The Three Essential Elements to Starting a Creative Business
I keep getting questions about what's really needed in order to start a creative business. Sure, I have all those books called Craft, Inc. and The Handmade Marketplace too, but none of them ever answered any of my hard hitting business questions, either... So here goes, my best business advice from years of studying and researching and preparing to start a business of my very own (which I should have done sooner!):
1. You need to decide, definitively, that it's time to start calling yourself a business and acting like one... This means that you need to work even when you don't feel like it. This means that you need to make schedules for yourself. And stick to them. This means that you are, in fact, a real live business. Stop making excuses and studying up on how to become a business, and just do it! Then do step #2 immediately!
2. You need an accountant. A good accountant is worth every penny. They will help clear up the answers to all of your money questions and put all your worries at ease. They can answer things like, "How do I pay taxes?" "How do I pay myself?" and all of those other burning questions I am sure you have. The reason why those books I mentioned above never tell you any of those things is because it's different in every state and for every business. So hire an accountant. It really is worth it. My only regret is that I should have done this sooner!!
3. You need good training and business mentors! You are not an island. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. I could go on and on and talk in cliches forever...but I am not going to do that to you! Instead, I am going to tell you that you need information, good information, from people who have been there before you. Even someone who is just a few months out, like me, has a lot more information about working for themselves up their sleeves than someone who is still at their day job daydreaming about quitting. I was that girl once! I have learned soooooo much in these last few months of study and working for myself, that I feel like I am about to burst with information sometimes! A big part of that is the fact that there is so much more to be said for actually implementing the information rather than just learning about it. I have paid for online creative business courses, PDF's, and I have business mentors whom I can email and ask questions to...
Step #1 is free, and Steps #2 and #3 will cost money. Please don't let that stop you! Think of all three steps as huge investments in your future if you ever plan to work for yourself and live your creative dreams.
I do have a few more recommendations about Step #3, and that is to tell you what classes and resources I have used.
Remember my interview with April Bowles-Olin from the Blacksburg Belle? Well, I am currently enrolled in her class "Six Weeks to a More Passion-Filled and Profitable Business," and it's been amazing. You should check out her site and take advantage of all the free resources she has made available to you... She is sharing some awesome business strategies that you won't want to miss. I am not an affiliate of April's, and she doesn't even know I am posting this, but I just wanted to mention her again on my blog because her classes have been so valuable to me and my business.
While I'm at it, here are a few more wonderful things I have been finding online lately. (Since I was sick, I was spending a lot of time online looking for inspiration...)
*Tavi Gevinson Slays It At TEDxTeen With Her Speech On Pop Culture And Feminism
*The Antidote to Consumerism Isn't Minimalism, It's Art. I couldn't have said this better myself!
*Another one I couldn't have said better: Creativity is a Precious Commodity.
I hope your week is off to a wonderfully creative start!
Leave a comment below and let me know if starting a creative business is something you see in your future...