How to start your side business, and get your first paycheck
Step #1: The “Legal stuff”
I ain’t no lawyer.
So you should do your own research — or contact a professional — because I’m not qualified to give you legal advice.
I’m just going to give you some “ideas” about what you might need to start this business:
Now, depending on where you live, you may need a business license…
(It’s usually no biggie. You just fill out a small form online, pay a little money and they send you a business license in the mail. Done.)
Next, you need contracts:
These are the ones I use (and if you search Google, you’ll find free templates you can use):
1. Statement of Work (SOW)
This agreement covers:
(a) What you’re going to be doing.
“Scheduling [x number of] appointments for [their business name here].”
(b) When you’re going to do it.
“Starting on [enter date here] and ending on [enter date here].”
I usually do give myself 2 weeks to set 10 appointments. You can probably do them faster, but I just like to give myself some extra breathing room.
© How much it’s going to cost.
“[price] per appointment. [price] total.”
I don’t fill this part in, until I’ve discussed my fees in person. Mainly because the cost will depend on how much they can afford to pay (which you’ll discuss when you meet them in person).
(d) When you’ll be paid.
“½ of payment due upon the signing of this contract, and the other ½ of payment is due upon completion of this agreement.”
You should always request ½ up front, and one ½ at the end. This means you get paid before doing the work, and paid after you do the work.
(Plus, people tend to take you more seriously when you charge them like this, instead of collecting your payment after.)
2. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
You’re going to have access to a business’s most valuable assets:
A lists of their customers.
As you can imagine, the business owner doesn’t want you sharing this information with anyone — especially a competitor…
I know, you wouldn’t do that. But it’s important to make the business owner “feel” like they’re safe, and that you’re a professional they can trust.
So get a non-disclosure agreement.
Step #2: Stuff you need
All right, now that you’ve got all that “legal stuff” taken care of, it’s time to gather the “equipment” you’ll need to get the job done.
- A phone
- Pen and paper (or a computer)
You’ll need these to take notes during the calls.
Probably with unlimited minutes, since you’ll be making quite a few calls.
Step #3: Getting your first paycheck
So now that you’ve got your equipment it’s time to find a business that’s going to pay you to schedule appointments for them…
It’s going to be easier to find work with small businesses, instead of at huge corporations or chains…
So here is a list of small businesses I recommend going after:
- Insurance agents.
- Private Physicians.
- Massage Therapists.
- Real Estate Agents.
- Gym Owners.
- Dance Instructors.
There are plenty more to choose from, but that list should be enough to get you started.
Now here’s what you want to do next:
Call the business owners
Let’s say you decide to go after dentists (good choice, they’ve got a lot of extra cash lying around)…
What you’ll want to do is type “dentist” into Google, and do a search in your city (and surrounding cities)…
Next, find their phone number (on their website, Google Maps or Yelp)…
Then you’ll want to call them, one-by-one…
And let’s say the first dentist we call is named Janet Johnson.
Now listen, you don’t want to screw this up so pay attention here…
When she picks up the phone, you say:
“Yes, this is Janet.”
“Hey, this is [your first name here].
I’m calling because I’d like to help schedule appointments for you, and bring more patients into your office…
And I was just wondering when a good day and time would be to discuss this with you.
Do you have time this [day of the week here] at [time here]?”
If she thinks it’s a good idea, schedule a time to discuss it in person.
If she doesn’t think it’s a good idea, thank her for her time and call the next dentist.
Now, on to…
Step #4: Mastering the meeting, and walking out with a paycheck
Before you walk into the office, you should know a little bit about the business and take some notes…
So you’ll want to do a Google search for the following info:
(a) What type of services/products do they sell?
You can usually find this info on their website.
(b) What year did was the business started, and how many years have they been in business?
You can also usually find this on their website, usually in the “About” section.
© Read reviews about the business, and take notes about the “positive” things people are saying…
You can use Google reviews and Yelp for this.
You’ll want to write all this information on a notepad, and have it ready for your first meeting (also, make sure you bring a pen along to take notes with).
You see, just knowing “a few things” about their business will make them take you more seriously.
And, from a psychological perspective, having a notepad and pen makes it feel like you’re interviewing them — so you’re subtly communicating that you’re the one in control.
You’ve walked into their office, shook hands and had a little small talk…
Start mentioning the positive reviews they have online, and how they “seem like the kind of business you want to work with.”
Now it’s time to get down to business.
Start by asking, “How many customers come in every week right now… on average?”
Write down their answer.
Then ask, “And how many extra customers could you realistically be able to handle each week?”
Write down their answer.
Now repeat the information back to them (this makes you look like a real professional).
“So you have [x number of] customers coming in every week right now, and you would like an extra [x number of] customers each week? Is that correct?”
Explain that your main goal is to help them get more customers, and bring more money into their business…
And that you’re going to do this by “setting appointments with past customers…. and people who have expressed interest in buying, but haven’t bought anything yet.”
Then explain that you’ll need two things to do this:
- A list of people to schedule appointments for.
(This can be a digital or printed copy.)
- The business’s weekly schedule, so you know what days/times are available to schedule appointments.
It’s best if this is done online, so you’re able to access and see updates in real-time. Otherwise, you’ll have to check in constantly to see if they’ve scheduled anything new (so you do accidently double book a time slot).
Oh, one last thing:
If they ask about your experience, credentials or qualifications you can say:
- “Well, I got you to sit down for an appointment with me. So I’m sure I can get your patients to do the same for you.”
- Mention that you’ve studied how to effectively call customers on the phone, and that you do it in a “friendly way” that leaves people with a good feeling about the business after the call.
(Which is have is true. This article is what you’ve “studied.” And in a little bit, I’m going to show you how to make calls in a friendly way.)
Money, money, money
How much should you charge?
Well, like I said, I’ve been paid up to $45 per appointment.
So, if I were you, I’d say:
“The standard rate for appointment setting services is $45 per appointment. So based on the long-term value of a customer (how much more they’ll be worth down the road) is this price affordable for you?”
(This “long-term value” thing is very important. You want to emphasize that the value of a customer goes beyond just the first appointment you schedule. It’s about how much more money that customer is going to bring in, in the future.)
If there is NO WAY they can afford that, then say:
“Okay, no problem. I know different businesses have different costs, so $45 per appointment isn’t always affordable. What would be an affordable price for you?”
Once you’ve agreed on a price, say this:
“Now I charge ½ up front, and ½ at the end. And what I’d like to do — since we’ve never worked together before — is test this appointment setting thing out, and make sure this works out for both of us. So I’d like to start by setting just 10 appointments for you… and if that works we can do 20 appointments next time. Does that sound good?”
The above statement makes your offer very non-threatening, because it’s “only” at test. And it increases their trust in you, because it shows you’re not trying to charge a crazy amount up front and run off with their money.
Signing the legal documents
Bring a printed copy (one for you and one for them) of the documents. Also bring a digital copy on a USB drive or something.
Present them with the paper copy first. If everything looks good to them, they sign it and write you a check.
If they want to change some things, you bust out the digital copy — then you can go through it together, edit it on the fly and print it out.
Then they sign it and write you a check.
You did it! You got your first paycheck!
Now, it’s time to make some calls, and set some appointments…