I’m Working Part-Time While Building Clients

I figure others who are starting a new editing business, or any other kind of business, may also have another job while they start building clients.

I offer proofreading and editing services for manuscripts, ads, papers, blogs, websites, and lots of other stuff involving words. I’ve also been a blogger for a while. Blogging about my editing business is still something I want to do once its a real source of income. I’m a writer, after all. While I’m working on building clients at my new business, I also work a part-time job to help stabilize my income.

I figure there’s no reason why I can’t start blogging about my editing business now. Why let such a little fact like my business not being all there yet stop me from blogging about it? The answer is I shouldn’t, and neither should anyone.

If you’re doing something, blog about it.

Starting a business is a really great blogging topic. Countless other blog posts about people and their new businesses prove it. However, I’ve only had a very small number of clients and don’t have much to talk about right now. Even though I’m still building clients, I can say that these first few projects I’ve worked on have helped me to see a little about the day in and day out of the kind of work I’m doing. It’s helped me to make adjustments to my workflow and my pricing. I’ve even gotten some experience talking to clients and asking them for things, like the money they owe me, or the testimonials I need for my website.

In the meantime, I have to live on a budget while building clients.

The money I make working at a part-time job has to sustain me while I work on getting clients. Budgeting rent, meals, household expenses, transportation, as well as business related expenses like blog advertising, web host costs, and even client meetings is challenging on a small income. I’ve had to make a few cutbacks, especially in my coffeeshop expenses. But, it’s also important to plan your future business income. Relying on only your part-time income could easily set you up to have the wrong priorities.

Set realistic goals for your new business.

It’s great to have a budget showing how much money the part-time job brings in so you can stay in the green, but what about the new business? Income from the editing business is scarce. However, planning for it in the future ensures that I stay on top of what I need to do in order to make money from it in the first place. How many clients do I need to make an extra $100 dollars a month? $1000? What services do I need to advertise more of? Excuse me while I check my rates and do math.

My time spent out and about in Louisville, meeting clients, going to events, and taking Instagram photos has never been this organized before.

I know exactly how much money I can spare on food and transportation for my blogging adventures. I know how much mine and my clients’ lattes at Starbucks costs.  Knowing how many pages I need to proofread for what I charge helps me know what I can afford to spend on advertising. Marketing on Facebook can get expensive. I also have a good idea of how much time my clients’ edits will cost me. I can be as honest as possible with my future clients about my time table.

Starting work everyday in a new business with confidence is important, but so is stopping everyday.

The tricky thing about editing is knowing when I should stop everyday. I don’t want to get too burned out too quick. I know enough about myself to know that if I’m not confident in the hour that I stop every evening, I’ll overdo it and lose my precious free time. I’m trying the no-work-after-dinner rule. If I’m cooking dinner, editing work is over for the day. Sometimes I even budget an evening out once or twice a week to really commit myself to this rule.

My evening out this past weekend was shooting some pool at a bar with some friends.

I even got to answer a few “what’s new with you” questions, for which I answered, “My editing business!” Sometimes my evening off from work is walking around Frankfort Avenue in my new neighborhood in Louisville. Sometimes I go into a local store I’ve not been to before. If I can spare the cash, sometimes I’ll try a new restaurant.

Do you do anything to make yourself stop working for the day? Leave me a comment below and let me know. You can also share any other tips you may have about the beginning stages of starting your own business or building clients. Starting your own business from scratch is scary, but you’re not the only one doing it. Follow along with my blog every week to join me as I continue starting mine.

Also, please contact me if you need your manuscript, blog, website, ad, or other writing proofread and edited. You can also message me on Facebook or Twitter.

Portrait of Eric Shay Howard who has started his own editing business and is building clients.
Writer and Editor Eric Shay Howard. Photo by John Eric Davis.

 

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