Most independent copywriters set up in business on their own. After all, what they are selling are their own, particular skills. However, there might be reasons why you would want to go into business with others.
You may know someone whose skills are a good fit with yours, either as a copywriter or in an allied field such as design or marketing. Going into business together might improve your chances of success because you will be able to cross-sell each other’s services. But bear in mind that finding two salaries may be more than twice as difficult as finding one.
If you are unsure about whether the partnership will work, it could be a good idea to first try forming an informal alliance, trading separately and independently but taking on projects together
If you are fortunate enough to be certain of a guaranteed high level of business, you might feel you will need to employ other copywriters and staff to do other work, such as running your accounts.
In this case, you will probably want to talk to a business adviser about putting together a detailed business plan (see below) and perhaps doing some research to make doubly sure of your profit expectations before setting out
Having a business plan
Starting a copywriting business does not usually demand a fully-fledged business plan. After all, you are not likely to need to sell your idea to anyone, unless you need to approach your bank for a loan for equipment. However, it is definitely advisable to put your ideas about your business in order and make a few calculations to be sure it will be viable. Things you need to consider include:
◆ Roughly how much do you need or want to earn a year?
◆ How many days a year can you realistically expect to work? (Remember to subtract holidays and weekends – and do not expect to get work five days a week, every week.)
◆ Your expected earnings divided by the days you work will give you an idea of the minimum day rate you need to charge. Now ask yourself whether it is realistic. (See Chapter 6 for more on pricing.)
◆ Where will you find the clients to provide you with this work? (Again, see Chapter 6 for more on this, but you should preferably have a good idea of where your clients will come from before you get started.)
◆ Have you taken into account the costs of setting up your business – buying equipment and so on – plus other outgoings, such as office space (if you intend to rent it)
Whether or not you formalise these points on paper is up to you, but it will definitely help build your confidence and probably improve your chances of success if you go through the exercise. It can also help to set goals for your business – increasing your turnover by a certain amount each year, for