Building Your Service Business from Scratch. A must-have guide to success. | Kirill Vekhov | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Building Your Service Business from Scratch. A must-have guide to success.

teacher avatar Kirill Vekhov

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. My Beginnings

    • 3. Your Idea and Market Research

    • 4. Licensing and Taxes

    • 5. Buying your First Equipment

    • 6. Figuring out Pricing

    • 7. Jump start to get first Customers

    • 8. Use CRM Like QuickBooks or Jobber

    • 9. Quoting Secrets

    • 10. Branding, Marketing & Appearance

    • 11. Conclusion

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Finally, a Small Business Essentials course aimed specifically at Service Businesses.

This course is packed with information you will use for the rest of your career. 

Are you thinking about starting a small service based business?

Maybe you're already in business and you want to know how to better present, market and advertise your business.

Yes? Then this is the course for you.

In this course I'll show you how to successfully build and market your business using proven strategies that helped me take my service business from a complete start up to a successful operation.

This is the information I wish I had access to a decade ago when I was starting my business.

With this information I'd have avoided many mistakes and been on the road to having a successful service business years sooner. Now it's available to you in a format that's been designed for easy consumption, with practical examples and strategies that you can implement into your business immediately. If you're serious about being successful in your business, then this is the information you need.

Give yourself your best chance for success by enrolling in this life-changing course now.

Every moment you delay is literally costing you business opportunities. Simple as that.

Watch this course now.

Who this course is for:

  • This course is perfect for anyone who is thinking of starting or who currently owns a small service based business
  • Business owners looking for new marketing and advertising strategies that actually work

