how makers can make their creative business work
I restarted my creative business in RI in 2008 at the height of the recession. In my eighth year now, I have learned some things along the way that have helped me sustain and grow my business.
Here is my top five must-do list for start-ups and on-going creative businesses.
1. GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
We creative’s have out-of-the-box ideas, concepts and strategies and are usually quite passionate about what we do. That is a plus, a gift. But our passion, drive and creativity are not always practical and bottom line. Find a business coach or consultant who will love your idea and stand behind you, but give you very practical advice with benchmarks and clear goals.
2. USE MONEY AS YOUR TOOL
Money is the engine here, and you need it at all stages of your business to market, promote, and keep your name on the front burner for your audience and clients. Don’t be frugal on promotion, BUT use it wisely. There are no 100% guarantees, but choose vehicles that give you the most exposure and leverage.
3. NETWORK, NETWORK AND NETWORK
But network effectively. Those of us in creative businesses that have intangible services need to be in front of people to promote our services. Cold calls may work for some, but the best way to create new business is through face-to-face meetings at networking events or from personal referrals and testimonials. I have built my business from networking.
4. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT GROUP
Have professional friends you can talk to. Being an entrepreneur, especially a creative one, has its highs and lows, and you need to sustain during the lows. Make that phone call when you feel down. Get a pep talk. Give yourself a pep talk. Look at what you have achieved so far, and don’t dismiss it, especially on a bad day.
5. KEEP THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX
Keep the ideas coming. Creativity is in the blood and is the driving force behind the passion. Anyone who is in a creative business is a type of artist, and artists create. I have found that my new ideas and strategies are what pull me back up and get me running again. The world needs our ideas and we need the people who can help deliver them in a practical and desirable way.
Above all, stay positive. If you truly believe in what you are doing, and you are making a difference and providing a service, stay with it. The rewards are there.
by Patricia Raskin
Coach, Trainer and Author
Host Patricia Raskin Positive Living,
“Patricia Raskin Positive Living” airs on Saturdays from 3-6PM on AM630/99.7FM WPRO. Her other radio show is heard live on the internet on Mondays at 2PM ET/11AM PT on voiceamerica.com.