Do you ever wish you could start your own business? But then you're discouraged by all the obstacles, like seeking loan approval for start-up costs, buying equipment, like fax machines, installing a home based business phone line, hiring a web designer, finding guidance from someone who knows more than you, and, and, and . . .
If You Have a Computer and Internet Access You Are Well On Your Way
Week One: Is this the Business for You?
Determine if the copywriting business is for you. Read "Start & Run A Copywriting Business," an essential guide written by Steven Slaunwhite. It contains a list of questions to help you figure out the answer. Once you have decided that copywriting is the field for you, proceed to Week Two.
Week Two: Your Job as a Copywriter
Familiarize yourself with the type of assignments you will handle as a copywriter. You will find "The Copywriter's Handbook" by Robert W. Bly, quite useful for this. It contains, among other things, instructional information on the types of projects copywriters handle day-to-day and on how to find work as a copywriter.
Week Three: Ready, Set, Go!
(a) Get a feel for how to start and how to prosper in the copywriting industry by finishing Steven Slaunwhite's book you purchased in Week One.
(b) Contact a business attorney (many attorneys give FREE consultations) to ascertain the requirements for setting up a business in your state. It may be possible for you to merely file a DBA (Doing Business As) form at your County Clerk's office ($100 in New York) and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) on the IRS website. But, please speak with an attorney first to determine what option is best for you. An accountant may be able to help you make that decision as well.
Week Four: Your Business Identity
(a) Get an 800 or other toll-free telephone number. There are many inexpensive services that provide toll-free telephone numbers, some as cheap as $10 a month.
(b) Get a fax number (no machine necessary). Quite a few electronic fax companies allow you to set up within minutes and for as little as $10 a month.
(a) Getting a domain name is as simple as buying a pair of shoes, sometimes easier. Setting up your website is not as scary as it sounds either, and web savvy is not a requirement. I have none, and I did it. With all the competition out there, finding a service that will charge you under $75 is not complicated. Because of the stiff competition, several companies provide technical support at no extra cost.
(b) Log on to one of the umpteen sites that boast reasonably priced stationery, and design and order your business cards, stationery and envelopes while sitting at your own computer. This should take thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how fussy you are. But, be as fussy as you need to be. THIS IS YOUR BUSINESS IDENTITY we're talking about!
To drum up business, to establish a reputation for your company and to find on-line professional guidance, surf the net for the endless number of copywriting-related and marketing-related web sites, and enter your business profile on them. Become a member of the sites and register for their newsletters. This can take an hour or two, or you can spend the whole day on this project. It’s an exhilarating experience.
(a) Open a business bank account. Don't forget to take your new company's certification, registration, tax information, etc.
(b) Take $50 and go to Staples and buy: 1 box of file folders, 2 magic markers, 5 large file pockets, 1 stapler and a box of staples.
Breathe, because, eventually, you will need software programs to organize your billing and scheduling as your business starts to grow. But we'll worry about that once you start making money, which, if you work smart, could be soon.
(a) Review the many ways there are to prospect for potential clients.
Prospecting? What’s that?
Mr. Slaunwhite told us what that was in Week Three.
(b) Start prospecting, be it, networking, writing sales letters, cold calling, article writing. Do whatever you feel comfortable doing.
About The Author Stacey Mathis is a copywriter who caters to the working woman consumer. Visit staceymathiscopywriting.com for more information on starting a copywriting business.
Copyright 2006 - - Stacey Mathis. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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