Meet Your Teacher

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: Hello and welcome to my course. My name is Carrie. And over next hour and 1/2 I'll be sharing The best knowledge that I have for you to use in your home business Were mostly gonna be talking about the service business because that's business that they used to run for the last 10 years. So I hope you enjoy this content. And I appreciate you taking the time to learn new things. And I hope you appreciate me putting it together. So we'll see you in the next video. 2. My Beginnings: so a little bit about myself. What I wanted to share is that I am an immigrant. I came into this country about 10 years ago with my family that was 19 years old and quite frankly today turned 29 actually chose to record this, um, trading on my birthday, because that's what I'm passionate about. And that's what I wanted to do for a long time. So finally put it together. Anyways, when we moved to this country, I didn't have, uh, language, so I couldn't speak one sentence. I may be new, some verbs and president simple, but I could only say, Where's the store? Like basic things like that And it made It made it extremely hard for me to find a when a single job in McDonald's or something like that. So one of my buddies, just to give me some tools and saying, Hey, why don't you try to do this particular thing and maybe it could make some cash, And that's how it started. I started my own business and find effect about 1st 7 estimates that I came to do. I came with my sister. She knew language so she would actually translate for me and for customers so we can understand the child. And then I would perform the work didn't get paid. So you have absolutely no excuse of starting your own business on doing it just because they have a language. One other thing is that you have to have an idea of what you want to do, and I know everybody is talking about it. You have to have a niche, but you cannot start the business if you don't know the niche. So if you want to start washing cars, you have to have a least some knowledge how towards some course. Or if you want to do pet grooming, you have to know how to handle pets, and I'm not saying that you cannot learn it, but I would prefer if you I would start a business that you understand at least a little bit. You can always learn more, but you have to be passionate about it. You have to love what you do out of ways it's couldn't become old real quick, and you just decide not to do it anymore. So anyways, comin back now, 10 years later, we actually sold our business. 10. It was sold our business last year, and, uh, we made money on that and the whole thing. What I'm saying, that is we were building our business in a way so we can sell it. And that's what I wish for you. You start a business, you grow it. And hopefully one day you'll saw it for good money. If you decide that you don't want to do it anymore. So with this in mind, I just want to let you know that we're gonna be going over skills and some knowledge that I got in this area and I'll be sharing, and you're gonna have to apply it on your own business model. 3. Your Idea and Market Research: Hey there. So, as I said, you need to start from the idea. Let's say you already have this idea. The thing to do today is to go and do market research. What I mean by that it means you're going on Google or you go in the Yellow Pages or whatever works in your area. However, you get services in your area and you go on new research competitors. Who else in your town does the same type of business? So you're going to start looking at their websites. You're going to start looking piece book pages instagram if they have what kind of content ? The post area together. And don't just go look at the best companies. Look at the companies that don't do so well. Tell you one of the reasons why you should do it a little bit later, but for the first few months, it's gonna be your competition, so you have to at least become knowledgeable. What kind of business is run in your area? One of things you have to think about this. Can you do the same or can you do better? So if you can do better, that's great. You understand it will take some work, but that's what you have to strive for. Uh, if you can barely keep up, if those companies, it's gonna be tougher for you. But there is nothing impossible. So you might take extra work, extra research, how to make things better. But market research is one of the things that you do and don't spend weeks and months and doing it. Just go and do it today. Maybe tomorrow, Onda. One of the things you're gonna have to start doing this calling some of these companies later on. And the reason is because you're gonna have to try to find out how much they charged for service. So let's say they wash windows in the house or something like they do car washes. So you're gonna call them and pretend you're customer just house their basic questions. Hey, how much you charge for these, or how much per window, how much per car. And they're going to give you the range from minimum to maximum. You're gonna have to write it down on. That would be your based line, but what you're gonna be charging when you are on this business? And I think that's all you need to know about market research so far, and I'll see the next video 4. Licensing and Taxes: Hey, so assume you did some market research already. And you know what, Mark? It looks like it in your area. And let's say you're ready to start doing it on you ready to start rocking it. The first thing you're gonna have to do is to go and get your licensing. Right now, it's very convenient. The majority of states, you can probably do it online, so you gotta research it on your own. How in your particular area to get a license? The reason why you need it is because they're gonna assign you a tax I d. So you can pay Texas on all the profits that you make. So, uh, that would be your assignment for this. Part of the lesson is going to figure out how to get a lessons and usually takes about a week or two for you to get actual people work. And if you do it online, I think it's even faster. 