Leaving Work Behind

How to Launch Your Own Successful Service Business

Written by Tom Ewer on August 27, 2012. 15 Comments

How to Launch Your Own Successful Service BusinessIt is 11:30am on a Wednesday morning, and I am writing this at my dining room table in sweatpants and my Baltimore Ravens hoodie. Living the high life.

In essence, I am sitting here because of a speculative punt, followed by accidental success. The speculative punt is represented by the applications for writing positions I submitted via the ProBlogger Job Board back in September 2011. The accidental success was my blog becoming a client referral machine, despite a complete lack of intent on my part for that to be the case.

Launching and growing my service business (freelance writing) has been an experience that one could almost describe as being too good to be true. Flexible hours? Check. Great hourly rate? Check. Clients on tap? Check. I have to pinch myself.

The Benefits of Owning a Service Business

I don’t say any of the above to boast, because I think that nearly anyone is capable of launching a successful service business. I don’t consider my achievements remarkable. But what I am trying to communicate is how lucrative service businesses can be.

Unlike the many passive income pipe dreams out there, you can launch a service business and start earning money tomorrow. You don’t have to worry about overheads or stock, and your exposure to risk is essentially non-existent. And perhaps what I love most about running my own service business is that I dictate the hours I work. I currently earn a full time living with around 20 hours work per week, which gives me another 20 hours or so to focus on other projects (such as my freelance writing guide).

Even if your longterm dream isn’t to sell services, it can act as a fantastic stepping stone to whatever higher ambition you have.

In Search of a Great Guide

I write about freelance writing here on the blog, and also about freelancing in general. But what I haven’t offered is a guide to getting started with a service based business.

This issue came to a head when I was speaking to a friend recently. She is currently unhappily employed as a social media consultant, but does a bit of freelance work on the side. I asked her if she had considered launching her own social media consultancy business. She had, but didn’t really know where to start. I gave her a few tips, but I knew she needed more to feel like she could really launch herself into the idea wholeheartedly.

Michelle DaleIt was around that time that I received an email from Michelle Dale – someone who I have known for a good long while now. Someone who I have observed with admiration as a living and breathing example of how to create a successful online service business.

And guess what – she was emailing me to tell me about a new course she had just launched.

Introducing The Virtually Anywhere Shoestring

Michelle introduced The Virtually Anywhere Shoestring to me as a course that “answers all of the ‘How’ questions for someone wanting to get started providing a service online”. I couldn’t believe my luck. After skimming through the material, I could see that this was exactly what my friend needed, and exactly the kind of thing that would benefit a huge number of Leaving Work Behind readers. So then I went back to the start and digested the course thoroughly.

To say that I was impressed by its exhaustiveness would be an understatement. It is presented as 30 day program which takes you through every necessary step to launching a successful service business – from personal branding, to website and blog creation, to marketing, and even invoicing. I found myself thinking, “If only I had found this course a year ago”. What was even more interesting was some of the feedback Michelle was getting, such as this:

The VA Shoestring Testimonial

I can’t say I am surprised that the course is producing results like this, because Michelle has basically exposed all of the strategies she has employed to nurture her own successful businesses.

How Much Does it Cost?

The Virtually Anywhere Shoestring is priced at $99, but Michelle has a sale on until the end of August – it is currently available for $77, but only for a few more days.

If you are interested in creating a successful service business, this is basically the instruction manual. To find out more, click here.

If you’re not ready to take the plunge, then I definitely recommend that you check out Michelle’s blog, where she hands out a ton of free advice relating to service businesses, no strings attached.

If you are interested in launching a service business, will you be taking a closer look at The Virtually Anywhere Shoestring course? Let us know in the comments section!

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15 Responses to “How to Launch Your Own Successful Service Business”

  1. Samar
    August 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Oh wow. This is the kind of product that I wish was out there when I started.

    I have to say figuring out how to find clients and what to charge were two of the biggest questions I battled with.

    Since I’ve been following Tom for a while and am on his newsletter, I know his word is gold. If you’re just starting your service based business or are having trouble with establishing it, go with Tom’s recommendations.

  2. Alicia Jay
    August 28, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Hey Tom!

    I’ve been following Michelle since the start of my business a couple of years ago as well. She is an invaluable resource for anyone just starting (or needing to ramp up) their service-based business.

    She is definitely one to learn from and any product she puts out is sure to be worth far more than the price tag. Kudos for mentioning her here and bringing her info to your audience!

  3. Michelle Dale
    August 28, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Tom, thank you SO much for this wonderful review! I sincerely hope this programme helps your LWB Readers 🙂

  4. MaAnna
    August 30, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for bringing Michelle to my attention. I have a service based business and am in the process of taking it up another notch. Checked out her site and found it to be a super resource for folks at all levels.

  5. Martha Christie
    August 30, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Hi Tom

    This is an excellent article, and a credit to Michelle. She offers so much to virtual assistants and she is the most amazing mentor.

    I see you included my little FB comment (thank you) – From those 2 consultations, I secured both clients and I now have regular monthly work from them – This is all thanks to Michelle and the course(s) that she provides.

    As you mention in your article, even if you are still on the fence about starting your own business I would highly recommend visiting Michelle’s Blog – She even has a host of information over there to keep you going until you’ve made up your mind.

    Best wishes,

    • Tom Ewer
      August 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Martha,

      Thanks for your kind words! It’s great to hear the results you got from following the course.



  6. Shun Jackson
    August 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Great review! I took the VA Shoestring program as soon as it was available, and I can say that it was quite an adventure. The program is so structured and easily guides you step-by-step on setting up your business. Since completing the program, I’ve been gaining so many followers on Twitter. It’s simply amazing. I am sure to take it up a notch when I begin the VA Apprentice program next year.

  7. Joe
    September 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Would this be suitable for someone wanted to offer web design as their service?

    • Tom Ewer
      September 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Hi Joe,

      Definitely – it’s for anyone with a services based business, so it could be writing, web design, graphic design, SEO consultancy, etc…



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