Copywriter, editor and proofreader
I’d always wanted to be a writer. After a degree in Journalism and English I worked for a design company.
Initially I started in a general marketing role and as time went on I was doing more and more writing. I left in 2004 to go travelling and on my return realised I wanted to pursue my real passion for writing.
I provide copywriting, editing and proofreading services for a range of companies from one-man bands to corporates. The aim is to improve companies written communications - from brochures, to websites, articles, direct mail, newsletters and more. I also work on writing, editing and proofing books.
All Words was my first business idea. The idea initially came from wanting to combine my passion for words with being my own boss.
My younger brother had already successfully started his own business and this provided real inspiration.
I carried out market research beforehand to establish whether there was a demand for copywriters. I also made a conscious decision to target the small business market rather than trying to compete for corporate business.
My first step was to take a look at the practical aspects of the business – the business plan, informing my landlord I was working from home, informing the tax man etc. I wanted to start the business on the right footing, not worrying about having done the right pieces of paperwork.
I carried out a fairly extensive SWOT analysis and market research. I also investigated my local and UK wide competitors to see how much they charged, what markets they were writing for, what their websites said.
I did go to Business Link who were quite helpful in terms of a business plan, beyond that their expertise was quite limited. I found much more extensive information through my own research on the internet and in business books.
I had no financial support but did have a cheering squad of family and friends.
Yes. There is a lack of one primary source of practical help when you start a business. The hoops you have to jump through to get government funding hardly make it worthwhile.
I found writing my business plan quite easy. I took a very logical approach to it - breaking it down into sections and working through them one by one. My first attempt was based on a paper business plan given to me by Business Link. This was a great starting point. Business Link helped me with my figures for year one.
I have revisited my plan and it is interesting to see how much I’ve moved on from the initial ideas. I have stuck with my outline for the business and the figures are roughly on track. If anything I have spent less than I thought I would as I wanted to keep money in the business.
I had no money to start the business and enough to live on for about two months.
I had enough money to pay my bills for a couple of months. Two months into the business I took a part time teaching job to keep the wolf from the door.
I was and am prepared to do whatever it takes. I took a part time teaching job in the early stages of the business and would have no hesitation in doing the same if the business experiences a downturn.
I had given up my full time job without the intention of becoming self employed. When I came back from travelling I had decided to go for it.