3 to 4 days again depends on the state. Go do your own research. One of the things to keep in mind. Uh, I'm not trying to give you tax and wise, but as far as I know, uh, they gonna ask you the We're gonna give you a list. How do you want to be charged and is gonna be Escort C Corp on a lot of different things? So you have to do research before doing that, because I mean mistaking my own business. What I did is I took a handyman license and I don't even remember where they checked. So they were charging me 30 to 40% taxes on my income. And this is a lot. This is like almost half. And it took me several years to figure out that I've been paying too much in Texas. So my content told me you have to do check escort. So we changed our license to escort, and we caught her taxes in half. So very important, I think, to be attention for when you do that. One other thing. Talk about people work gets probably getting an insurance. I know I didn't get insurance right away. When I started, I couldn't afford it, and, uh, he at the time, I think it was about $900.1200 dollars a year to get insurance because there's deep, different types of liabilities. They're gonna look at your business, and they're gonna give you an estimate How much it cost. So at least get an estimate from 23 different companies. So you know how much they're gonna be charging you. And if you can afford it, don't take a chance to get insurance right away. And after that, uh, good to go and we can go to the next step. I'll see you there. 5. Buying your First Equipment: Okay. Step number three off us. Starting a new business. And it is equipment. It depends on the business. How much equipment you're gonna need. Some businesses require where little some businesses require a lot. My business acquired a lot of equipment. Let just to give you an example. About 67 years running into business, I had several Cruz. And to run a single crew, we needed about 30 to $40,000 tools and equipment and trucks and everything just to set them up. So they able to do work. So don't get scared. This number We started with a single tool when they would get another one that we've got another one. You don't have to buy new ones. You can just go on Craig's, get something used. Only advice this would be Don't buy the cheapest stuff. Find the best bread. Uh, in this particular equipment top that you're looking for and get it used is going to serve you a few years. That's what you need. And that's how you start. That's cheaper than going by in a brand new one. But to perform your first job, you're gonna need some equipment. Whatever it is, you figure out how much money in it, and this is a good time for me to give you this advice that if you have a job and you're thinking of starting your own business, have enough money at least safe to buy some used equipment just to do you for a job, just enough to do a job or two. Because when I started, I didn't have it. I had to borrow my customers tools. You never want to do it. It's unprofessional, but I didn't have a choice. I think if you have a job and you can save $507,000 that would be awesome. Some people would do it on credit cards. I wouldn't say it will pay off right away, but there is a chance if you could do what you do. So this is I think this is enough information for you to buy equipment on. We're gonna be talking about Price and next video, and I'll see you there 6. Figuring out Pricing: Hey there. So when expedient, want to talk about pricing? Already did talk about it a little bit, but I just want to repeat myself. How important this? So when I started my 1st 2nd 1st probably 20 jobs, I was charging the customer in the minimum wage. This is a big, big, big mistake. I would never want anyone to do it. And just there is no way could make any money by doing that. You just wasting time. So I told you already that you have to do market research and Coal Otter customers. Customers story out of companies and start asking how much they charge for a particular service and write down every single thing they tell you on. Just put this price list ull together. It's not gonna be the same different companies. My company might give you higher price, and not a one might try to give you a low price on a particular job, but you have to find average, and then you're gonna go from there. I remember my friend telling me is like Carrie, you work for $10 an hour. Why don't you charge 20 and I was like 20 are you crazy? Who's gonna be $20 for this work? He was like, Well, I charged 25 I was like, Really? It's like, Yeah, there's no shortage of money. So I changed my prices from 10 to 20 overnight and I didn't get any less work. In fact, I got more work because now people they hear did you charge like some decent, not like minimal wage, but at least something better. So they understand that this guy, in my happen idea what he's doing because if you charge in minimum wage for $15 an hour, just impossible to run your own business. So after your financial the prices, you've got to sit and put together some numbers. First is do do it yourself. Do you have to hire somebody? Person. Do you have expenses? Do you have gas expenses? Maybe more tools, insurance like and I can go on and on and on, and you have to include the price of all of this expenses in the cost that you charge your customer. So after you come up with a number, you have to stick with it. A lot of people will try to Lobo you and that's okay, That's what they do. But if you just stay strong on new ground and say, you know, that's what I charge on if you cannot afford it, that's okay. I just I'm gonna be losing money if I do it for this lower price that people understand and usually get high. So this is enough for pricing. I think from here you have enough information to figure it out, and I'll see in the next video. 