Research & Refine your Business Idea
There are many reasons that someone may want to start their own publishing company. Some of these can include making a bit more money, the ability to publish books that have been written by others, having a higher amount of control, and a whole lot more.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own publishing company, then you’re in the right place! We’re going to take a look at the important aspects to keep in mind as you go about making decisions about your business and setting it up, so that you’re fully prepared!
The first step is deciding whether you want a sole proprietor company, LLC, corporation or something else. Each of these options will offer unique benefits that can assist those with different goals in mind. Generally, the most common for publishing companies are LLCs and Sole Proprietorship.
Before deciding, it’s a good idea to take a look at the differences and what each option has to offer.
After making that decision, you can start thinking about a name for your publishing business. What’s most important here is making sure that the name you choose isn’t one that is already in use, and it’s something users can remember pretty easily.
Furthermore, it’s going to be a good idea to have a physical location for your company. It’s best to not use your home address, as that can lead to unwanted complications. Instead, consider renting an office space for the purposes of the business, or at least getting a mailbox through UPS.
Doing The Paperwork
As can be expected, there is going to be paperwork that needs to be completed in order to set up your business correctly. It’s important that you make sure to go through this and complete it all yourself to make sure it’s accurate.
It can take a little bit of work to make sure you’re understanding everything involved, but there are a number of resources, both online and in person, that can help to guide you through the process.
Creating your Business Website
Most of us understand the importance of a business website today. They really make it a lot easier for customers to take a look at what businesses have to offer, leave reviews for products and generally gain information in a very simple way, right from the comfort of their homes.
Consequently, when you have a website you can also keep an eye on the interest for the books and other things you may be selling by watching the traffic that comes through your site. This is a great measurement to have access to, because it can tell you when you need to make changes to draw in more customers.
When customers can easily buy books, magazines and other merchandise right from your website, it makes the process a lot easier for them and allows you to get more sales than you might otherwise.
In addition, making a website is easier than it has ever been before through sites like Squarespace, Wix and more! These sites allow you easy, click-and-place methods for building your website without having to worry about confusing codes or updates.
Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound, in-fact, many hosting providers have tailored their service around small businesses who may not be tech savvy. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website, they’re service is simple and easy to use/setup and they’re currently offering 60% off hosting, including free domain registration.
Additionally, creating a blog on your website is also a great way to attract organic traffic and expand your business. Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
Marketing Your Business
If you’re only using a publishing company for the purposes of providing a little more protection for your own works, then you may not need a lot of marketing. Odds are, the marketing you’re doing to sell your books or magazines can just be adapted to include the publishing company as well.
However, if you’re new to publishing, or you want to spread the word that you’re looking to publish the works of others, then marketing is going to be very important. The good news is, there are so many ways to do it!
Having your own website is one way, but you’ll also want to market that website through in-person, audio or online advertisements. That way, people can hear about what you’re offering and have a place to go if they are interested.
In addition, being active on social media sites is a great way to converse with customers, potential customers, writers who are interested in your services and the general public. It can be a lot of work to stay active on all the social media sites, but it can also be a method that really pays off!
Setting Goals and KPI’s
A KPI is a measurement you can use to determine the growth of your company. For example, you might want to track the number of books you sell, or the amount of traffic that is coming to your website. These things can give you ideas about what level of interest customers have in the website and product.
Creating attainable goals is highly important for growing your business. It may help to just track the information for a month or so, and then make adjustments as needed. For example, if you sell 1,000 books in a month, aim for something slightly higher the next month and determine how you can make that happen.
If you find that you’re struggling to make your goals, then it’s a good idea to re-evaluate and consider how you can make the business and products more appealing to potential customers. Remember, this is a perfectly normal part of the process!
Plan your Finances
Finances are an extremely important thing to keep an eye on while you’re working. Handling finances carefully can help to ensure success, while poor handling can result in some seriously negative consequences.
The first thing to consider is the overall cost involved in starting a publishing company. These might include fees associated with your business paperwork, the cost of a domain name as well as printing costs for books and signing authors.
The cost of signing authors can be a decent amount, so you’ll want to not only be prepared to pay them for the book, but to also spend money marketing and selling enough books to earn a profit over what was spent.
To begin with, having a business bank account is a great idea. This can help to keep the business expenses and funds from getting mixed up with your personal money.
For the expenses involved, saving money is a great idea. However, some choose to gain funding for the business in other ways, such as turning to family and friends, getting a loan from a bank or trying a crowd funding source like Kickstarter.
Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Remember that no one gets out of the gate with a new business perfectly. It’s very normal to find that you have to make some adjustments in order to allow for the growth that you’re seeking.
By keeping measurements that display the growth of your company, you’ll be able to enjoy the high-business times and make changes during the slow times to allow for greater improvement. In some cases, it may just be something small that is keeping customers from seeing the beauty of the books and other goods you have to sell.
The real growth comes from learning how to be flexible and find solutions for each situation you come across. In time, you’ll learn just what to do when certain kinds of problems occur.
Other things to consider when starting your publishing company
When you’re starting a publishing company, it’s important to know all the laws surrounding what you intend on doing. That way, you can stay within them and have a successful business without having to worry about getting into trouble.
The good news is, there are many publishing law resources out there that can help you to gain a firm understanding of handling the work of others, publishing your own work and ensuring that all of your paperwork is solidly put together and ready to go.
Furthermore, making yourself aware of common problems that can occur with publishing companies can help you to avoid those problems. Getting the rights to the work of authors and staying within copyright laws are extremely important for keeping the reputation of your company in the positive.
Accounting & Bookkeeping:
Keeping track of funds and where they’re going may not be the most glamorous part of running any kind of business, but it’s a very important one. Luckily, there are a variety of different tools you can use to help in making the process easier.
If you’re relatively comfortable with numbers and financial knowledge, then you can use a handy program like Quickbooks or Xero, which can help to make overall money-handling either. You’ll also need to be able to keep track of payments to authors, payroll and any other expenses the company might have.
Otherwise, hiring someone to take on the job for you can make things much easier. For example, if you hire an experienced freelancer from Upwork, they can not only help you with the job, but provide advice and knowledge that can guide you in making financial decisions.
Aside from that, you can also opt to hire a regular employee. For either of these hiring options, it’s important to know the expectations and laws involved.
If you’re going to be doing any hiring then it’s important to make sure you have a keen understanding of the laws that are involved in the process. These laws can differ a little bit, depending on where you’re located and what kind of hiring you’re going to be doing.
If you’re hiring a regular employee, then the rules are going to be a little different than hiring a freelancer. Knowing the differences can help you to determine which will be best in each situation.
As a result, you’ll need to know about hiring practices, mandatory breaks and the kinds of hours you can ask from an employee. That way, you can have a healthy, productive work situation for everyone involved.