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Flying Solo

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  • 1. Flying Solo LESSONS LEARNED FROM SOLO PRACTITIONERS PANELNancy Farrar, Farrar Public Relations – Moderator Margaret Ritsch, APR, Perception Linda Jacobson, APR, Que PRJim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA, Jim Haynes Consulting
  • 2. Flying SoloLife happens. Flying solo brings:  flexibility  potential for higher earnings  you as your own boss  pride of ownership  greater control of the actual work
  • 3. Flying Solo: Lessons Learned WHAT’S IN A NAME? Should be:  Simple to remember  Identify the service offered  Be as unique as possible  Be available as a domain name
  • 4. Flying Solo: Lessons Learned The first client: Ideal: Have one already in hand when you start out
  • 5. Flying Solo: Lessons Learned Partnership vs. Solo Pros  It can get lonely out there  Share of the workload: set up, systems, trouble-shooting  Perception: larger entity Cons  Who does what?  Equitable compensation  Make sure selling both equally
  • 6. Flying Solo: Lessons Learned  SELLING VS. DOING THE WORK  YOU ARE ALWAYS SELLING WHEN YOU FLY SOLO
  • 7. Flying Solo: Lessons Learned Where do you set up shop? Office vs. spare bedroom Additional expense but advantages of office include:  Perception of being a real company vs. freelancer  Corporate work may be easer to come by  Client meetings  Fewer distractions
  • 8. Flying Solo Take advantage of free training and resources Great resources can be found throughout DFW:  SBA- TCC Small Business Development Center – 817-871-6028  SBDC for Enterprise Excellence – 817-272-5952  Knowledge for Success – 682-841-2020  SBA’s Online Training – www.sba.gov/training
  • 9. Flying Solo Contracts and Estimates Many different approaches: no right or wrong way Important thing: get something in writing that describes services to be offered, rates, billing, terms Important to protect yourself and your business
  • 10. Flying Solo Taxes: ouch Set aside 25-30 % of every payment Deposit in a separate account
  • 11. Flying SoloBe sure you have a passion for what you are doing! WHY are you creating your business? This is your VISION statement. Your profitable purpose. 1. Short and simple 2. Meaningful and memorable 3. Outward, not inward. (Imagine a picture that conveys your vision)
  • 12. Flying Solo: Nuts and Bolts MARKET, MARKET, MARKET
  • 13. Flying Solo: Nuts and BoltsWhat kind of business entity will you establish?  Sole proprietorship  Limited liability Corporation  General partnership  C Corporation  S Corporation
  • 14. Flying Solo Marketing communications Business card Website (services | online portfolio) Budget | outsourcing Marketing collaterals Brochures | flyers Templates: RFPs, contracts, presentation templates, client reports
  • 15. Flying Solo: Nuts and Bolts Office logistics Budget factors:  Lease: consider potential for growth  Hardware needed: Telephone/fax, Internet access, PCs | Macs, printers, calculator, paper cutters  Furnishings: desk, chair, private meeting space  Software needed: necessary software, time | project management (Zoho.com – free)
  • 16. Flying Solo: Nuts and Bolts Build Your Team Employees vs. contractors Develop a list of interactive designers, PR colleagues whose work you trust, graphic designers, printers for simple and complex projects Relationships are important Set aside time for interviewing, training
  • 17. Flying Solo: Nuts and Bolts Finances Accountant for payroll Bookkeeper Considerations:  Number of clients  Time  Software such as Quicken or Zoho for DIY
  • 18. Flying Solo: Nuts and Bolts Finances Banking: build a relationship Billing Payment terms: net 30, net 15, due on receipt Late fees; establish up front
  • 19. Flying Solo: Nuts and Bolts Building a Reputation Selling – always Be visible for face-to-face conversation Build relationships Reputation is key
  • 20. Flying Solo  YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEEL SOLO TO BE SOLO! BUILD ALLIANCES BASED ON TRUST  BEST OF LUCK!
  • 21. Flying Solo:A National Perspective FROM THE 20 0 8 SOLO P RACTITIONER SURVEY CONDUCTED BY JAY RAYBURN APR, CPRC, P H.D., FELLOW PRSA FLORIDA S TATE UNIVERSITY V INCENT H AZLETON APR, PH.D., FELLOW PRSA RADFORD UNIVERSITY KELLY DAVIS APR D AVIS P UBLIC R ELATIONS AND M ARKETING, L L C
  • 22. How They Spend Their Time (Averages, in % of Total Time Spent) 35 hours per week on business 66% Providing services to clients 20% Marketing/building business 14% Administration
  • 23. Where They Get Business (Averages) 29% Referrals from past clients 27% Repeat business 12% Referrals from other independent practitioners 11% Subcontracts with agencies, etc. 9% Referrals from other non-IPs 4% Requests for proposals 3% Cold calls 2% Listing on PR databases
  • 24. How They Spend Their Time (Averages) 22% Writing 19% Media relations 18% Counseling clients 15% Producing communication tools 6% Managing events 6% Conducting research 5% Creating/monitoring Website, blogs 4% Conducting community relations 2% Producing media kits
  • 25. How They Charge 74% Said the rate varied by the kind and level of work 68% Both hourly and by the project 27% Hourly 5% By the project
  • 26. Rates (Averages, 2007) $111 For for-profit clients $87 for not-for-profit clients $5, 365 Average fee for project
  • 27. Require a Retainer? 8% Yes 29% No 63% Sometimes $1,628 = Minimum required
  • 28. Bill for Overhead? 59% Only for cost of expenses 24% No charge for overhead 7% Flat % of project for overhead 10% Overhead and mark up expenses
  • 29. Who Are the Clients? (Averages) 20% Small corporations 17% Not-for-profit organizations 14% Large corporations 9% PR firms, ad agencies, other solos 9% Family owned businesses 7% Individuals (7%/0%) 6% Associations 4% Government agencies
  • 30. Who Hires Them? 58% Head of the organization 23% Senior communicator 16% Department head 3% A member of management team 40% said the organizations had internal staffs
  • 31. Farrar Public Relations, Inc. Lessons Learned•I n s u c c e s s f u l s o l o p r a c t i c e f o r 1 3 y e a r s•I n c o r p o r a t e d t o p r o t e c t p e r s o n a l a s s e t s•L o n g t e r m r e t a i n e r s c r e a t e a s t a b l e b a s e i n c o m e•P r o j e c t w o r k a l o n e t e n d s t o b e m o r e u n s t a b l e•D o n ’ t b e a f r a i d t o c h a r g e w h a t y o u ’ r e w o r t h•Y o u m u s t b e g o o d a t b u s i n e s s d e v e l o p m e n t a n d P R•D o n ’ t p u t a l l y o u r e g g s i n o n e b a s k e t - m u l t i p l e c l i e n t s•S u b c o n t r a c t o r s f o r g r a p h i c d e s i g n o n l y•N o n i c h e f o r m e : )•I u s e Q u i c k B o o k s a n d a c c o u n t a n t c o m e s o n c e / q u a r t e r•B i l l i n g i s n e c e s s a r y , b u t c o l l e c t i n g i s i m p e r a t i v e
  • 32. Flying SoloNancy Farrar, Farrar Public Relations nancyfarrar@att.net Margaret Ritsch, APR, Perception margaret@prperception.com Linda Jacobson, APR, Que PR ljacobson@quepr.com Jim Haynes, APR, PRSA Fellow, Jim Haynes Consulting jhaynes1102@sbcglobal.net