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Tips to Start a Tech Writing Business

Posted by ClickHelp TeamClickHelp Teamin Technical Writing on 7/28/2020 — 2 minute read

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Would you like to start your own tech writing agency? This is a big decision and a lot of thinking needs to happen. Understandably, this is not a solution for everyone and this is completely fine. However, if you are entertaining the possibility, this post can be useful for you – we are going to talk about the steps one should take to start a tech writing business.

Ask the Right Questions and Set Up a Plan

First and foremost, you need to make up a plan. No business can be profitable without it. This is where the skill of asking the right question can help. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before moving forward:

  • What services will your business offer?

  • Technical writing is not limited to user manuals. You can offer to create things like technical reports, educational materials, scientific articles, and whitepapers.

  • Are there any areas your team will specialize in?

  • There are universal tech writing agencies, for sure. But, for example, if you want to work with specific fields like medicine and biology, this means that you will have a different promotion strategy and employ techcomm specialists with certain skills, degrees, or work experience.

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  • Who is your target audience?

  • When you narrow down the knowledge fields and content types to produce, you will be able to figure out your target audience. This is extremely important to understand who you are going to be writing for. Targeting directly influences qualities of actual technical text – how many terms you should use, the difficulty level, what elements should be included. For example, if you are going to create API documentation, you should consider how code samples will be displayed in a user manual.

  • How much money will you need to invest in the startup?

  • You need to calculate the costs of your future business and also understand how quickly you are going to break even. You need to consider the cost of many things: rent (or, maybe, it will be WFH all the way), salaries, taxes, equipment, software for help authoring, etc.

  • What name will you choose for your company?

  • This might seem like a minor thing, but it isn’t. People remember some names while others they just forget. Besides that, you need to make sure there’s a free domain to have a website on it. The name should be:

    • Memorable
    • Easy, but unique
    • Not taken, obviously
    • Have a free domain you could use
    • Reflect what your business is about

    These are the critical points of planning out your business. Take time to think about more questions to help you draw up a solid roadmap.

If you feel like you need help with that, you can always consult a legal professional. And we totally advise that you do this. But, all-in-all, here’s what you will need to go through:

  • Establish a legal entity
  • Get registered for taxes
  • Open a bank account for your business

Also, you should consider hiring an accountant or using some accounting services since this aspect of business needs to be handled by a professional.

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A lot of technical writing agencies exist – this is a good thing and a bad thing for those about to launch a similar business. Since there’s no shortage of the agencies, we can conclude that it is indeed possible to run a successful business in this field. And if you plan things out and work on handling legal matters, the outcome can be awesome. However, when there are so many fish in the sea, you need to be at the top of your strategy game to stand out. I hope that you found this article insightful. Good luck to every technical writer who is about to start their business!

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

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