Recently we saw an article about setting up a home business doing writing for a living. This was really a catch-all title and had some good ideas in the article. Since we have some personal experience with running a home business, we thought it would be a good idea to add our two cents worth about Setting up Your Writing Business. We also added a couple of suggestions as well, which people may find interesting and useful. Our own home business is a combination of writing, SEO work, and creating web sites for our customers. We have been in this business for the past 5 years and have gained a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure out of working for customers around the globe.
Issues You Should Consider About Setting up Your Writing Business
- Find a place were you can concentrate and will not be interrupted by the rest of the family. Make this your “Home Office” or “writing” place and designate it as your office. It could be a den or one of the bedrooms. Living rooms and family rooms are really not good locations, too many distractions.
- Make that your official “home office,” then read up on what the tax people will allow you as a tax deduction. Check with your accountant as well.
- Get an accountant to do your books. While this might be expensive for some, it is well worth the expense. The tax people will be less inclined to audit you if they know a professional accountant has completed your tax statements.
Work Time and Schedules and Work Organization
- Establish your work hours. Working at home gives you lots of flexibility, however most of us need a schedule to be effective. Some people work better during the morning while others are better later in the day.
- Protect a time each day when you can do some actual productive work and not just checking email, answering letters, meeting people for coffee, etc.
- Create a filing system. This applies to your computers disk drive as well as paper files you may have. Be organized , it will save you lots of time.
- Set up your address book. Keep emails and phone numbers handy…and if you want to move into the bold new world of 2010, invest in a smart phone or something that will keep those handy and allow you to respond on the fly if needed by a customer.
- Create a calendar for personal as well as your business. Not just for your day, but for the big projects you’ve got. It’ll help you figure out what you’re doing and when.
- Group similar activities. Do all your mail at one time. Group your phone calls back to back so you get through them all. Ditto email, if that were possible.
- At the same time flexibility is key in a competitive world. You may have to drop everything to deal with an important clients requirements.
Finances and Accounting
- Set up a bank account that is just for your business so you can easily keep track of your business income and expenses. Sign up for PayPal.
- Keep detailed summaries of all expenses. I do this every Saturday morning so I am always up to date.
- Be very organized about your income and expenses. This will only help to make it easier to complete your taxes at the end of the year.
- Pay yourself a salary to establish a regular income. This will help you budget in your personal life and meet cash flow requirements. Of course you need to have the income to support your salary.
- If you are concerned about liability, you may also want to consider incorporating and track all of your income and expenses through your incorporated company.
Good luck with setting you your business. These are relatively simple and straight forward guidelines that will help anyone in setting up a small business.
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