Setting up a creative business is more difficult than it can seem, those who take on the challenge find the working hours long and the stress levels high initially. While many businesses operate by purchasing products from wholesalers and selling them on, a creative individual setting up their own business is responsible for the designing and making of the products which are original and offer something unique to a crowded market as well as the usually business tasks of setting up a website, finding stockists, planning budgets and accounts, and developing a brand etc.
There is no doubt that a creative business can be hugely successful to run, seeing your own designs and products become successful is rewarding, especially as it takes time and a huge amount of determination to reach this point.
However for anyone setting out, while the initial excitement is a great drive for a business, it is worth considering it will be a tough challenge and you must remain focuses no matter what happens:
Prepare for rejection…
To begin with you have to develop a reputation and trust. Without that in place initially you are likely to receive some rejections. Some companies or stockists may be too nervous to take on the risk of a new designer not knowing how well their products will sell.
Until you generate a reputation that will proceed you, prepare for rejection and a lot of it in the very early days. However the key is to remain positive about your designs and to keep going forward no matter what. It is easy to feel dejected, especially when you see others succeed which you may even feel don’t deserve to succeed as much as they should have.
Stay positive, in time your market, reputation, stockists and brand will all grow to be a success as long as your determination doesn’t falter.
Plan a budget…
Budgets can be difficult to plan, especially when you are buying materials and equipment on top of all the usual business resources. Plan how much you have to spend, and keep to this as much as possible. All the small expenses which add up quickly and can easily lead to trouble, so make sure you analyse every expense and make sure it will make a benefit to your business.
When you work for yourself, you have to spread the word about your brand. Quite often it is your relationships with other professionals which will help push your business forward. If someone has met you face to face rather than just through email, it is likely they will help you out more and you will develop a strong business relationship. Networking can be tedious at times, but make sure you fully immerse yourself in your industry to stay on top.
Believe in your work…
Believe in your own work and be positive about it or no one else will. Your excitement and passion will entice others to also be interested in your brand. Be proud of your achievements, and don’t be shy to show off your skill. If you are shy and hide away from opportunities, you won’t stand a chance of success. Even if it is not in your character to be confident and bold, your business needs to be heard, so it must be done.
Set some deadlines…
It is easy to just go with the flow when working for yourself. You don’t have a boss setting you deadlines and you face no punishment should you miss these deadlines. This isn’t a good thing. You must make sure you set constant deadlines, whether it is to have created X number of products by a certain month, or perhaps to approach and pitch your company to a certain number of stockists each month. Make sure you push yourself and you aren’t too comfortable. Your business must make money and be competitive.
A creative business is definitely worth pursuing. Each and every business is different and unique but these tips will help you keep on track. Often speaking to others also setting up when you network can help create a great support group around you as you will all encounter similar pressure and worries, and it is quite often the case that you can help each other with solutions.
Kirsten designs and creates handmade silver jewellery and has recently set up her own business Kirsten Hnedrich Jewellery. She has developed collections and a brand and is working hard to develop her business further.