I’ve always liked the concept of owning my own communications or content writing business. I mean, who could be a better boss of me than me? I could set my own hours, wear what I like, do work that really inspires me – it’s a beautiful dream.
The ugly reality is I’ve got bills to pay, and the prospect of drumming up my own business fills me with the type of terror I previously reserved for sloths. Shudder.
But now that I have the flexibility in my job and my daily life to take on more freelance projects, I can pretty easily set up my own little business without impacting my quality of life or worrying about paying the bills with it.
I just don’t know where to start.
A wise man (I think it was Kevin Costner) said, “If you build it, they will come.” Nope. I didn’t build anything, but man did they come. I’ve got three or four designer clients (more like partners, I suppose) who subcontract some of their writing work to me. And they’ve got loads of clients, so I guess my business is growing, despite it not really being a real business.
Yup, I Tarantino-ed my business and did it all out of order.
So when do I take the next step? What is the next step? I always felt like building my own business would follow a set course:
1. Choose a name. (Done.)
2. Incorporate. (Is that even a thing? If so, what does it even mean? Should I do that? Why?)
3. Design a website. (I could totally develop a website. Or, you know, hire a real professional.)
4. Find clients. (Done.)
So far, there seems to be no set path, and it’s probably better that way. I can figure it out as I go – things like pricing (no idea what to charge or how to price fairly for both me and my customers); taxes (my tax guy – aka hubby – has a little time to figure that bit out); incorporating (really, though, is that a thing I should do?); and the other things I haven’t even thought of that go into owning your own small business.
It’s pretty clear I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but like a Tarantino movie, I think it will all come together in the end – hopefully with a bit less blood and one or two fewer curse words.
In the meantime, I won’t let my lack of business acumen deter me (and I hope potential clients won’t let it deter them either.) I swear I’m a better writer than I am a business owner.
I’d have to be, or I’d have starved ages ago.
Tell me, my small-business owning friends, what are my next steps? What do I need to do to develop a ‘legit’ business?