The onset of COVID-19 compelled many businesses across the globe to move operations online. What transpired was a huge demand for professionals who can help businesses create content for their websites, social platforms, and other digital marketing activities. And this demand is being fulfilled by? You guessed it – writers!
While it’s fairly easy to land gigs through online job boards, selling your services as an individual can make you vulnerable to certain risks, and pay higher taxes. These can be overcome by establishing yourself as a business. Today, The Writer’s Workout covers all the steps you can take to establish a business in just 8 hours!
Find Your Niche
While you may possess the skills to write all major types of content, spreading yourself too thin will make it difficult to scale and consistently find clients. As mentioned by Wave, your first step will be to select a niche, such as:
Creating a Business Plan
After deciding on a niche, it’s time to spend 30 minutes researching its feasibility on the following aspects:
Market demand for the type of service you choose to sell
Average prices competitors charge
Future growth opportunities in the niche
Using your research formulate a business plan which should include the following:
Short and long term goals
Funding requirement and utilization
Insights about your niche and services
Register Your Business
When you enter into contracts with clients as an individual, you are considered a sole proprietor. Being a sole proprietor makes you liable for all business-related risks and debt. To avoid such a predicament, register your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), to make it a separate legal entity. Additionally, an LLC allows you to use business expenses as tax write-offs and lower your tax burden.
At the start, you can opt to bootstrap your business i.e. use personal funds to manage expenses. To ensure you don’t overspend your hard-earned savings, spend the first half-hour creating a budget covering costs and expected income for at least one year.
Spend the next 30 minutes connecting with your bank to open a business account. This account will help keep your business and personal finances separate, making it simpler to manage funds and adhere to tax reporting requirements.
Apply for Licenses and Memberships
As reported by the SBA, depending on the type of services and your business location, you may need to apply for licenses. You can find information related to federal and state-level licenses here.
The two must-haves for any business to be successful in the digital age are a great website and a strong presence on social media. If you are a freelancer yourself, you understand the skills and knowledge fellow professionals bring to the table. Divide an hour into two parts:
Create a list of concise digital marketing requirements for your business.
Scout online job boards for the best professionals and reach out to them with your proposal.
Leverage Free Software
There is plenty of free software on the market that you should use to help manage and scale your business. This can include:
Project management tools to keep track of progress towards goals and assign tasks to your team.
Business logo creator for designing an awesome logo for your business and subsequent variations to be used in invoices, emails, contracts, and promotional material.
You’ll need a logo for your company – but you can avoid spending a fortune on graphic design by making your own using free company logo design templates.
Cloud-Based storage platforms to seamlessly share content with your team and access it anytime, anywhere.
As a business owner, insurance will protect you from financial hardship during unforeseen circumstances such as damage to equipment, theft, legal disputes, and more. You should spend at least 30 minutes researching the insurance policies that best suit your needs and another half an hour connecting with various providers to ascertain who will give you the best premiums and coverage.
While this may seem a lot to do in the span of a single day, by following the given steps you'll transition from being “just” a writer to being a writer and an entrepreneur who enjoys the protection and benefits that establishing a business brings.
About the Author: Emma Grace Brown lives her life by her rules; and it works! When she's not snuggling puppies, Emma promotes female empowerment through her website. Her mission is to help those who live with self-doubt to realize they don't have to mold themselves to conventionality.