Being creative is one of the major traits of a successful entrepreneur. However, if you are willing to start a business in the creative sector from scratch, you may need more than just creativity to make things happen.
Every year, thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs leave their 9-5 corporate jobs to start their own business, but only a few make it to the top.
Whether you are a web designer, photographer, illustrator, ad maker, content writer, or author, if you have the will and the right idea in mind, you too can build a new business and guide it towards success.
But, you will require a few crucial tricks to do so, because a creative business is slightly different from the conventional corporate business setups.
1. Observe before you engage
One of the biggest challenges of starting a business today is steep and growing competition in the market. As the creative sector booms, more and more people are opting for a career in this field, making things more competitive for everyone. However, you can use this situation to your advantage by observing your competitors as well as the industry leaders.
Today, getting insights into the strategy and business model adopted by your peers is not as difficult as it used to be. All you need to do is check what the others in the industry are doing. Don't just observe the successful ones. Observe and learn from those who are struggling to succeed despite having lots of potential, as well.
You can learn a lot about business setup only by observing, and dodge many of the mistakes others made or are making in your industry.
2. Test your product
Before you build your creative business, make sure you have a long-term plan for the business. Your business is worth nothing if your business idea does not appeal to your target customers or audience. So, begin with a thorough market research. You don't want to skip this stage as it is arguably the most important step in building your creative business.
The market research stage not only allows you to find your potential customers, but also to see what they feel about your product. Based on the results of the market testing you can rethink or reshape your product into something that will be more acceptable to the customers.
Since you will be working in the creative industry, you may need to change the idea radically before you execute the idea on a wider scale.
3. Define your brand
Once you have done thorough market research and product testing, it is time to plan how you want to run the business. Start by first defining every detail of your brand. The credibility of your products hinge on how you build your brand and manage customers’ perception of your business.
There are a number of activities that can help with brand building, but it is up to you how you want your brand image to be. Overall, your brand can be laid-back and fun, serious and professional or something else entirely.
Once you have clarity about your branding, choose different ways to establish the brand in the market. Since you are in a creative business – be it designing, writing or even showbiz – you can advertise your brand and business rather effectively on the internet and other popular media.
4. Boost your branding efforts with content
Digital media is one of the best options you have when it comes to marketing a brand. And since content marketing is currently considered an effective way to engage and convert prospects, you should also develop a content marketing strategy as soon as groundwork for your business is done.
Whether it’s your website content, the content you post on social media or the blogs and articles you share on the internet, all of these can help you reach and engage with bigger audiences.
While establishing your business as a strong brand in the market, consider recruiting a team of professional writers who excel in content creation to create top-notch content that boosts your brand.
5. Set short-term goals
Now that you have well-researched business ideas in place, set a few realistic goals for executing all of your ideas in the business. They do not necessarily have to be long-term goals. In fact, it is better if you set some achievable short-term goals that eventually serve the big goal.
While 90% of new businesses may survive the first year in the market, reports reveal about 60% of them collapse by the fifth year. As an entrepreneur in the creative sector, it’s vital that you set a one-year, three-year and even five-year plan for your business to stay ahead in the game.
6. Raise funds
Like most other businesses in the world, you will likely also require monetary support to start and grow your business to where you envision it to be. You need not carry this financial burden and business expenses all by yourself.
Over the years, angel investors and venture capitalists have aided millions of entrepreneurs to get started with their new ventures. And if your business idea is good enough, you can also receive the much-needed monetary support from these people to grow your business.
You can also request banks to lend you funds for your business. Even though there are some risks involved in applying for bank loans, also consider this option. Success here depends on your business idea, business model and the objectives you want to achieve through your business.
While approaching lenders and investors, use some creativity of your own to make an positive impression on them.
7. Make use of your connections
When setting up a creative business from scratch, you'll likely require some help. Don't shy away from using your connections whenever it is needed.
If you have a connection with a successful entrepreneur in your field, ask them for some friendly advice on how to go about setting up your business. You can even seek the help of market analysts you are acquainted with while performing market research.
It should not end there. If you are acquainted with a venture capitalist or a banker, reach out to them as well to see how they can help you in landing seed funding for your business. Connections can accelerate the whole process of growing and establishing your business.
Also use connections you make on social media. Even a Facebook or LinkedIn friend can help you get out of a sticky business situation.
Establishing a new creative business is never easy. No matter how much professional experience you have, it’s still not a walk in the park. But, with the aforementioned tricks you can succeed. Put in the necessary hard work when growing your business in the creative sector and things will work out.