7. Jump start to get first Customers: Okay, Uh, here is very important topic on which first customer, and I'm going to give you some tricks that you can do right away to jump start this process . I understand some businesses it can take several weeks for several months to get a first customer depends on how good you are or how much of a budget you have. But I'll start with tricks that I've been taught by my mentor and you see if it applies to you if you can use it. So treat number one don't create revenue by it. So let's say you didn't market research. Maybe you found someone who's struggling or was trying to quit the business. Maybe you heard of someone selling the business. Three. Good idea is to go and try to buy customers from this particular business owner. So sometimes what I have done that probably purchased over 50 different customers from other business. And the way I did it is I took the guy called the guy and say, Hey, I'm a new business. I'm doing this on. I just saw that you sell trying to quit business or whatever the situation is to say, Hey, I'm interested in your customers. Maybe even he wants to keep some more expensive ones. You can buy Chipper customers from him. Uh, let's say who pees $100 per job. $200 per job. You're saying pain. Let's say it by 10 customers from you. And the revenue from these customers is $1000 a month. You can say, Hey, can I have this customers for 1000 or two? Whatever you can afford. Hey, I'll pay you cash or anything you can do is a Let me do services myself for a month or two on they still gonna pay you. And if he agrees to it, you just take over. His customers performed services. The checks go to this business owner, and then month number two or three depends on your agreement. That's when you take over the checks and you start receiving payments. So I got a lot of business like that. It is, uh, it's I wouldn't say it's the best way because you don't really want to get cheapest customers from the business. But sometimes when you just don't have any work and you need some money coming in, that's a good way to go for, Uh, not I waste to get customers. So majority of my business over 10 years came from Craigslist. I used to post 2 to 3 times at the on Craigslist, different types of work. I would perform with different pictures and people would just send me messages. People will just call me and that work out really great. We probably got hundreds of thousands of dollars off Craigslist, and I would say also important thing as on Google, because right now, pretty much every single service that people look for, they find it on Google. So at least you have to have your personal vote side. Don't you, personally, for your business, The good platform to do that? This square space, it's relatively shaper. I believe it's like 30 $40 you could read dupe upside. I would highly recommend for you going in the hiring the photographer to take pictures of you war, the things that you do and just be them 102 $100 for a couple hours. But then you have a very good quality pictures. They didn't gonna blow. Then you've upset, and I'm just gonna look great 8. Use CRM Like QuickBooks or Jobber: So welcome back to our next chapter of our course, which is called Running the Business. So one of the first thing we're gonna be talking about here is how they acquire the customers. And how do you manage new enquiries? And just how does it all look? Uh, understand. It would be hard to do all of it together, but it just you got to make simple improvements over the time to make sure the system works and get so depends on where your customer just common from even there it's Google or Craigslist, Facebook or Yellow Pages. Whatever it is. Brochures, newspaper, radio You're gonna have to talk to them on the phone. Usually, Uh, so what? It means the customer will call you and starts asking questions. Hey, do you do these type of service? And if you do what you say, Yes, and then I'm gonna have a conversation about what their needs are and how can you help? They're calling you. They have money to do it, that they're willing to do it. It just you have to explain to them that you can do it in their budget or you can work with their budget. So it's just very basic idea of the conversation. It will lead to an estimate, but a to this part of the video only. But we're gonna be talking about qualifying the customer. So it's just looking. He the customer feats you. And if you fit the customer often times it would happen. People call you and you asking about their project and you realize you didn't do this kind of stuff. So you gotta politely tell them on the phone saying, Hey, we don't really do this stuff but I can recommend someone, For example, uh, other board is sometimes they would call, and they will tell you what they need to do. But if they talk about their budget, you realize their budget is way below what it should be. So you might get a feeling that adjusted waste of time go into an estimate so you couldn't pre qualify them to be a customer. You're gonna have to let them go. Otherwise you're gonna be driving around for days doing estimates that don't bring any money just because people that calling you they don't realize how much it really costs sometimes. So just keep that in mind and not a part of handling the customer has put in the in CRM system. We talked about it already a little bit. It means you take their information put in your system and, uh, talked about job so you can put the names, phone number, address everything you need in there And then through the software, you can email them the quote and when they get it, you can follow up with them and say what I think about this quote and take it from there. Majority of times I would