Whether you are a creative who wants to make a living from your art, it’s easy to see yourself as having a hobby that earns you a bit of money, and not as running a business. You are enjoying what you are doing, and you do it for fun, so how do you turn it into a successful business?
Small business owners love what they do and have a real passion for why they do it, after all, that’s why they got into their business in the first place. The creative industries are no different to any other industry!
To make a business work you need to have passion and that’s exactly what you have with your chosen idea. If you’re ready to take it to the next level and start making a living from it, then you will need to get prepared and know what to expect.
There is a lot to think about when starting a business.
The first thing to do is make a plan. To help you on your way, you can join local networking groups which are invaluable sources of information.
The people you meet in these groups, can help you to source suppliers, premises, and equipment, they will be able to advise on potential stockists for your products, give you advice on how you can make a profit from your idea, and how to incorporate multiple revenue streams to give yourself added security.
Once you have identified exactly what you would like to offer through your business, and how your business will operate, you can start creating your brand.
Sites like Canva are great to help you with your branding, you can sign up for free and create collateral like logos, flyers, stationery, social media graphics, and a whole host of other items to promote your brand.
Pricing the items that you make can be extremely tough and is one of the hardest parts of creating to sell. There are many different methods to work out your retail price.
One way to do this is to consider your costs. You’ll need to work out how much the materials have cost you to make the item, how long it will take you to create the item, how much postage and packaging will cost (if applicable), and finally add the profit you need to make on each item, and this will be what you charge for your items.
Materials + time taken + P&P + profit = chargeable amount
It’s helpful to do some research and see what others sell their products for, as this will help you to gauge what the market is like, and the value customers see in similar products. It is worth remembering that not all local businesses will be trying to make a large profit, some may just do it for the love of it and sell their wares at cost price so if you are researching other prices, it is worth bearing this in mind.
If you want to make a living from your ideas, then you will need to learn how to market your innovative and creative ideas effectively. A good way to do this is by taking advantage of digital marketing tools.
Always consider your target audience first. Who are they and how can you reach them? Digital marketing tools such as Pinterest and Instagram can be great for promoting very visual and creative ventures. It is important to remember that Pinterest is a search engine and not a social media platform.
With Pinterest, you do not need to worry about building an audience or gaining followers, it is far better to spend your energy creating high-quality content that drives people to the destination you want them to go to. That destination could be your own website, an Etsy store, an eBay store, or a Facebook page, wherever your online home is where you want to send people.
Both Etsy and eBay have a wealth of information on their sites showing you how to go about selling on them.
Instagram on the other hand is a social media platform, so you will need to spend time building an audience and engaging with them in order to get your creations seen and ultimately make sales.
If you don’t know where to start with these platforms, then have a look on YouTube or Google for guides to help you get to grips with the basics. You could even search on Facebook as small social media based companies often run free training sessions.