Creativity and entrepreneurship should be hands and gloves. However, becoming a creative entrepreneur is hard work, so we see copy-cut businesses everywhere.
What happened to creativity? How can you become a more creative entrepreneur and make money from your unique ideas? This article will address this and other questions.
If you are thinking about starting a business while you are still employed, I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read.
Who Is a Creative Entrepreneur?
If I lost you with the term creative entrepreneur, here is a simple definition. A creative entrepreneur is a business owner who focuses on innovative ideas and projects while assuming the risks to grow the business. They tap into their creative mind and skills to make money through eCommerce or freelancing.
They generate imaginative and inventive ideas to bring new products, services, or solutions to the marketplace.
Creative entrepreneurship is vital for any business person who intends to curve their niche market from the competition.
How You Can Get Started As a Creative Entrepreneur
This step-by-step guide will help you if you want to taste income from your creative and intellectual assets.
Here is how to go about it:
1- Determine What You Can Offer
Creativity springs from your passion and hobbies. I encourage you to list the thing you are passionate about and know well. I personally love running, reading, and writing.
Maybe for you, it could be designing, writing, singing, doodling, or playing instruments. Remember, you do not need artistic ideas to be a creative entrepreneur. You can leverage your knowledge and skills to grow a business from scratch.
Every business begins with an idea. The market gap fuels the idea, I suggest you examine the market and identify ways your skills and knowledge can bridge the gap.
2- Conduct Market Research
Like every business person, creative entrepreneurs aim to make money from their products and services. So ask yourself:
- What demanded services or products can you offer with your passion, hobbies, skills, and knowledge?
You can only know the missing pieces through market research.
But how do you conduct market research?
- Define your target market: Who is your ideal customer? What are their needs, preferences, and behaviors?
- Analyze competitors: Who are your direct and indirect competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How with your creative ideas fill market gaps uncovered by the competition?
- Conduct a consumer survey: You can ask your target market for feedback to validate your idea and establish its profitability.
- Look for information online: Online tools like social media analytics, Google Trends, and industry reports can provide valuable information on customer behaviors.
- Trade shows and events: Attending relevant trade shows and events will help you know what industry experts think. You could also improve your idea by listening to potential customers.
- Sales data: Analyzing sales data from a similar product or service can help you understand demand and potential revenue. For instance, data will enable a writer to know which niche in their industry has high-paying clients.
3- Write a Business Plan
If you believe the idea is viable, you need to plan and implement it. And the first step is writing a business plan.
A business plan outlines the direction of your business. It outlines your enterprise’s goals, purpose, strategies, and financial projections.
In your business plan, you will describe what you offer, what makes it unique, and how your product will benefit potential customers.
If you intend to improve your competitor’s product, your business plan should show what you want to change and the target market.
Other things on a business plan include a description of the following:
- Marketing and sales strategies
- Day-to-day operations
- Financial projections
A business plan can help you secure funding and attract partners.
4- Choose a Business Name
Of course, your business should have a name. A business name is your brand’s foundation, so be creative with it. If you are wondering what makes a good company name good, I wrote a whole article where I share tips for choosing the perfect name.
You can brainstorm with your team, friends, and mastermind group to find a suitable name. Ensure you check with the registrar of companies to establish if your preferred name is free. An attorney can also help you with the registration process.
I also encourage you to reserve the domain name of your business name once you choose one.
And as you brainstorm a suitable business name, ensure it meets the following characteristics:
- Linguistically clean
5- Get a Business License
The local and federal governments will require that you have a business license. A business license or permit shows the legality of your operations and is a prerequisite for taxation.
So after settling on a business name, permits are the subsequent documents you should acquire.
You should also confirm with the zoning department if your business idea is allowed in the region. Failure to have the requisite permits can lead to fines and prevent you from attaining credit.
Now that you own a business with a name, it is time to network with mentors, partners, and investors. Generally, beginner entrepreneurs need coaching and mentoring from experienced and successful entrepreneurs.
Networking can also help you secure funding and partnership with investors, suppliers, and clients.
Besides networking at trade shows, you can also join relevant online communities. For instance, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, and Pinterest are excellent social media platforms for creative entrepreneurs.
7- Start Small
Starting small allows you to test the idea in the real world and determine its profitability. If you see the need for adjustment, you can do so before scaling.
Why is this approach vital? Starting small helps you reduce risk and keep costs low. You can know what works and what doesn’t before investing a massive sum in the venture.
If you want to learn more about how to start small and grow your business, I suggest you read The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.
I know you may be overexcited about your creative idea, and you can wait to make money from it. However, starting small has several advantages besides limiting risks.
Here are some reasons to start small:
- It takes less energy and time: f you want to write a 30,000-page book, you only need to start writing 1000 words daily.
- It is less overwhelming: If you have put off the idea of starting your entrepreneur journey, starting small can motivate you to begin. It is manageable because you accomplish small tasks.
- It helps build your confidence: Many creative entrepreneurs fail to jumpstart their businesses because of imposter syndrome. However, starting small builds your confidence as you gain expertise.
- It allows you to scale: You can scale your operations once you have enough expertise and market information.
8- Build a Solid Online Brand
Businesses with an online presence make more money than purely brick-and-motor businesses. You can attract a huge population of digital shoppers with an online presence. So I encourage you to build a strong digital brand.
But how do you enhance your online presence?
- Build an optimized website: Whether you offer products or services, a website is essential in today’s competitive business environment. Your website should:
- Be optimized for search engines to increase its visibility and attract organic traffic.
- Have fast loading speed.
- Have high-quality content
- Use sitemaps, header tags, and descriptive page titles.
- Utilize Social media: Most customers spend almost half their day on social media sites. They make purchase decisions from these sites, and you can influence them to choose you by regularly engaging them.
- Use email marketing: Once your website is up and running, start collecting emails from potential customers. This will help you create on top of their minds.
- Use consistent visual identity: What colors identify your business offline and online? Ensure your audience knows your colors and they are relevant to your offerings.
9- Create a Business Structure
Many creative entrepreneurs register their businesses as sole entrepreneurs because it is easy to establish. And that is okay in the spirit of starting small.
However, you can also register your business as a partnership, especially if the business involves two people. Partners with a common goal can be a formidable force in propelling the venture to success.
10- Protect Your Creative Assets
If your creative business idea is original and unique, you can protect it as intellectual property. The law allows you to protect the intellectual assets you create.
Here are three types of protections:
- Patent: You can patent inventions, formulas, and designs.
- Copyright: Protects art and writing works from plagiarism or unfair use.
- Trademark: Protects logo, name, and taglines.
11- Market Your Business
Marketing should be your next goal now that you have everything set up. People should know about your creative idea and how your products and services solve their problems.
Many creative entrepreneurs need help with marketing themselves, but it is easy. You only need to study your target market, where they are found, and the content they consume.
This way, you can reach them with your ads, videos, articles, and social media posts.
Remember, marketing is an essential part of your business after establishment. It attracts customers to your company and increases your revenue.
The Bottom Line
Besides conventional entrepreneurship, you can also start a business based on creativity. Creative entrepreneurship requires drive, creativity, and practical skills. If you tap into your passions, hobbies, and abilities, you will succeed in building a successful venture.
Let’s summarize some practical things you can do to become a creative entrepreneur:
- Seek out a mentorship program
- Network with other like-minded entrepreneurs
- Learn and adapt to industry changes to stay ahead of the curve
- Choose the ideal path and stick to it
- Set up an environment that encourages creativity.