Before you make the first move to launch your creative business, first ask yourself: are you an entrepreneur? And why do you want to launch a new business?
It should come as no surprise when we tell you that launching a creative business from zero requires hustle, dedication, and grit. It’s not exactly an easy thing to do, but the good news is it’s not entirely impossible. If starting your own business has been on your mind and you’re feeling ready to make the jump, we’ll go over a few things you need to be aware of before you start anything.
Make sure you can afford to fail
Whether you’re currently working in a full-time job, or are just coming out of school, you need to create a safety net for yourself for any unexpected twists and turns. One way to do this is to create a 3-month runway: 3 months of financial security to fall back on in case things go awry.
If your business’s bank account runs dry, keeping your operation open will only become more difficult. So before anything, make sure you have cash in the bank to keep things afloat while you start out.
Your business will be on your mind 24/7
So, are you an entrepreneur? If yes, then you’ve probably had your business mapped out in your head for some time now. And now that you’re ready to put things into motion, your business will be at the forefront of all of your thoughts. When you run a business, know that it’s on your mind every hour of every day, especially at the beginning.
If you truly are an entrepreneur, it’s important you understand that launching your creative business is a serious commitment of your time and energy.
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with sales and marketing strategies
Who are your customers? How will they find you? And how will you solve their problems? These answers should be present throughout your marketing strategy. Your website should clearly communicate who you are as a business and the service(s) you provide. Clients should be able to find your website through ads, simple online searches, or portfolio sites like Behance.
Your portfolio won’t get you clients
If our portfolios could do all of the talking, landing clients and projects would be a whole lot easier. But unfortunately, this industry doesn’t work that way. Sure, your portfolio might attract a potential client to your business, but it won’t sell your services.
Publishing your work where potential clients might be is a great place to start. If you’re a motion designer for example, Vimeo or Behance might be the best platforms to showcase your work. Finding and landing clients is entirely up to you.
You don’t have to know everything
If you’re just starting out, you might not know how to do everything just yet. And that’s OK. When it comes to selling your services with limited experience, the key is to be honest and upfront in your client conversations. If you know you can do the work, though you’ve never done it before, be honest. Tell the client, “I don’t have a great answer right now. Give me 24 hours to figure out how to solve the problem for you”
There’s no shame in transparency. In fact, it’s much more appreciated than trying to seem like a know-it-all.
Be sure to watch the full video to get Chris’s checklist for starting a new creative business, plus his insights and advice for entrepreneurs. With the right preparation and planning, your dream business can be profitable and successful.