If you’re setting off in a brand new creative career direction, you might be filled with equal parts excitement and trepidation. It’s no secret that creating a successful business takes time, money, and a whole lot of hard work. Getting to grips with your business needs is the best way to set yourself up for greatness. It may take time for everything to fall into place, but a strong foundation will see you soaring to success once everything comes together. So what do you need to consider when launching a creative business?
Create a bulletproof business plan
You need a strong business plan in place if you want success. This is your business now, so it’s up to you to define the purpose, the unique selling point, and how your brand will stand out from the crowd. For a creative business, it might be easier to settle on your branding, but in a crowded market place, you’ll need to really make your offering unique. It’s worth spending lots of time researching and contemplating in these initial stages since this will inform your marketing efforts and even partnerships later on.
You’re going to need capital to get your business off the ground, but first, you need to make a compelling case for it. Your business plan should enumerate all of your costs, including for equipment, space rental, advertising and so on, so you know exactly how far your start-up capital can go. Consider profit projections too, in case you’re approaching an investor.
Get the right tools and equipment
If you’re a creative, you’ll know by now that an artist is only as good as her tools. If you’re going to be a solo entrepreneur, selling online, then your tool requirements might not differ much from those you already use. But if you’re, for example, a printmaker, and you’ll be setting up your premises, your equipment needs are likely to be kicked up a notch. Do your research, so you know what’s needed. For example, you might need to choose the right air compressor for your industry or the perfect photography equipment to make your project come to life online.
Know your industry inside and out
You need to understand your niche if you’re going to flourish. Only by knowing your industry can you identify the gap in the market that your business fills. It’s also a great idea to learn more about your industry, as this will help you to identify the key players you should be speaking to. The importance of networking, whether at events, or simply online, can’t be overstated. It’s the best way to learn about what’s going on in your industry so you can ensure your business stays relevant. See if there are any events, meetups or online seminars that you can start putting in your diary today.
As well as understanding the competition, it’s also about understanding what your audience wants. After all, it’s having customers that will make your business a success! So look around online to see what’s selling, follow key hashtags on social media, or even examine what works in your own location. You could also do some market research if you’re able to, so you’re not going off guesswork alone. All of this will help you to decide on what kinds of products to make and how to market them.
Know your limits
You are only one person, so if you’re starting on your own creative business, you need to be realistic about your limits. It’s easy to think you have to invest every hour of the day into getting your business off the ground, but this is a one-way road to burn out. Protect your wellbeing and mental health by being transparent with how much time and energy you are willing to invest in your business, and how much you can put aside to relax. Realistically, you’ll be working a lot in the initial stages, but just be mindful of your limits. Especially if you work from home, set up standard working hours for yourself and try your best to stick to them whenever possible.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to consider outsourcing. It’s easy to get swept along thinking that as a solopreneur, you need to do everything for your business, but this is rarely a good idea. Especially so as your business relies on your creativity, so you need to preserve your time to create the products that will drive your business forward. Some good areas to outsource are typically accounting and technology, although you might even consider getting a virtual assistant or PA if your budget has room for this. It’ll free up your valuable time and energy to focus on your creative pursuits!
Establish a winning mindset
Setting up a business is tough, but you are tougher – if you get your mindset right. Establishing a healthy mindset is essential to any business venture, but particularly a creative business, where you need to merge two seemingly opposing mindsets – good business awareness, along with artistic expression. Try whatever works for you to help you maintain a positive and focused mindset. Lots of entrepreneurs love to maintain a regular exercise regime and use focus techniques like meditation and mindfulness to keep them in their prime.
Others find that establishing a supportive network can transform their mindset into one that’s right for success. Surrounding yourself with successful people who are pursuing bold passions will undoubtedly rub off. Be careful not to surround yourself with naysayers or people who encourage you to doubt yourself. Mindset is everything! Having a coach or mentor can make all the difference since they can advise you on how they navigated the same problems that you’re facing now. Even if they haven’t experienced the same business or scenario, it can help to have someone who gets the challenges of setting up your own business.
It’s essential that you figure out how to ride the ups and downs that come with a creative business, and to enjoy the process!