When you’re starting a writing business, you’ll have a lot of questions. I’ve found some useful resources that are generally available in most (U.S.) areas. They are worth checking into. Many are free or low cost, too.
SCORE – The Service Corps Of Retired Executives is full of, well, retired executives from all industries, who volunteer their time to their communities and help individuals, like us, get on the right track when starting or maintaining our small business. The main site (www.score.org) has links to numerous resources, and if you find an office in your state, or near you, you’ll find even more resources including links to information, affordable workshops, networking events, and more.
Meetup.com – Meetup.com is an online tool to find groups of interest near you. It started out as a social networking site – sort of like a notice board – where people posted activities they were doing and local people could join if they wanted. Now the international site includes those activities as well as specific business, networking, and writing groups.
When I search on “small business” within “25 miles” of my current location, I find groups such as: Local Entrepreneurs, Let’s Get Networked, Let’s Have a Net Lunch, Businesses Supporting Businesses, and many more. You search on keywords and connect with like-minded individuals and have the opportunity to meet them in person.
LinkedIn – I’ve talked about LinkedIn before (specifically LinkedIn for Writers, and LinkedIn for Journalists) and I’ll talk more about it in upcoming posts. It’s a fantastic resource for businesses of all sizes. It takes a while to build up momentum on this site, but it has fantastic groups that you can join (free membership gets you a LOT), to help you build your business, find clients, and find like-minded individuals to talk to and learn from.
Local women-owned business organizations – There isn’t a specific link to this, but it’s worth doing a Google or Bing (or both) search on various keywords to see if there are organizations in your area that are focused on women only (if this pertains to you, of course!) In my state of New Hampshire, there is Women Inspiring Women, Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, and New Hampshire Women’s Initiative. There’s a national org, Women’s Business Development Center, that can be useful too. You can probably find a local resource, or at least online information to help you on your journey.
Bottom line is that it pays to look around to see what you can find in your neighborhood. If you haven’t been self-employed before, it’s hard to know what exists. I’ll bet you find a lot more than you expect.
Have you found any groups or organizations for self-employed individuals, or perhaps writers in general that can be useful? Please share in the comments.
Lisa J. Jackson specializes in writing solution briefs, case studies, white papers, other marketing collateral, e-books, and more. She also loves writing and talking about New Hampshire and plans to complete several 5Ks in 2013. She drinks iced coffee year-round, and needs a stash of Peppermint Patties in the fridge at all times. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Biznik, Facebook, and Twitter.