Finding creative business solutions while avoiding being everything to everybody can be hard and stressful when it comes to operating your creative business. When making the decision to start a business- really I shouldn’t call it a decision ‘cause actually it’s a lifestyle change, which is something that happens over time. What you need to do is consider two elements.
- What you want from starting a business and the relationship you will have with your customers.
- What your customers wants. That’s what they want, and what they want from the relationship they have with you and your business.
The first creative business solution I want to discuss is “what do you want”. Really this is the place that every creative entrepreneur has to begin. For some of you this is already very clear to what you want do and sell in your creative business, but for others this might not be so clear.
Some of you know you want to start a business and you have a general idea of a few products or services you want to offer- but things are still a bit fuzzy. But here’s the cool thing- you can start with a one creative business solution and just run with it for awhile. The most important thing is to actually start something until the fuzziness becomes clearer and clearer.
See, you actually become clearer when you are going through the process of producing something. You know whether you liked what you are offering, or if you are excited about what you have created. You can’t make a final decision until you gain some experience. That’s the whole point of taking action.
Of course you can get feedback from your customers, but you can also do a quick self evaluation.
- Are your customers reacting to your products?
- Are you getting customers?
- Are your customers saying wonderful things about your products?
- Are you receiving traffic to your site?
These sorts of questions can help you further refine what you want your creative business to be.
Clear Creative Business Solutions for your Creative Business
You are reading my blog for business objective of some kind. You might be looking for information on how to make extra income from your art, you might want to learn how to get more speaking engagements, you might just want to increase your client base or you want to learn a new skill for a specific purpose, you need to define exactly what you are looking for.
The reason why you have to define your business expectations is because it helps you to define the kind of customers you’re trying to attract. If your goal is to make money from what you produce, then that’s quite clear. But along with clear expectations, I also need for you to reflect on what you need your business to do for you. This is about coming up with specifics that you actually want your business to achieve.
For instance- state something like “I want to make $500.00 a month selling prints of my artwork, $1000 a month selling original artwork and $300 a month selling greeting cards and the theme of these art pieces will revolve around- women of power”. See you can really get specific with this, but I don’t expect for this type of refining to happen over night- this will happen over time. The clearer you become about the direction you want to take your creative business- the more specific your creative business solutions will become.
Case in point- I haven’t always been clear on what I wanted out of my business. I was all over the place. I had a general idea that I wanted to sell mixed media art, but I didn’t have a clue of the style, theme, or how I would get customers. Once I started testing out a few ideas, I started to see what type of art pieces would make money for me. I started to see where I could position myself, so I started to slowly narrow my focus and become clear on my artist style and where my money was going to come from.
Now it’s all well and good to think about yourself and all the benefits you want from starting a creative business and how it relates to what you produce, but there’s another variable which I need to talk about – your customers. You need to consider if there are customers out there to help you reach creative business solutions. If there are not enough customers that can help you out, then you need to return back to the drawing board.
Sometimes this can be difficult to find out, that’s why it is important to just take action on something. Not only does taking action help you refine your creative business solutions, but it also helps you learn a lot about your target customer.
Please note… in my first year or so of producing and selling my artwork I didn’t make a lot of money. Actually I sold nothing. I did more research, started to focus my attention on what was selling for other artist. Because of that, I was able to think about my target customer, what I was going to be to them, how I was going to contribute to them, what I wanted to have them benefit from me and who they were. I had to get into the shoes of my customers. What are they looking for? What items were hard to find? What’s was the purpose of buying art?. So I needed to think about that and how my business goals aligned with their goals.
This might be a little too much for a beginner creative entrepreneur, but I promise if you take action and produce something and keep refining your creative business solutions , you’ll start to feel a strong connection with the type of customer you want to attract. All you have to do is find those raving fans that love your work and you love sharing your work with, that you will see positive results.
Unfocused Creative Business Solutions Equals Failure
Being a generalist at the beginning of your creative entreperneur career is ok, but you can’t stay there forever. If you don’t move on to a more focused business idea, you will become just an average provider. You won’t become an expert, the leader, or the cream of the crop business owner. You’re not going to make any kind of money being a jack of so many trades. Customers want experts, specialist, and crop leaders.
Very similar to being a generalist is being a poor quality replication of someone who’s a leader in the field. This is common in our line work. What others often do is regurgitate the creative ideas of other artist. You have to find a way to become specialist in your own field. Don’t get me wrong, you can still use other people’s ideas, but you have to learn how to turn them into your own ideas in the sense that you actually refine it for your target customer. Go out and study other experts.
- study their techniques
- study how they market
- study what they are saying online
- study what they are selling
- consume the content
- process it
- test it yourself
- experience it
- filter it
- then present it as a new ideas
Really it’s a simple process. Once you get your self going – you are going to avoid being a generalist and jack of all trades. I stated as a jack of all trades, but now I selling artwork that focused on what’s important to me and to my customers who buys from me.
4 Elements to Remember
That pretty much covers everything I wanted you to know about producing creative business solutions, but before I end, there’s 4 elements you need to remember:
- Decide on what you want from your business.
- What do you want your customers to get from you
- Avoid copying other people’s work
- Move beyond being a generalist