personally prefer to do a quote on the spot. But you To do that, you have to be a really experience. You have to understand in announce of business how much things cost, how much you charge you like. He was extremely hard for me to do in the beginning. So I would say, Hey, give me a couple hours and give me a day. I'll send you an estimate and then I'll call. You can talk about it. A majority of people have no problem. So that's a group. Good way to handle customer. Ah, a lot of people start tax team now these days, so if you have a cell phone, not just gonna be calling you. They're going to be texting you. I always found hard talking to people like that because they seem not to take you seriously a lot of the times. So imagine you are, Ah, large company and you doing construction or something, and you don't even have a cell phone. And the people who text you think you are a small company. Like, uh, I never could really understand why they do that. So he figured customary wants to be pre qualified. Well, they probably will call you sent you an email, at least. So, uh, I think that's enough information for you to at least understand how to handle your first customers and how to start building your system. And you can start making improvements yourself. But if you get this down, you will remove tolerating like 90% of the problem of lust, phone numbers, lusty males, lust, quotes and just gonna eliminate a lot of eliminate a lot of mess in your business. So I hope you enjoyed. I'll see you in the next video 9. Quoting Secrets: Hey there. So in the last, bored with talking about qualifying a customer and handling them and the next natural step in the business would be quoting. So it is one of the most important things that you can do is meet customer one of one. And if you started your own business or you doing the quotes yourself, that's it. You are the face of the company. And you told him to customer one of one and it's up to you if they're gonna buy it from you or if they won't. So we're gonna break in a few parts on dumb. I want to start by picking up the phone. A lot of a lot of businesses now, these days don't even pick up the phone on the first time when a customer calls them. So what I mean is, let's say you're trying to find a pool guy. You're going to start calling businesses in your area and first to three companies might not even pick up the phone right away, which is gonna here in the message. And like Haley was a message, and that is very, very unprofessional. So I understand that might be busy but it just your business cannot run this way. You have to be able to answer the phone or find someone who can answer the phone for you. Let's say I'm married and what I did is just give a business. Want to my wife. And I said, Hey, every time it rings, you pick it up men. You let me know if I have to go for an estimate or, like Brit qualified a customer. Whatever you doing, however, your script ghost, someone has to pick up the phone. Same on emails. When you get a request from your upside asking people asking, taking and give us a quote, you must answer this email at least the same day. At least the best thing you can do is it answered as soon as you see it. And in my business, I got so good at it, every customer would almost tell me that I'm the 1st 1 who showed up. I'm the 1st 1 who picked up the phone. I'm the 1st 1 who emailed him back, and I heard it over and over and over, and that's how I knew I'm doing the right thing. I wish your customer would be telling you the same thing that you answer the phone right away and you just getting back to them. And when you send a quote when you told them, you will sound it, so just be polite and respect people's time. So, uh, next board we're gonna be talking about is fixed prices. So let's say you have particular services that you dio. Let's say it's back to the pool cleaning. So if your pool is particular size and the customers calling you and saying, Hey, I have this side of the pool, it's 1000 square feet pool or so many 1000 gallons. How much would you charge to come? And I'm eating it once a week and after you did your research already have to have a Becker you had. How much would you charge for pool like that to go and clean it so you don't have to go and give them a quote? But you can do it in the phone, Or maybe maybe even put it on your website if you feel confident. So I used it a lot in my business. So some particular things I just knew in the back of my mind. Okay? This particular service costs that much on I know how long it would take. I know what it needed, how much Labour would take, what kind of tools, if I needed to rent them all of that ahead in my back. So when the customer asked me, Hey, how much is that? I can give them announce it right there, right then how much that costs. So people really appreciated you, some professional, and it's also easier to sell to the customer when when you say, Hey, we charge this much for this service. So the customer registries on his head and he's like everyone else paying that much. So I'm probably like everyone else gonna pee this much. And it is one of the tricks how to sell to your customer. I'm not gonna be telling you a lot on how to sell to the customer, because there's books and books and videos and courses on this topic, so you can do as much research as you want. But it is. The single most important thing is selling. I remember a book that really helped me. It's called Cell or be sold by Grand Cardone, so I would really recommend it. And from here I want to talk about one of less things on this topic is 10. Branding, Marketing & Appearance: Hey, in this point, I want to talk about marketing and advertising, and we were gonna go a little bit in depth on a lot of small things that you have to pay attention. But one of the biggest things you have to start it as your appearance. What I mean by that is, if