If you are struggling to start a business and work for yourself, check out these tips from Katie Yeakle.
As the executive director of American Writers & Artists, Inc., Katie has helped people successfully develop new skills to purse their dream lifestyles since 1997.
Here’s what Katie had to say during our interview:
Tell us a little bit about your business and what you offer.
Helping people develop skills to acquire financial security, independence and freedom – that’s been American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) mission since we opened our doors in 1997.
And as the world’s leading publisher of direct-response copywriting, travel writing, photography and graphic design home-study programs, we’ve helped thousands of people do just that.
AWAI prides itself on publishing programs that not only equip our members with the tools necessary to succeed in their new careers … but with the critical skills and connections needed to land clients and start working professionally and earning money fast.
Why did you start AWAI?
We started AWAI for two reasons.
1) To help the direct response businesses we were involved with find new copywriters.
2) To introduce people looking to change careers to the huge opportunity that’s available to them once they learn how to write persuasive sales letters.
How did you grow the business without spending a lot of money?
We were lucky to be able to start our business with “inserts” in financial newsletters and pay the publishers a percentage of the sales. We only had to front the printing costs … which we had 30 days to pay … and our percentage of the sales more than covered.
What marketing activities have given you the best results and why?
Our best results come when we market to a guru’s list of customers and we have a strong endorsement from the guru.
What are some good careers to start now in today’s tough economy and why?
Especially in tough economic times, companies need people who know how to sell their products. Because of this, copywriting is especially hot right now. Copywriting is selling via sales letter … either online or in print.
What tips do you have for people who want to quit their jobs and work for themselves?
Establish a sound financial plan.
Investigate whether you’ll receive a severance or retirement package from your present employer. If you will, plan precisely how you’re going to use that money.
Save money. You may want to save up to six months’ worth of living expenses or wait for the approval of your business loan before quitting your regular job.
Take advantage of the fact that you’re still working a regular job.
Schedule routine physical, dental, or eye exams while you’re covered by your company’s health insurance.
Build some expertise in the field you want to go in.
For example, if you decide you want to become a freelance copywriter, volunteer to write brochures, sales letters, or Web copy for churches, schools, community groups, friends, and family. Pull samples of the writing you did at your current job that demonstrate you’re a capable, reliable writer.
Develop a business plan.
Start by writing a mission statement declaring what you’re dedicated to doing. If your business is guided by a statement of what’s important, you’ll make better business decisions.
Prepare your family.
Discuss with your family the impact that starting your business will have on them. Don’t forget, they’ll be going through changes as well – and their support is critical to the success of your new freelance business.
Check back Thursday for more…
And this is not all…Katie has a lot more great advice to share. On Thursday, Katie shares her 7 must-have questions to ask when searching for training to start a new business!