Any new business has start-up expenses to get it off the ground. Fortunately writers don't have to hand over gobs of cash unless you absolutely can't wait to do so. There are three areas of expense you need to cover as a professional writer.
Every writer must build a platform which is accomplished mainly through social media and a website. The good news is that building a platform is basically free in terms of dollars, but costly in time. You do need to buy a domain name for your website. Depending on the number of years you purchase, this expense will most likely be under $20. The other expense you'll have in this category is a professional photo shoot. Don't scoff. Yes, your beloved spouse or dear friend can certainly take your photo and you can slap it up on social media. You can also take a blurry selfie. However, there's nothing like someone who knows how to make you look your best. You'll need a handful of different photos you can use on book covers, website, your LinkedIn profile, various social media sites, for press releases, and the list goes on. Readers and potential customers can connect visually and you'll look like the professional you are. Average cost: $150-$175.
If your laptop/PC is dying, now is the time to get a new one. Having the blue screen of death suddenly materialize on your main piece of equipment makes for a really bad day. But if your computer is healthy, this is one you can cross off the list. A new laptop costs $350 and up. You need an offsite backup for your files. There are several good services--some that are free for limited storage or you can purchase additional cloud space. Dropbox and Carbonite are familiar names in this area. An external hard drive back up is an alternative place to store your work and everything else on your hard drive. You can plan on an expense from $99 to $200.Or consider a high capacity flash drive to backup manuscripts, articles--anything you're working on connected with your writing business.That's less than $20. A printer is a necessity too. There's a huge selection in every price range. An economical HP inkjet has printed small quantities of flyers, brochures, and business cards for me, which has saved many dollars. Price $89.
3. Office Setup
Set up your home office like a business with all the "stuff" you'll need. This includes file folders, stapler, paperclips, a file box (to keep your records separate), paper, pens, pencils, etc. Not that you'll need a truckload, but having the right supplies on hand beats driving to the store at an inconvenient time. If you're not comfortable designing and printing your own business cards, there are some budget-minded online options, or check pricing at a local printer/office supply store. VistaPrint or PrintRunner may fit the bill for you. Personally, I use a Publisher template for my business cards and print them myself. The print-on-demand option works for me and I can change the design anytime without additional expense. Plan on $50-$100 for your office.
Investing in your fledgling business makes it official. You're a professional and pursuing the dream.
With over 30 years in administration as a manager, paralegal, and administrative professional, my experience runs the gamut from finances, policy, contracts, and human resources. My goal is to help writers navigate the business side of writing with understandable and practical advice.