you have vehicles or if you have storefront or if your storefront is your upside whole professional, do you look, do you have a professional T shirts? Do you wear a uniform? Do it. Smile, do look clean and does your truck or vehicle has right stickers on it? Uh, I would say a couple things. You have to be attention. First. Make it bigger when people ride something new shirt or in the back Warren a truck or a Nuvo upside, and it's with small letters. No one sees it like I'm surprised. Sometimes I see vehicles beef advertisement on them and by standing four feet away from the vehicle, I still cannot read it because it just so small, I'd say, have a fewer words. But the secret is when you look at the vehicle or upside, or a person within 2 to 5 seconds. You understand what this particular business does if it's window washing that it has to be windows all over the truck. If it's car wash, that has to be sparkly. Clean car, the wards detail ing on it. And if it's yard maintenance, it has to be plants in the name of a company and Putin your phone number everywhere you can in large, large numbers, there's just gonna give you extra traffic for free. You just invest this money once, and it stays there forever. So everything is of upside. Uh, I told you you could do, uh, your market research and you can take the local competitors. There's a great saying is a good artists copy Great artists still, so just find a great upside. Find someone online. Don't do it yourself. If you're not confident, find someone online. We can build it upset for you. Pay them to $300 there will deliver of upside within couple days. That will look as good as your competitors, or maybe even better. And if you fire photographer who can give you your personal shots of you or your business where work sets, you do that just would be. That would be great. Improvement for of upset waterboard is content. Uh, after you present yourself. Well, people understand what you do, they probably would want to see Okay, what kind of work they do. So here's where the content comes and I'm talking about Facebook and also you have upset you can upload it on both and keep it running. So in my business, it was really cool to post jobs before and after what kind of difference we made for people . So, like every wake up with post before and after before and after the majority of our jobs, I understand it's hard sometimes to post jobs that didn't have much change. Or maybe maybe the property didn't look good and you did your best or whatever it ISS. You don't have to post every single job, but try to do the best content you can this particular week four month and keep posting. So people see what you do after that, um, testimonials and review is very important. So I would ask every single customer ahead after they pay me for the balance. I would say, Hey, if you enjoy my service, would you consider going and leaving review on Google or on Yelp and people usually saying , of course, sure would love to do that and not every time they will do it, because people forget. But through that I got so many reviews that I had batter ratings online than some of the largest companies in our city just because I was asking every single customer if they could do it for me and again, they have no problem doing that for you if you before. If you performed well, um, marketing materials, business cards, wires, brochures. Can you advertise? We have some particular would say, if you in the real estate industry, can you advertise for real estate managers or realtors like because they have book webs and stuff it is entirely up to you hope for You want to go? The sky's the limit. It just you want to be everywhere where your customers are. So if you know what type of a customer you're looking for, you just know they go and they play golf every weekend. That's top of customer you have because they reach. You probably wouldn't want to somehow, to get in front of in front of them in the golf course, and then I can talk about it a lot. But this is just touching the surface off. How much work you can do And remember, if you know, getting in Nicole's war, people keep saying No, it's probably something if you're appearance or your views or your content, so really go through Oscar family and friends to take a look in it if they like it, so that's cool. If they don't change, it may be delayed something. But keep, uh, money Palina If it keep adding or deleting, changing, try something. You. One of the greatest things I did was I went, and I hired local comedian. People know this guy very well, and I asked him to create a finding commercial for me from my particular business, and he did it for about $1000 in one day. It took him a couple weeks to put it all together, but then we had a great content we could post on instagram on develop set and it just worked week. So I wish you would be a creative Do you feel marketing And, uh, this is a great solution to a problem that a lot of businesses have these days. If you are not online, you're pretty much don't exist so that that's just a rule. If you don't put, uh, pictures and videos and content online, people don't see you. You'll never be found again. Just keep doing it weekly, preferably daily, and, uh, I'll see the next video. 11. Conclusion: and I just wanted to say Thank you for going for the whole course. And I know there's a lot of information that you received, and it's a lot to think about on some of them was just touching the surface. And it is up to you to go and find more information, go deeper and try to figure out what works exactly for your business. They just hope you having a good idea now what to expect. Uh, hope you not going to repeat my mistakes. And I just really thankful for time watching it. I hope you recommend this course to your friend or a family member who might need this on. I'll see you around. Thank you very much. Have a good one by