When I met with Becky earlier this week I put to her the practical question, "what should I do about earning some income while I'm looking for my new REAL job?" She shared some of the creative endeavors that other clients had done while in the same predicament, and suddenly it hit me. I could offer genealogy services! For one thing there is almost no overhead to such work. I'm already paying for access to records and databases through ancestry.com for my own use. That can now be a business deduction. I can work from home at hours of my own choosing, and for Tennessee records I'm barely 30 minutes from the state archives. For local research the only added costs are mileage and travel time, and those get passed on to the client. In addition to online and local research (when needed) I can also offer the service of computerizing hand-written or typed records. And again, the cost of software occurs once for me (I need to upgrade my version of Family Tree Maker), and then it's a matter of starting a new file for a new family, and saving that material to a designated CD. For the generation for whom computing isn't an extension of their being, I think this is a great service to offer. I can also scan in old family photos, though digital restoration would have to be outsourced (I have not yet learned to do that). Is this a natural, or what?
So I've been playing with a name and logo for my venture and have pretty much settled on "Branching Out" for a name. The logo has been trickier. Searching for images available online (and some at a modest cost), the following are the ones I'm considering. I would really like a branch on a business card, but it's amazing how few suitable branch graphics are out there, at least where I have been able to find them.
UPDATEAnd the winner is!
(the watermarks would go away once I paid for the use of this image!)
I'm researching what rates are typical for this industry, and considering what I would charge. I'm also looking at ways to increase my own knowledge of doing this research so that I'm comfortable using the word "professional" attached to my name. I realize this may sound like a total yawn to many people, but I'm psyched about doing this. Now I just need to get the word out.
And decide on a logo, of course. Please weigh in!
And by the way, I'm NOW accepting new clients!