Getting down to Business

Before I start, I have to say I had a total epiphany two days ago (before starting this blog). I realized that as a writer, I should spend some time crafting an appealing sales letter for when I apply to writing jobs on Craig’s List (yes, I know, not the most appealing way to find work but it’s a temporary thing-more on this another day.) I’ve written damn good sales letters (if I say so myself, though my clients say so too) but wasn’t applying those ideas. So I did. And it increased my response rate by some crazy amount (like… 2/4 vs. 1/15). I’ve gotten several responses and there is one client I am actually looking at working with! I know, I totally should have thought of this sooner, but hey… we’re all slow sometimes, right?

Now onto the meat of this post. Chapter one in THE BOOK (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here) tells me I should outline a business plan. So I’m going to give you the dirt folks. Each of these sections will eventually have their own posts as I develop them more fully but for now …

1. The Executive Summary: My Mission is building a freelance business and my first goal is making $500 a mo. by June (when my student loans become due). I will work with people who sell things – goods and services (though hopefully not themselves). Words connect us; they communicate ideas. They are how you persuade someone to buy stuff from you (perhaps, in the case of late night infomercials even stuff you really don’t need). Basically, they are powerful stuff. My job/goal is to harness that power and put it in the hands of my clients.

2. The Management Plan: This is supposed to be about personnel; well it’s just me baby. Though I am going to work to set up a referral network of web designers, graphic designers, Pr people, etc. who I can pass those portions of assignments on to and who will refer clients with writing assignments to me.

3. The Organizational Plan: I need to do more research before deciding how I want to license and structure my business; however my office set up is the “office” in my apartment (note: it is also a sewing room, as my roommate has her own fashion line – see her website here). I will use my current desk, computer chair and Mac computer. I have an internet connection but no fax or landline phone (are there online companies that will allow you to fax documents to a website and then print? I think so…). I’m also supposed to state my timetable here. Well, my timetable for getting this show started is now.

4. The Service & Product Plan: I plan to sell my writing. That was easy. JK. I plan to write sales letters, brochure content, web content, etc. I want to write things that will represent the business or client they are for. This is probably a bit broad and will be narrowed down as I go.

5. The Marketing Plan: Well, this blog. I need to start a twitter account for this too (added recently – @MelissaBreau). Networking. With a Capital N.  Other than that … well I guess this section still needs some development. Eventually, I’d like to have a website, and email local businesses with my info and see if I can get any fish to bite. (Note: This section is also supposed to evaluate competition etc. That will be forthcoming as I do research.)

6. The Financial Plan: Can I just put to make money? No, the book says I need to create balance sheets et al. Bummer. I’ll have to get back to you on this one then. However I did do the math and making $500 a month means doing 1 hr 15 mins a day of paid work. Sounds do-able, right?

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