Presentation on theme: "The Involuntary Entrepreneur Making the Leap from Unemployment to Independent PR Practitioner."— Presentation transcript:
The Involuntary Entrepreneur Making the Leap from Unemployment to Independent PR Practitioner
What We’ll Cover Decide if going solo or forming a virtual firm is right for you Learn how to conduct a critical assessment of your abilities and how to translate those abilities into a business model Discover the obstacles and solutions you will encounter in forming your own PR firm What next? Learn how to start the process of forming your own PR firm
Things to Consider Are you passionate about what you do? Your personal working style Work-life balance Level of experience Willpower Money Support system
Going Solo vs. a Firm Do you play well with others? What do you want to offer clients? How much time do you want to spend on administrative tasks? Organizational structure – Partnership – LLC vs. LLP – S Corporation
Assess Your Abilities – Do You Have What it Takes? Personality Characteristics of an Entrepreneur – Persistence – Creativity – Self-starter – Dedication – Follow-through – Strong communication skills – Detail-oriented – Multitasker – Adaptable – Ethical – Big-picture vision – Sense of humor – Sell-ability
Assessing What You Have to Offer Conduct a critical assessment of your abilities – What’s your value proposition? – Specialization or generalization? – What are you up against - Identify your competition How will that translate into a business?
Obstacles to Opening a Firm Naming your business – Conducting a name search – Effectiveness and functionality – Legal availability – Trademark search
Obstacles to Opening a Firm Bank issues – Patriot Act requirements – Managing accounts Taxes and government filing requirements – IRS.gov IRS.gov – State/city filings: Illinois Secretary of StateIllinois Secretary of State – Licenses and permits Chicago-styleChicago-style Operating agreement sample
Ready? Go! Begin at the beginning doesn’t work – Forming a firm isn’t an orderly process Startup costs – Overhead – Office space – Subscriptions – Insurance – Technology
What is Your Value Proposition? What do you offer your clients that other solo practitioners or firms don’t? – What can you give them that they can’t get anywhere else? – THAT’s your value proposition!
Establishing a Presence Web site Marketing materials Business cards Phones Print materials
Marketing Yourself Must-join professional organizations Client organizations Internet marketing Word-of-mouth Public presence
Managing the Business Side Pricing – Retainer vs. project-based fees Contracts & letters of agreement Non-disclosure agreements Invoicing Billable time vs. admin/marketing the business Payment policies
Mentors & Resources SoloPR.com & #solopr chat Wednesdays at 11am PRSA – Counselors Academy – Individual Practitioners Alliance Ken Jacobs at Jacobs Communication Consulting – firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com – www.jacobscomm.com www.jacobscomm.com
Lessons Learned Not everyone plays nice in the sandbox If something can be done quickly, red tape will quadruple the amount of time it takes Housework and naps have the allure of the mythical Sirens when you should be working If something can go wrong, it will…..then it’ll go right in a way you least expect. Stuff happens…and it will happen to you.