In my last post I wrote about how I’m opening a new business, Big Picture Story Coach. This is the first time I’ve even thought about becoming a business owner. I know this might be a strange time to be starting something new but I’m excited. (Fortunately, this business is freelance and home-based.) I’m learning a few things along the way that I thought I’d share, as you might like some of these resources.
Taking a Course
Taking the Author Accelerator course was the most important step on this new path. For one thing, there’s a tremendous amount of craft-based knowledge in the program, so even if I hadn’t decided to become a book coach, I got my money’s worth. But Author Accelerator also provides templates for building a coaching business, everything from how to handle client needs to what to/how to charge. I took the additional Business course for an even deeper understanding, and I’ll be signing up for future masterminds and other add-ons. This was the most expensive investment I’ve made so far, but it’s already paying for itself in client fees.
Building a New Web Presence
My new business needed a URL, so the next thing I did was go to GoDaddy (where I have an account already for my other website URLs) and look up several possible names to find one not taken. I settled on Big Picture Story Coach because it said everything about my new business – that I am a story coach (not an editor) and that I work on the holistic side (not copyediting or ghostwriting). Purchasing that domain cost almost nothing.
I’m also a writer with a long-standing website in my own name, and I didn’t want to have to manage a brand-new extra website, or pay to build one. It turns out that I just need to add a page to my existing site, and link that URL to the existing site. That happens this week, with my favorite web designer Websy Daisy.
Managing the Business
After conferring with my accountant I decided to obtain a state LLC for the business, which gives me some protection and separation from my personal finances, and doesn’t cost much at all. As soon as I can get back to my bank (thanks, coronavirus) I’ll open a separate bank account and manage it through QuickBooks.
Designing For Fun
Nothing has to be fancy. You don’t need a logo. Hiring someone to design you a logo can cost a lot of money. I’m sure that if I went to the designer I use for my bookmarks, etc. he’d do a spectacular job. It’s a local business, by the way, and I love them and their quality results.
But to save myself the hundreds of dollars and still have something fun, I made my own simple logo using Canva. Because my URL/LLC name doesn’t have a good visual, I added Fox Tales to my business name, and was able to create a logo by using my existing fox logo (that fox is an image that came from my husband’s family). I used the fox’s tail to represent a quill feather and added a drop to represent ink. Simple and clean, and Canva made it easy. I use Canva for all sorts of things, from Twitter posts to Facebook headers to posters.
From there I could design a letterhead, business cards (I love Moo for their quality and price), and templates for the forms to send to clients.
There are lots of other business tips and tricks that Author Accelerator taught me, and I can’t say enough good things about this group. If any of the things I’ve shared here helps you at all, let me know!
Stay well, be safe.