When starting a home business there are many questions to address. Money, time and resources have to be accounted for every step of the way. For the creative entrepreneur, from artists to writers, this can even be more stressful as establishing an income instantly is not always certain.
So, how can you set up a creative home business without accidentally becoming a starving artist in the process?
As a creative individual, you can paint, draw, write, or even sculpt magnificent marble statues better than Michelangelo. However, if you don’t do the right research your talents could easily go to waste. After all, there are plenty of people who might want a marble statue in the world. But do you know who they are?
Market research is not only important to determine how much your skills are in demand, but also the rates that you set per piece and even who you will sell it to. Find other creatives in your niche and observe what they are doing. It might not be a winning formula for your own work, but it will help to give you an idea of where to move forward in your creative home business.
Ultimately, your research should help you to clarify what your unique selling point is and how you might be able to capitalise on it. With this, you have a great starting point.
Business is business, no matter what niche you are aiming to break into. Although you may not be setting up the next Fortune 500 company – yet – it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a solid business plan.
There is certainly no need to plan everything before you set forth on your creative home business. Simple aspects such as time spent, money invested and where you expect to be in a year, however, can be the difference between success and failure. If at the end of your year long business plan you are not where you thought you ought to be, for example, you can address any issues and adjust your plan accordingly.
You should also consider legalities such as taxes and insurance when it comes to the planning stage of setting up a business. As a business owner you will be responsible for all your taxes, so remember to keep track of all of your expenses and payments. You will have to fill out your own tax forms at the end of the year, so keeping a detailed account of your financial activities will help you in the long run!
In terms of insurance, working from home may make you think that you do not need business insurance. But, having professional indemnity insurance can be vital for protecting your assets if you make a mistake such as negligence, copyright breach or even document damage. For the creative home business owner, artist insurance can be essential to help protect your budding business.
So, this might be the most cost intensive aspect of starting out in a creative business venture. But think of it this way: would you open a shop without any wares? Never, so why would you start a business that way?
You may find that much of your work is commissioned or specific to a client, but it never hurts to have examples and ‘stock’ products as it were on hand. Whether that is pre-made paintings are a portfolio of writing samples, web designs, etc. It can be the difference between winning a client over or looking inexperienced, so don’t forgo this step!
Marketing yourself is essential as a home business. Creative or not. You don’t have the benefit of a huge marketing budget, so what you do needs to be effective and highly provocative.
This varies from the free marketing methods to paid options. These methods include activities such as social media, directories, word of mouth, paid ads, creating a blog, press releases and online reviews. Many of these are very easy to do yourself, but if you do struggle to balance your business and marketing it then you could recruit outside help. Just remember to stay within budget if you do so!
And there you have it: the most important steps that are vital to helping you start a successful creative home business. Remember, good research and planning are essential to set the foundations of a strong business. Find out how to set yourself apart, produce your best work and market yourself like crazy; it’s a simple formula, but it works!