Starting your own PR consultancy: 10 things you need to know

From networking to taxes, a solo PR pro shares her experience with founding a consulting firm.

In April 2009, I started my consulting firm, The Public Relations Project. It was probably the best business decision I’ve ever made. If I want to take a longer morning walk with Trixie the Wonderdog, or go to a lunch-time networking event, or cook dinner, then my boss lets me do that.

I also get to choose my clients, and they get to choose me. I love that. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you’re thinking about making the leap into self-employment, here are 10 things that I’ve learned along the way and that you will need to consider.

1. Experience. Hard work is not a substitute for experience. As a senior PR counselor, people pay me for my expert opinion. If you haven’t got experience, a solo practice is not the route to go.

2. Connections. If you are well connected in your community, you will have no problem finding business. If you are new to town, or haven’t built a significant network, you may have problems getting started with finding clients.

3. In-person networking. You should be very comfortable with meeting new people, going into situations where you know no one. It’s amazing how many people stay in their comfort zone and wonder why no business comes to their door.

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