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You Decide Your Income and Hours

An Overview of Creating a Service Business

Connor McGill, Business Columnist

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Greetings Barker readers, and Happy Holidays. There couldn’t be a more fitting time to expand into another avenue regarding how to make money – creating a service business. If you have a desire to build long term wealth, retire early, and graduate college with little debt… read on!

There is great appeal in being your own boss, as rare as it is for high schoolers. Owning a business brings along the potential to decide your own hours, make more money than you can working for a boss, and provide greater value and satisfaction. For teenagers, I have found that the best way to accomplish these ideals is through a service business, in which you exchange your hours and skills for money. The startup costs are very low, and there are a variety of jobs to perform in various marketplaces.

Currently, I am involved with partners in two service enterprises – one involving snow removal and the other involving tech solutions. For widespread understanding and simplicity, I will explain the process of starting and operating one through the scope of CMJ Snow Removal.

IDEAS – The first step is identifying a need. Look around – is there a job that needs doing? Is there a job where people charge too much? Is there something that you are really good at or have a passion for? In the case of CMJ Snow Removal, we saw the typically high charges that plow guys charge, and their tendency to go quickly and tear up lawns. Being teenagers and not needing money to support a family, we could afford to go slowly and do more quality jobs while charging less, still retaining high margins. Take this approach when you consider what business you want to start.

PLAN – A one page business plan and one page marketing plan are all you really need. For example, CMJ Snow Removal’s business plan included our goals, our mission statement, financial projections and more. A simple Google search of “sample business plans” will provide great templates. Our marketing plan included methods for distributing flyers, creating a presence on social media, and developing a website.

ACTION – Action is the most critical, yet rarest, portion of this. This part is surprisingly simple – work the plan! Go door to door with flyers to get clients, manage a Facebook Page, and always provide the best service possible. Throughout this process, write down ways to make your operations better as they arise, and do what you write. The only way to learn is by doing it, and through consistent performance, growth is inevitable. CMJ Snow Removal grew from walking 3 miles with shovels to operating machinery.

A service business represents the American Dream on a smaller scale – hard work is directly proportional to reward, and in this case reward can be triple that of minimum wage. However, despite the ability to make your own hours, if you don’t dedicate massive amounts of time and energy, nothing will get done. Don’t let that deter you from starting a business now. If done right, the rewards are bountiful.

My next article will be the last in Part 1, and I’ll talk about some tips on growing a service business that I’ve learned through experience and from others. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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You Decide Your Income and Hours