For a work at home mom or other self-employed business person, starting a family tree researcher business can be a great way to break into an industry that has a substantial service to offer, a lot of potential demand, and relatively low overhead. With some good business sense and a lot of hard work, you could make a family research service a major part of what you have to offer the market.
When you're looking at starting this kind of enterprise, you may want to promote yourself with some really good branding. You can start with some business cards, which you can distribute in a lot of places, including central community bulletin boards, print ads, mailings or events. When you start to circulate business cards, or pursue other new ad campaigns like Facebook/Twitter initiatives, you may see a fair number of clients looking toward your budding business for help researching a family's past.
When you're starting out with your family tree research business, part of your appeal is going to be any special expertise or experience that you can offer. You'll want to include any relevant education, such as a B.A. or liberal arts degree, that has a bearing on the business practices related to history, public record research or small business operation.
If you don't have this kind of degree, you may want to invest in a quick certification related to the business of ancestral research. Put your qualifications front and center on your promotional materials, and you'll have a better chance of becoming a serious contender in your chosen field.
Assemble Your Resources
Another major part of starting a family research business is looking to establish "connections" for public records. What you'll want to emphasize to clients is that you can deliver them more results with a lower "opportunity cost." Think of it this way, with multiple clients and established public records contacts, you'll be with to do research more efficiently than your clients could on their own.
You may be able to get annual records research licenses for a flat fee, enabling you to be an effective middleman between clients and public offices that sell this kind of access. For example, a historic organization offers access to all Ellis Island records for a fee. When you build up these types of access, you can add value to what you offer your clients. You may also be able to combine multiple trips to courthouses and other records venues to save your customers even more. Be sure those who are interested in family research understand the "economy of scale" that you can offer through your specific records access setups.
Look into Business Requirements
It can be relatively easy to make a family tree research service a home business, and if you already have your home office, you've already got that part of your overhead sorted out. Take a good look at how starting your family tree business will affect your overall tax burden for annual filing, to save money on your tax return when possible. You may also want to look at local requirements for business permits and other necessities for a startup.
All of the above can help you plan a more efficient startup for your family tree research service.