Business OverviewIn our enlightened--and lawsuit-mad--world, businesses must tread carefully to make certain they don't accidentally step on employees' toes. This causes problems for small and midsized companies that don't have the time, the staff or the expertise to deal with all those complex and constantly changing human resources issues. If you're a human resources expert, you can solve these problems by offering your expertise as a virtual human resources service. You'll do it all, from writing employee handbooks to handling personnel forms to setting up and administering 401(k) programs. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home and the field is recession-proof. The worse things get financially, the greater a company's tendency to outsource--and since this is work that can't legally be ignored, you'll always be in demand. You'll need a solid up-to-date knowledge of human resources issues and how to handle them, an aptitude for accounting and record-keeping, and the sales skills to sell your services to your clients.
The MarketYour customers will be small and midsized businesses that either have no human resources departments or might prefer to downsize and outsource to you. Direct-mail your brochure and sales letters to these firms, then follow up with phone calls. Network among professional and civic organizations in your area. Write articles for the business section of local publications. Give talks to business groups. Introduce yourself to bankers, accountants, attorneys specializing in small business, insurance agents--anybody who deals with small and start-up businesses and can give you referrals.
Needed EquipmentYou'll need a good computer setup with a laser printer, a fax machine and the usual office software. You'll want to have a stock of personnel forms, files and other record-keeping materials, reference manuals, and filing cabinets and handy storage space.