Creativity is at the forefront of every business venture that you've every come across...
As a JMC student, you're already equipped with the number one tool of creativity (we've got the LinkedIn statistics to prove it), so what's you're next step? Naturally it's time to start entering the workforce and making your mark in your chosen creative industry path, but have you ever thought about working for yourself?
October just so happens to be Small Business Month and we can't help but celebrating by diving deep into helping you create your own small business. So, if you've decided on the path of becoming a full-time self-employed creative we've got your survival guide to small business basics so you can small business like a boss!
Set Your Goals
Do what I love for a living, check! Make money while I'm doing it, check! That's a solid list of goals but lets dive in a little deeper. The idea behind setting business goals is to clarify what it is you want to achieve from your small business over a period of time whilst balancing your creativity and finances.
Check out this Small Business Goal Checklist to get some inspiration for when you start writing out your own.
Write Up Your Business Plan
You've set your goals, now its time to put them into action by creating your Business Plan. It's a standard Business 101 tactic to help you identify, describe and analyse any business opportunity that may come your way and to establish if you've got the resources, capability and finances to go ahead with it. Download this handy Business Model Canvas Template to assist in creating your fool-proof hack and stick to your goals.
Money Money Money
Mamma Mia got it right! When you have a solid understanding of the finances behind running and sustaining your small business, the sky's the limit. Learn to keep track of who owes you money, how much you owe and when money is due. It might seem a little frightening at first to keep track of all your expenses and income coming through but thankfully the internet is at it again providing you with a bunch of easy-to-use accounting programs and guides to get the hang of. Being able to keep accurate records of all your expenses is also going to be super helpful during tax time so remember to keep all your receipts.
Marketing & Promotion
You've started telling all your family and friends about your new business venture, now its time to spread the word even further. In this digital age, it's absolutely essential that you've created an online portfolio and social media presence (obligatory social media must do's here). Update your community with blogs or articles, show off your new content or project, join relevant social groups to keep in contact with people in the industry and network, network, network!
For many creatives, accessing grants is a super important source of work and income so make sure you're in the know about the latest grants that are available and write up an award winning submission or application you can send through.
Keep a Maintainable Workload
Working as a small business or freelancer, there might be times when you've got an endless list of tasks to check off or have the complete opposite work week where you're twiddling your thumbs. The way to tackle inconsistent demand is to maintain a consistent workload. Keep a log book of all your tasks and aim to tick a few things off the list everyday, learn to delegate if you are working with a team, take opportunities up when you are not busy and don't overoad yourself with projects and expectations that you can't meet as a one man team. Your clients will much prefer quality work that takes you a bit of time then rushing through a bunch of projects to keep up with an overwhelming schedule, keep it simple.
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