Well, after 31 years the firm I have been working for has merged with another firm.  I am taking this opportunity to start my own firm.  If you have any tips or words of wisdom, things to look out for, I would love to hear them.



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I keep thinking of new things, sorry.

As far as the color of your logo -- green is great -- make sure it's going to match with whatever you're going to use for binding.  Meaning, are you going to use a green back cover?  Green spines?  Make sure all of those greens match.  You don't want to get a green that you just love in your logo only to find out that you can't make it match to anything else. 

Wow, Judy, you're making my head spin.  Had no idea there was so much to think about. 

Yeah, it's amazing all the little things that end up stalling things.

Papermart.com is a good place for little decorative bags if you're going to "bring gifts" (cookies, candy, pens, etc.) when you go visiting new/potential clients. 

And when it comes time to purchase a copy machine, seriously think about a color copy machine.  You may think that you'll just get a color printer for color exhibits, promotional material, etc., but that gets VERY expensive VERY fast.  One of the best purchases I've made in the last few years was my KonicaMinolta BizHub C350.  Plus, it's got a blazing fast scanner so you can scan your exhibits to attach to your pdf's.  I bought -- I hate the thought of leasing one -- a gently used one (people are defaulting on leases all the time in this economy) for less than $5,000.

Oh, and when you do spring for the copy machine, do some homework on copy machine technicians in your immediate area.  You don't want to get a machine that nobody can repair or will charge you an arm and a leg to make a service call.

Which brings up another question:  Do you know what production software you're going to use?  Pdf-it?  E-transcript?  There's a few to choose from. 

Wow, Judy! You do seem to have your finger on the pulse there ...!

Are you *sure* you couldn't write an article on CR business practices for Cheap and Sleazy? I could sure use one!

Glen, I am positive there are others more knowledgeable than I am on this issue. 

Plus, I'll let you in on a little secret:  I've actually begun to hate/loathe/despise this end of the business.  There's a sweet spot where everything falls together perfectly where you're not stressing about getting depo sets vs. covering a busy calendar (and having to follow up on flaky independent contractors), client interaction (answering service?  "leave a message at the beep"?  office staff? (and you do NOT want to get me started on employees!!)), receivables/payables/collections, etc., etc., and that sweet spot is very hard to achieve.  It seems that something is always off-kilter.

And then you get to the issue of the types of clients a "little guy" can pull in.  If you think they're going to be all-day, multiple copy, multiple hook-up realtime class action suits/construction defect/IP cases, think again.  If those are the types of depos you're looking to report, stop what you're doing, don't waste your time, money, and energy on opening up your own shop, and start talking to the CR firms that dominate that field. 


Hi, Judy.

You might be right that there are others that might have more knowledge than you on this subject ... but thus far, all I see is you!  :o)

On the off chance that you might feel like writing something up for Cheap and Sleazy, feel free to rope in one of those with more knowledge to help you!  :o)  Pay them in mochas! It will be (wait for it ...) legendary!!

Well okay ... so maybe "legendary" might be a bit hyperbolic ....

Give it some thought, if you would! You've learned a lot over the course of your time in the field, and could save some starving new reporter a lot of time and effort, I'm sure.  Shoot me an e-mail sometime.  I'm at gdwarner (at) cheapandsleazy (dot) net.


I think what you should do is get Janiece to start a diary blog for you:  My Road to a Successful Agency, or some such title.  That would be much more interesting to read than me!


I'm greedy! I want both!



Amen, Judy! 

Good luck, Janiece.  I'm sure you will do great!  At first, I liked #2, but after some reflection, #1 is probably the best.

Thank you, Keith.  Glad we are connected on LinkedIn.

Wow, Judy has lots of good information.  It's so nice of her to share her expertise.   There are a lot of little things to think about.


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