Here’s what you’ll need to start a secretarial business and provide typing services and what the estimated start-up cost is.
You can start your secretarial business and provide typing services with just a computer, printer, a few business cards, and a pack of paper. You can get additional equipment and supplies later.
- A computer. Any computer will get you started. You don’t need a high-end computer for word processing. However, if you want to provide graphic design or web design services, then you’ll want to get the best computer you can afford. Cost: From $200 for a used computer to $300-$2500 for a new computer. You can find used computers in your local newspaper and specialized local computer publications.
- Software: Most computers come with a word processing program. I recommend using Microsoft Word as soon as you can afford it because that’s what most of your clients will have. Cost: Check Microsoft.com for current prices.
- A printer: I recommend a laser printer but many secretarial service operators and typists use an inexpensive inkjet printer. Cost: From $10 for a used inkjet printer or $400-$2000 for a laser printer. Get more information at Best Buy, Fry’s and other computer stores. Check websites of HP, Cannon and Samsung.
- A desk. You can get a small computer desk or use a table. Cost: $30 and up. You have many choices for $100-$200.
- A computer chair. Choose one that feels comfortable to you. The more expensive chairs are not necessarily the most comfortable ones. Check some office supply stores. Cost: $30-$200.
- Office supplies. Supplies you may need include paper to print your clients’ work, printer cartridge, pens, paper clips, envelopes, a filing system, and a stapler. Cost: Check local office supply stores such as Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples. Or order their catalogs.
- A telephone: I recommend getting a separate phone line from the beginning. Cost: Check with your local phone company.
- Business cards: Printed business cards will look more professional than cards you print on your own printer one sheet at the time. Cost: $20-$200 for a set of 500 to 1000 business cards.
- A business license. Cost: $20-$100 depending on the city and county.
If you already have a computer, a word processing program and a printer, your start-up cost is minimal. You can start your secretarial business and provide typing work with some basic office supplies and buy additional equipment or software later when a project requires it.
All the best success with your secretarial business!