Event recap: Starting your own communications consulting business

Thank you to our speakers for sharing their insights on October 14 about starting your own communications business. They shared many valuable insights for communicators looking to start their own business.

Megan Braithwaite is a freelance communicator who shared her wisdom about how to get started on your own. She emphasized the importance of networking to earn contracts, being honest about the skills you can offer and valuing them properly, and taking on volunteer roles to develop skills you’re lacking or need to improve before charging clients for those services. Read Megan’s guest blog about her journey as a freelance communicator.

David Muddle is a certified management consultant and shared his experience of moving from managing high-profile portfolios for the Government of Canada to going independent. Starting out, he says you should think about how you are going to offer your services. Then break down your strategy on how to approach the marketplace. Most important, he says you should find and hire the best clients you can find, and maintain these relationships.

Derrick Leue of PROLINK Insurance — a partner of CPRS through your membership — provided an overview of insurance considerations for PR practitioners starting out on their own, such as professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance, and data security and privacy (cybersecurity) insurance. He advises insurance can vary, so it’s important to discuss your practice with your insurance advisor so you have the right coverage.

Finally, Monica Elfstedt, a chartered professional accountant, talked about accounting considerations. This included everything from tracking expenses, paying yourself a salary, and taxes. She encouraged us to keep our business expenses separate from our personal expenses. You want to be able to write off as much as you can at the end of the year. Try to get a business credit card and have an accountant show you how to track expenses. Most importantly, Monica says cash is king and to not charge too little for your services.

Follow our Twitter account to read the live tweets courtesy of our volunteer, Tamara Vineberg. CPRS members can rewatch the webinar by signing in to the Bill Rees Learning Centre on cprs.ca.

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