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As reported several times via this blog, my experience as an incipient PR entrepreneur has confirmed the cliché that being an owner is a ride.

The ride does not have to be a painful journey, however. To that end, perhaps this A to Z guide will help aspiring, budding and/or established PR business owners.

A is for advice. When you run a Communications shop lots of people ask for it. Fewer are willing to pay for it. Strangest is that often those who do cough up the cash refuse to heed it.

B is for billable. If you want to eat, pay the mortgage and not end up in a cardboard box, you need to make sure this word frequently comes before the word “hours.”

C is for control. When you launch your PR business, you quickly realize you’ve got both more and less control over your existence. It is a peculiar dichotomy that occurs concomitantly.

D is for driven. If you want to succeed at running a Comms shop you better be.

E is for expectations. They can be a real bitch if not managed.

F is for friends. On those days when your revenue projections induce heart palpitations you’ll need a few.

G is for good help. If you find it, don’t take it for granted, pay it well and frequently ask it how you can help with personal/professional growth.

H is for heaven or hell. Kinda like gaining and losing control over one’s own existence, owning a Communications business can be both simultaneously.

I is for I. They say there is no I in team. When the shop is yours, there’s definitely an I in there somewhere. Anyone who tells you differently is full of “shit” (which you cannot spell without an ‘i’).

J is for journalist. My feelings about these folks – both positive and negative – have become more pronounced since opening my business.

K is for Kamouraska Vodka. It’s nice after a stressful day in the entrepreneurial trenches.

L is for life. It’s very short, so if you’re thinking of trying your hand at PR entrepreneurship you probably should get going.

M is for money.  As the owner of a young Comms biz, it’s on your mind all the time.

N is for no. Saying “no” is a skill you need to develop (in any realm of life). It is quite important for entrepreneurs.

P is for payday. Paying your staff fairly, on time, and without fail is non-negotiable.

Q is for questions. When you launch your PR venture you need to ask other, more established entrepreneurs a lot of these. They don’t all have to be PR pros.

R is for rolodex. Even though no one my age actually owns one of these archaic objects, I’m constantly told that this is why clients pay me. I’ll take it.

S is for shifty. If you run the biz, you can get away with being shifty for awhile. Eventually though, taxmen, clients, competitors and others catch on. Being shifty is not a sustainable policy.

T is for taxes. Per the preceding entry and Wesley Snipes, you want to make sure you set aside enough money to pay these. Especially if you live in a Soviet Socialist Republic like I do.

U is for unbearable. If a client is so painful that they merit this moniker, you should fire them. They’re not worth it.

V is for victory. My experience is that victory tastes sweeter when you’re an owner. It also comes in different forms then when you’re an employee.

W is for wheedling. A lot of clients think you don’t have to wheedle or cajole the media into covering their incredibly obvious amazingness. Ownership has made me see that there’s a correlation between the amount of wheedling required to score coverage and the sticker shock resulting from an invoice.

X is for Xanadu. When you own a Comms biz and things are going less than well, you might wish to escape to this faraway place.

Y is for you. It’s about you. But it’s also not. Your ability to find the balance will determine the degree of success or failure.

Z is for zzzzzz’s. When you own a Comms biz, you can lose them pretty easily. Problem is, they’re important – so exercise, eat right and you’ll keep more of them.

Anything to add?


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • “B is for billable. If you want to eat, pay the mortgage and not end up in a cardboard box, you need to make sure this word frequently comes before the word ‘hours.’” A man after my own heart, Jackson! So great running across this post in the BizSugar community. Hope you’ll drop by occasionally and participate!

  • Forgive me Heather, I have heard of BizSugar but had not really checked it out. I’m grateful someone posted it there and thanks to you for stopping by this site and reading the nonsense contained here.

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