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After years of in-house or agency work, you’ve decided to go out on your own and start your own public relations company. Make decisions on your own terms. Represent clients that fit your personal beliefs and passions. Shape your company from the ground up.

It’s exciting! But with all of these great aspects of starting your own business, there are many things that should be thoughtfully considered.

I definitely know: In December of 2010, I made the decision to start my own boutique public relations agency. After six years of working in-house for global corporations in the publishing, fashion, beauty, home, and luxury lifestyle industries, it was time to forge my own path—and Allyson Conklin Public Relations (ACPR) was born.

Starting out at just 28 years old and trying to navigate the worlds of entrepreneurship and small business, it would have been a game-changer to be handed a “Guide to Starting Your Own Public Relations Agency” (or at the very least, a checklist of important things to consider). Sure, there are the standard points to contemplate: Do you have the means and support necessary to start an agency? How will you design, build, and market your business? Will you be able to set both short- and long-term goals and use them to measure your success?

But there’s a lot more that you don’t necessarily consider until you’re in the thick of things. Looking back, here are a few others things I’d advise mulling over before going out your own.

1. Do you have what it takes to run a business—from accounting and finance to operations to business development to administration?

As a PR pro considering heading out on your own, you’ve likely amassed a stellar clip book of placements spanning the course of your career.

But running a company is so much more than just excelling in your core service. On a day-to-day basis, my role can shift from accounts receivable to sales and business development to customer service to, of course, publicity. No, you don’t have to be a superstar in every single arena in business (math is not and will never be my strong suit), but you’re going to have to be willing to at least learn the basics for the sake of your success.

My advice here: Read as much as you can, talk to as many business owners as possible, and become completely invested in getting good at every aspect of being a small business owner.

But there’s a lot more that you don’t necessarily consider until you’re in the thick of things. Looking back, here are a few others things I’d advise mulling over before going out your own.

2. Do you understand enough about the industry and your competitors to design services and set prices?

In your corporate life, you were handed a nicely wrapped package that outlined your job and monetary worth. Now, you actually have to share what you can do, how much you’re worth, and why.

And this requires a great deal of thought and investigation. I’d suggest investing in memberships to public relations organizations, which can be great resources for industry information via literature, webinars, and networking events. Also do detailed research on your competitors. What are they offering, and what does their pricing look like? If all else fails, find a trusted mentor—someone who is or has been at your size, in your industry, and at your level of expertise. He or she can be a great resource for navigating the pricing waters.

Read at The Daily Muse