Brighton Chamber: Top tips for growing a creative business

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There are many tasks a new creative business owner needs to focus on so it’s vital to get organised and work out your priorities. Many creative business owners start out as freelancers and then get (too) busy.

They reach a cross roads where they must decide whether they remain a one-man band or grow into a business. If it’s the latter then the game changes and their priorities and how they spend their time, will change considerably.

If you want to avoid getting quickly burnt out then follow the five tips below, as a starting point to growing your business.

1) Get a plan

A business without a plan is like driving on a long journey with no idea of the destination! No doubt this will be a painful journey. So, decide on the destination (the vision) and then work out how you are going to get there (the strategy) and then plot a detailed route (the business plan).

2) Decide on where you sit in the market

The creative sector is a crowded market so what makes you truly different? And here is a clue – it’s not because ‘we really care’ or ‘go the extra mile’ or ‘are friendly’! Do some research and decide where you want to focus, who is your target customer and then focus on being the best in your chosen niche.

3) Use your time wisely

You will need to be great at juggling plates so work out what you really need to do and what only you can do - and delegate as much as possible (get a great support network around you, even when you have no direct employees – a virtual assistant, a book keeper, a coach etc).

4) Focus on the most effective ways to win new business

Just relying on referrals won’t necessarily give you consistent steady growth, so think what else can you do. What are the most effective sales and marketing channels to reach your target customer?

5) Create measurable milestones

Once you have started points one to four you can now focus on delivering the short-term plan and if you have some measurable key performance indictors or milestones you can assess whether you are on course or if you need to make some changes.

This becomes particularly important when you have employees who you need to get aligned with the vision and focused on the right things.

Rob Da Costa is a business coach and mentor at Rob Da Costa Coaching. He is leading a Brighton Chamber session ‘Creative Hub: How to grow your business’ today (Friday). For more information on upcoming Brighton Chamber training events and talks, visit: