Working in PR has plenty of perks. You get to rub elbows with high-profile people, attend premiers and possibly travel around the world. But as with many corporate positions, you might reach a point where you want to branch off on your own. If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own public relations firm but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn everything you need to know about opening your own PR agency.
Understand the process
When you work for a major PR corporation, a lot of the legwork might be done for you. Initial contacts may be already established, so all you need to do is swoop in and work your magic. But when you work for yourself, you need to do everything. This means reaching out and establishing a rapport with your client.
Let it be known that as exciting as working in the field can be, it’s not for the timid. Even if you’re on top of your game, you need to be ready for possible rejection. Not everyone you set your sights on will be receptive, and that’s something you need to be comfortable with. If you’re opening your business alone, you need to be prepared. Make sure you are knowledgeable when it comes to negotiating contracts prior to signing on the dotted line. The only thing worse than not finding clients is losing them due a clause in your contract, which maybe you misunderstood.
Create a business plan
Similar to any other type of business, you need to create a business plan. In addition to choosing a business entity, either LLC or corporation, you need to map out an executive summary as well. Think about why you want to start your own company and how you can help your clients. Maybe you want to help them reach their marketing goals, or possibly you want to work as a consultant in reputation management. Your mission statement will set the stage for how and where you find your first client.
You also need to think about your finances. Unless you have been saving along the way, you need a sound financial strategy to get your business off the ground. If you need a lump sum to kickstart your company, a personal loan could be the answer. In addition to traditional bank loans, you should also consider working with a private lender. Personal loans can be tailored to meet your specific needs and needs of your firm.
Prior to applying, create a comprehensive list of all possible expenses you know you’ll incur. You should include your long-term financial goals into your strategy. This most important part is to have enough collateral to give your company a fighting chance to succeed. You also need to think about anything that could go wrong and plan for that from a financial aspect as well.
Fees and pricing
When it comes to billing for services, you have two choices. You can either create a new fee structure or use the same one you followed when you worked for someone else. Even though it’s okay to not be 100 percent sure, it’s better to have an idea of what you are going to charge prior to working with clients.
Do’s and don’ts
As with any type of startup, there’s a right way and wrong way to start your own company. And when it comes to doing things correctly, it’s important to first know all the things you shouldn’t do. To begin with, choose your clients wisely. As eager as you are to fill your Rolodex, every client might not be a match.
Think about your chosen niche and pursue leads that guarantee a return on investment. Pitch to clients who align with your business ethos. Especially when you’re starting out, you need to think about more than making money. Being compensated is important, however, so is building a reputation as well. When possible, take on smaller clients for free and only ask for positive reviews in return. With regards to the do’s, you need to do away with old PR strategy and embrace the new and now. Use your expertise to attract top talent and high-profile clients that will serve as advocates for your business.