Habit 3: Treat Your Business Like a Business

Before I explain today’s habit, let’s do a quick review. Monday I talked about the importance of making and implementing decisions. Yesterday, I covered the role of hard work, and the amazing things it can accomplish in short bursts.

Today’s habit has to do with mindset. Specifically, the mindset of treating your business like a business. In my experience, copywriters who do so, do better …

Habit 3: Treat your business like a business.

Remember the restaurant analogy I used yesterday? If you were a chef/restaurant owner, you would show up for work every day, wouldn’t you? In fact, you would probably keep regular hours. You would manage the cash flow. You would ensure your customers have a great dining experience. You would promote your restaurant effectively to keep the tables filled.

You need to have the same attitude toward your copywriting business. You need to show up at your desk each day, give clients an awesome experience working with you, promote your services effectively, and so forth.

I learned this habit early on in my career, and it really helped me. For example, when I first told my wife I wanted to be a freelance copywriter, I promised I would write myself a regular paycheck – every two weeks. That meant I would have to run my business really, really well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make my “payroll”!

I’m proud to say that, in 18 years, I never once had to skip writing myself that check. (And, I’ve given myself several raises over the years!)

That’s the benefit of running your business like a business. It disciplines you.

A real business keeps track of sales and cash flow. So do I.

A real business has a prospecting system in place to attract new clients. So do I.

A real business has a business phone number, business cards, letterhead, etc. So do I.

Like a real business, I also keep regular office hours, starting at 7:00 a.m. sharp. That doesn’t mean I don’t take advantage of the freelancer’s privilege of taking a day off every now and then. Believe me, I do. Often! But, I can do that because my business is running so well.

Treating your business like a business is especially important if you want to succeed as a B2B copywriter. In this market, clients are particularly sensitive to those they consider dabblers or non-professionals. They want to work with a B2B copywriter who is a professional. And, one of the telltale signs of that is looking like a real business.

Never forget that you’re not a temp employee looking for freelance gigs. You’re a professional with a copywriting business that offers a valuable service to clients.

Look the part.

So, here’s what I want you to do today …

It’s simple. If you haven’t done so already, get into the mindset that your business is a business. Then … take care of that business. And, it will take care of you. I’d love to hear about your success story in the comments.

Tomorrow, I’m going to share a habit that’s so important, you simply will not succeed without it.

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Published: August 20, 2014

6 Responses to “Habit 3: Treat Your Business Like a Business”

  1. Hi, Steve,

    My success story is in the making. You're helping me thanks to your articles and great advice. I've been enjoying the learning side of copywriting but I've broadened my scope to learn all I can about what it takes to set up & run my business as a professional - from marketing strategies to taxes..

    One more thing. I just enrolled in the B2B Companion program & I am looking forward to September 16. You see, in 2015 I intend to let you know that jbcopywriting is thriving!

    JudyB-RaleighAugust 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm

  2. Hi Steve,

    I've loved your advice this week, as usual. However, I have a question about today's post. What if you are you just starting out with copywriting on the side while you work a day job? Is B2B a bad niche for a part-time copywriter?

    Thanks, Steven

    Steven SmithAugust 21, 2014 at 12:35 am

  3. Great article and advice Steve!

    I think both experienced and new copywriters alike would be wise to follow this.

    P.S. Loving your entire series this week.

    Guest (G)August 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

  4. Hi Steve! This week's advice has been wonderful. If you don't treat your business like a business and yourself as a professional, neither will anyone else. That could have a big, negative impact on your income. I think you might have to be especially careful with family and friends. Sometimes, they think they should use your services for free! That's a great way to go broke.

    KarenBAugust 22, 2014 at 6:26 am

  5. Steve- I wholeheartedly concur with your advice. One of my peeves in life are people who seem to be incompetent at whatever they put their hands. I teach my sons to be competent at whatever they choose to do in life. Be the Best YOU can be!! And those who count will notice without you having to say a word.

    FrankGDecember 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm


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