If you want to start a writing business centered on your writing talent, there are so many possibilities for you; especially since the Internet provides varied options for freelancers. However, there are certain things to consider when you are starting a business such as the business entity, a plan of action, your home office space, marketing and acquiring new clients.
The Legal Aspect
You should choose the business entity that is right for you. A sole proprietor is ideal for someone who is just starting out and working alone. It is the most informal entity to form and to operate. It has a number of advantages including full ownership of the business. You also don’t have to file a separate business tax return. You simply claim your business income on your personal tax return. One of the disadvantages is that you are personally liable for anything that occurs with the business. However, as a writing business, there is not much to be concerned about along those lines. It is recommended, though, that you speak to a tax advisor or attorney to know what options best suits you.
Your Business Plan
Before you begin, you should have a clear-cut plan or roadmap on what you are trying to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there. Outline the structure of your writing business. Include the funds you will need to begin and operate the business.
A Marketing Plan
Consider different ways that you will market your business. Your written marketing plan should contain your goals and objectives. You should have online and offline strategies of acquiring new clients. You should define your ideal clients and the techniques you will use to attract these clients.
Setting Up Your Home Business
Next, you have to secure an office space in your home; whether it is a room in the house or a basement. It could be the kitchen table as long as you are comfortable in that workspace. Once you choose the office space, consider what supplies you will need. Usually, you will need a desktop computer or laptop, copier, fax machine, and scanner. You will need Internet service and a dedicated phone line. Most times, these are items that you already have. For supplies, you would need business cards, paper, pens, paper clip, stapler, and other writing instruments.
Before approaching a client, you should determine the type of writing that you will be providing. What kind of expertise do you currently possess? Here is a list to work from:
- Web Content and Blogging – many business owners who do business on the Internet know the value of fresh content. This is where you come in, but first, you should only work with companies that you can truly help. For example, if you know nothing about landscaping, don’t approach a landscaping company. You want to provide the best content possible for repeat business.
- Technical Writing – you must have the appropriate knowledge.
- Medical Writing – this is perfect for someone who has worked in specific areas of medicine
- Legal Writing – this is excellent if you have worked in a law office
- Resume Writing – Many people who are looking for jobs can benefit from your resume writing service
- Business Plan Writing – If you are good at writing business plans, target small businesses or startup businesses
You can find clients through social media networking such as LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook, Twitter. Extend your reach by asking your followers to share your new writing business venture with their circle of friends.
Create your own personal blog and write about what you love. Showcase your writing talent on your blog and share your daily posts with your social media friends.
There are also reputable online sites where you can search and bid for writing projects.
Some of these include:
Landing The Client
When you find clients, don’t just jump into an assignment. Write a proposal explaining the scope of the work so that you are both ‘on the same page.’ Enter into a written and signed contract agreement. Make sure you agree with the terms and conditions before signing the contract. Work out payment structures, deadlines and payment method. Ask for a deposit before you begin.
Working With The Client
Make sure that the level of work you provide is within the expectation or exceeds the expectation of the client. Remember, you want the client to come back to you for help. Ask satisfied clients for referrals and provide an incentive, which could be a discount for the client’s next project. Thank the client for the referral and move on to the next client.
With any business, there are challenges, but these are nothing that you cannot overcome. You can be a successful home-based business owner, if you ‘put your ducks in a row.’ Follow these steps toward your new home-based writing career and you will enjoy the benefits and flexibility that comes with it.