Starting Up Your Own PR Agency?
Ask and Answer These 5 Questions First
You’re enjoying a brilliant career in Public Relations. Your clients adore your ideas and you execute them with style to ensure you get them excellent results. It’s been in the back of your mind for ages and now you’ve decided it’s time to set up your own boutique PR agency.
Don’t hand in your resignation just yet. First, answer these 5 questions.
1. Do You Have Business Savvy?
You are about to become an Entrepreneur and like most entrepreneurs, you’ll probably be flying solo at first. Which means you must know or get to know every aspect of your business.
- Web Development
- Logo Design
- Business Development
- Customer Service
If you’re sorely lacking in any of these departments, you have 3 options:
- Upskill – read up, attend workshops, do online research or courses
- Outsource – especially when it comes to Accounting. A good Accountant can save you fortunes.
- Hire Help – in time, as money allows
2. Do You Know Who You’re Up Against?
How well do you know your competitors? You’ll be competing against big names in the industry like Nancy at Behrman PR, established agencies with powerful histories and very clear differentiators.
And you’ll very likely be competing with the Agency you work for right now.
You have two options:
- Compete, or
- Collaborate. Wherever possible, I recommend you collaborate.
Which begs the next question.
3. Do You Have Contacts?
Once you go it alone, you will rely heavily on your friends in your business. The PR Consultants who survive are those with the best referral networks. So the sooner you start networking, the better.
Join Associations and Organisations, attend Workshops and Seminars and make it a priority to nurture your friendships with other Public Relations experts and freelancers.
And I’m sure it goes without saying, you’ll also need to line up some clients.
4. Do You Know Your Speciality?
What is it that you bring to the table that no-one else can match? And are you able to package this into an irresistible brand?
Get crystal clear on what will make you stand out, loud and proud amongst all the other Agencies out there. To carve a niche out for yourself in today’s market you need to have an angle, a unique point of view.
Know exactly how you will make a difference, what problems you will solve and who you will serve. Create an Avatar of your ideal client and create your branding and marketing strategy around their pain points and how you solve them.
5. Do You Have a Financial Buffer?
One of the scariest parts of going it alone is the money. Even if you have some incredible clients lined up who have promised to support you through thick and thin, you may find yourself short in the first few months.
Calculate how much you need to survive the first year and then work out where it’s going to come from.
Give your business the best possible chance of flourishing by making sure you have a financial safety net in place.
With a bit of luck, you have a spouse or parents who believe in you and your dream and are in a position to support you through the lean months.
If not, you could consider:
- Drawing from Your Savings
- Cashing out Insurance Policies
- Looking for an Investor
- Taking on a Business Partner
- Applying for a Business Loan
Yes, you will be leaving the safety of a regular paycheque and all the benefits of working in a team, but remember this: the sacrifice is temporary, the rewards are lasting. They may even last longer than your lifetime. When you start your own company, you could be creating a legacy for your children and your children’s children.
If you’re excited about this idea, go for it and give it all you’ve got. I believe in you.
Are there any considerations I may have left out? What’s your biggest concern before starting up your own PR Agency?