lucrative business opportunities, as people always need minor home repairs, installations, and maintenance.
A typical handyman or woman might offer carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, painting, drywall, and more. Ensure you have the proper licenses and insurance required to perform these jobs. And don’t forget to factor in the equipment cost and extra help you may need.
An e-commerce business may be the best option if you’re looking for a multi-service idea that can be managed from the comfort of your home. Setting up an online store and selling products through a digital platform is a great way to get started in business and offers a range of possible services you can offer.
You can sell products such as clothing, accessories, and home décor, or you can offer services such as website design, digital marketing, and more. With an e-commerce platform, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Plus, as you grow, you can quickly scale your company and add more services to meet your client's needs.
Determine Your Budget and Secure Funds
Now that you’ve chosen what to do, you need to make sure you have the funds to do it. Estimate how much money is required to get your business off the ground and secure the necessary funds.
Don’t forget to factor in the costs of licenses, permits, equipment, and other start-up expenses. You may need to apply for a small business loan or partner with an investor to provide the necessary capital. Make sure you have your funding in place before proceeding.
Design An Effective Marketing Strategy
Now it's time to promote your business. But how will you do that? Strategy is key. Here are a few steps to help you craft an effective marketing plan:
- Identify Your Target Audience. Who are you trying to reach? Research the needs and wants of your target customers and determine how your services can meet those needs.
- Choose Your Marketing Channels. Which channels will you use to reach your target audience? Social media? Email newsletters? Print materials?
- Set Your Goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).
- Craft a Message. What message do you want to communicate? This should be based on your target audience's needs and your services' unique value proposition.
- Track Your Progress. Track the performance of your marketing efforts to ensure you are meeting your goals. Make adjustments as needed.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your marketing strategy is effective and oriented toward achieving your business goals.
Don't Forget About Licenses and Permits
Source: Patriot Software
If you’re considering starting a multi-service business, here are a few of the licenses and permits you might need:
- Business License. Depending on the type of business you plan to start, and where you plan to operate, you may need to obtain a business license.
- Professional Licenses. You may need to obtain a professional license, such as a contractor’s license or a license to practice medicine, depending on the type of service you plan to offer.
- Tax Registration. You must register your business with the IRS and obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Property Permits. You may need to obtain property permits from the local municipality to operate a business in a specific location.
- Resale Permit. Any business that sells goods will likely need a resale permit. This allows you to buy goods for resale without having to pay taxes on them. Depending on your state, you may need to get a resale permit from the state, the county, or both.
- Building Related Permits. Any building permits you might need to construct or remodel an office space, such as electrical and plumbing licenses.
- DBA License. Are you considering operating your business under a name other than yours? If so, you will need to obtain a DBA (Doing Business As) license from your county.
No matter what type of multi-service business you plan to start, it is essential to ensure you have all the necessary licenses and permits before beginning operations. Doing so will help ensure your business complies with all state and local regulations.
Get Your Business Venture In Gear
Still interested in starting your own all-in-one enterprise? Great, we were hoping we hadn't scared you off! Starting a multi-service business can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With the proper planning and dedication, you can be on your way to becoming a successful business owner.
This article outlined the necessary steps to get you started, such as researching the local market, creating a business plan, and obtaining the proper licenses and permits. Furthermore, you'll need to develop a marketing plan and create a budget. Following these steps will ensure you and your business are ready to hit the ground running.