Monday, December 31, 2007

Are You a Writer or a Writer With a Business?

I don't know about you, but I have had a pretty busy New Year's Eve so far -- all work related. I turned in two newspaper columns, finished up a parenting article and conducted a phone interview for another newspaper article I have due Wednesday. And the week's not over yet. I will be doing a little more work tomorrow, but I don't mind. My husband will be at work as well, but I will take it easy and enjoy most of the day with the kids hopefully. 

I just received Marcia Layton Turner's December "Become a Six Figure Writer" newsletter in my inbox, and it made me feel pretty darn good about myself. She posed the question, "Are You a Writer Or Do You Have a Writing Business?" Hmm . . . it appears I have a writing business, and that's good news as I'm setting goals for 2008. So, where do you fit in? According to Layton Turner, there are five steps you should take to becoming a business owner:

1. Get a separate business phone line. Err, I haven't done that one yet. I need to, but I've been trying to figure out if I should just use one of the separate voice mailboxes available with my phone service. I use my cell phone for business too, so I've got that to consider. It's just another expense and headache I've been putting off.

2. Set up a website. I did that, at the end of 2006, and let me tell you, it's the best decision I ever made. It is cost-efficient, easy to maintain, and gave me a place to showcase clips to prospective clients and editors. I have no doubt my website has helped me land many an assignment. Which leads to number three on Layton Turner's list . . .

3. Create a professional e-mail address. I was able to do this through my website, and I love having a business website all to myself. I think it sounds more professional than my RoadRunner address I had before, and it's easy to remember. 

4. Have business cards professionally designed. I sort of did this, and again, have been pleased with the results. My husband designed them, and we had them printed at a professional print shop. They have come in handy and they feature the same color scheme and design as my website, which has helped me create a "brand," as my husband the marketing guy says. I love being able to hand them out. Presto! Now prospective clients can have my website, e-mail, and contact information all packaged on a neat little business card.

5. Set up a separate business account. I've sort of done this. I have a separate account set up where I put money aside for tax purposes. I need to get serious and completely separate my work account this year so I can deduct business and childcare expenses directly from it. I'm happy to say I may actually be making enough to do that now!

So there's only one step I really haven't taken, and that's setting up a separate phone line. How are you doing? 

My fellow writing friends, I wish you all an upcoming prosperous and healthy New Year, in both your personal lives, and writing careers!


Marcia Layton Turner said...

Hey Renee, I'm so flattered that you read my ezine, BecomeASixFigureWriter! It sounds like you are both a business owner and writer, which is a powerful combination. I hope you have continued success in 2008. Happy New Year! Marcia

Amanda Nicole said...

I've gotten the site done, though it needs serious updating (new year's resolution!), and I was just pleasantly surprised with a fabulous new printer for Christmas, so I'll definitely be creating some business cards, and possibly some other mail-out materials.

Best of luck in 2008!