Thinking about opening a records management business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
The Demand for Records Management Services
Records management is a growing industry for the simple reason that information access and data management has become a core business element. Without adequate information archiving, retrieval, storage and disposal processes in place, companies of all shapes and sizes are vulnerable to data security threats, operational snafus and other high magnitude problems.
Although it's possible for your clients to duplicate the services your startup provides in-house, many internal records management functions aren't cost-effective. From a budget perspective, your clients will get more bang for their buck by outsourcing records management & storage, document shredding, data backup & recovery, data compliance and other business activities.
As a records management startup entrepreneur, it's important to identify the costs your clients would need to incur to duplicate your services and then price your services at a level that demonstrates both cost savings and the benefit of outsourcing those activities to a specialized provider.
For more information about trends in today's records management marketplace, we recommend connecting with ARMA, the trade organization that specializes in records and information management.
Marketing Advice for Records Management Startups
The best records management companies utilize first-rate marketing strategies to capture market share and build a solid client base. Here are a few marketing techniques you can use to quickly get your startup in the game.
- Technology. Records management is a technology-based business activity. So it makes sense that your customers will expect you to thoroughly incorporate technology into every aspect of your startup, including your marketing efforts. Plan to include email marketing, website SEO and other tech-based marketing tactics into your startup's marketing mix.
- Client Targeting. Your startup can't afford to wait for clients to come knocking on your door. Instead, you'll need to take your business to them by aggressively selling your services to target prospects. To do it, you'll need to recruit and manage a sales team that is familiar with records management and may already have contacts in your prospective client base.
- PR Tactics. The records management field is ripe for public relations strategies and tactics. You might be surprised how much business you can generate by showcasing thought leadership through white papers, contributed articles, editorials and other media placements.
Creating a Business Plan for a Records Management Business
A common mistake for a new business owner is to not create a business plan.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it establishes both a framework and a roadmap for your business. If you don't have a business plan, your leadership will be handicapped, limiting your records management business's ability to succeed long-term.
Start by defining your business mission. The process of writing a mission statement doesn't have to be complicated. From there, the other piece of the business plan puzzle will begin to fall in place.
Check Out Competitors
Prior to opening a records management business in your area, it's a good idea to see how many competitors you have. Use the link below to find competitors nearby. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of records management businesses that are close by.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
As part of your due diligence on opening a records management business, it's a wise move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
On the other hand, an individual who has a records management business outside of your community can be a great learning resource for you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Want the scoop on finding a records management business founder on the other side of the country to talk to?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Advantages of a Records Management Business Purchase
Every entrepreneur dreams about building a highly successful company from the ground up. But the harsh reality is that startup records management businesses experience a high failure rate compared to entrepreneurs who buy existing records management businesses.
The decision of buying vs. starting a business shouldn't be taken lightly. While other startups are just getting on their feet, a business purchase dramatically improves the odds that your records management business will be realizing net income from the outset of your ownership engagement.
Consider Buying a Franchise
You should know that your odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur are substantially improved if you purchase a franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Before you consider starting a records management business, you would be wise to assess whether franchising might be the right move for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a records management business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to records management businesses, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.