by Zoe Zorka
Starting a creative business can be a daunting prospect if you are not properly prepared. If you have a unique product to sell, you need to make sure the right people are aware of it and that they know where they can buy it. Creative businesses are often started because due to the owner’s passion, but passion alone will not make it a success. Here are a few tips to help you get your brand known and to achieve the success you desire...
It should go without saying that the quality of your product needs to be good. Customers need to feel they are getting value for their money if you want to build a loyal customer base.
However, there are other areas of your business where quality matters too. The way your brand is presented is important from the start. A good logo and a business name that is simple to remember will be a help. Your website needs to be very user-friendly, easy to navigate and responsive to all devices.
The content you produce also needs to be engaging if you want to hold their interest and using videos and images wisely can help to achieve this.
You can change things at a later date if you need to, but at the very start, you need to be certain that the quality of your branding is good enough to turn viewers into customers.
Learn the Ropes
You may be great at producing the stuff you plan to sell, but there is more to running a business than just sales. You have to be able to deal with marketing, bookkeeping, accounts, shipping, and a whole lot of other things. There are some local initiatives that guide people who are new to business in doing these things right, but there are also online courses where you can learn what you need to know, too, so it should be easy to pick up the skills you require with a little effort.
If all of these tasks are going to be too much for you to handle, consider outsourcing some of them to freelancers. This can be the cheapest way to take the burden from your shoulders while ensuring that your creative business is run right.
Look the Part
It is vital that your business looks the part or potential customers will have no confidence to buy from you as a creative business. Customers expect creative businesses to not only have creative goods for sale but to be run by creative people and to operate from creative premises/websites. That means you may need to revamp your website to make it a bit different to the norm or upgrade your premises with the help of a good contractor and roofing company to ensure that it stands out, looks great and shows just how creative you really are right from the get-go.
Reinvest Your Profits
Of course, you may need to take a salary for your personal needs, but you should reinvest as much of the money you make as you can in greater levels of creativity, better materials, amazing marketing campaigns, etc.. Reinvesting in your business might mean you do not reap the financial benefits in the early days, but in the long run, it will have been well worth spending the money.
Utilize Social Media
It does not matter how unique or brilliant your product is, if no one knows about it you will not get any sales. One inexpensive way to get your products known is via social media - you just need to be prepared to dedicate some time to it.
The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can all be great for putting your product on show. You need to spend the time building up a following and friends, but this can fairly easily be achieved by interacting with others and always being positive in your remarks, whilst showing off your creations in unique ways via photography, videos and engaging written content. Try not to make all your posts promotional though because people will get bored and start to scroll through them without stopping to see what they are about.
Use surveys too. They work well because people love to give their opinion. Simple competitions can also be a huge draw because who doesn’t love winning stuff? The prize does not have to be huge, but if you make part of the entry they need to like your page and click on a link to your webpage, you will find the number of followers and friends you have will grow enormously.
You can link competitions up to your own business by giving the entrants a creative task to do, which will increase engagment and show the customers a bit more of what you do and what it’s like to be a creative, They will see how much work goes into creative products, and they will appreciate the stuff you sell so much more.
You Do Not Have to Be Alone
Being the head of a business can be lonely. When all the decision making is down to you and you alone, it can feel isolating, but this doe not have to be the case. There are usually local groups for businesspeople who get together to support, help and advise one another. Do some research and find out what is available in your area because you do not have to be alone in these matters and networking with other businesses is a great way to promote your own creative wares. There are also some online communities that have been created especially to solve this problem, and it could be worth investigating those too.
Know the Law
There are laws and regulations that relate to most industries and you need to be certain that you are operating within the ones that apply to you, even if you are simply running a creative side-hustle. There are rules that apply to selling online, and different ones that apply to store premises. You need certain things in place to protect your staff in the event of an accident, for example, and if the public enter your premises, they are entitled to be safe too. There is lots of information about all of this available on the appropriate federal websites, but you also need to check the rules for the state you are located in as the regulations can vary from location to location.
Falling foul of the law could cost you a lot of money and this is something that is worth spending time on to make sure you get it right.
Creative businesses are just like any other business in most cases. A solid product, the right kind of marketing, and a good knowledge of the local laws are all vital to your success. Get the basics right and your business will flourish.