Starting a new business is exciting, invigorating, exhilarating — and also kind of terrifying. After all, following your dreams isn’t easy. It takes a special person to take a chance on becoming your own boss, whether you are offering videography services for weddings, becoming a freelance hair and makeup consultant, or opening your own floral business. Luckily, there are things you can do to help your creative business succeed.
We have pulled together seven of the best tips for creative small businesses, which can help you with everything from money management to not burning out. Put these into practice, and your first year may go more smoothly.
1. Charge More Than You Think You Should
One of the biggest problems small businesspeople face is charging too little for their services. This can happen for many reasons, such as:
- Lack of experience
- Lack of confidence
- Uncertainty about market value
The main reason people underestimate how much to charge clients is that they fail to take into account the client fees needed to cover the downtime, as well. For example, shooting wedding photos may only take four hours at the actual event. But you have to edit the photos, send invoices for the photos, get to and from the wedding location, and more. Plus, you need to bill enough to balance out the time you spend chasing new business, too.
2. Target Your Services Mindfully
Not every person is a potential client. That’s a very difficult lesson for many small business owners to learn, but you will waste time and money if you approach people who have no intention of ever using your services. Instead, define your client niche and concentrate on reaching those people.
3. Use Social Media Wisely
Don’t let your personal social media account double as your work account. There’s too much potential for unproductive crossover. For instance, if you are always tweeting political memes, you could alienate half of your audience. Even a feed filled with cat videos may be a turnoff to some potential clients. Instead, put the energy into building professional social media accounts that reflect your business’s voice.
4. Have Funds Set Aside to Help You Through the Down Cycles
No matter if you are a photo booth owner or an event planner, you will go through dry spells. These are the times when you have few jobs on the books. As a businessperson, you can find loads of things to keep you busy during these occasional lulls, such as catching up on your filing or invoicing.
But just in case this time goes on longer than you have budgeted for, you want to have a cushion to fall back on. That’s why you should set aside some money to draw on in case of emergency. How much is up to you. Some people try to have enough for two months of bills, but that may not be realistic for every situation.
5. Choose Your Clients Carefully
Evaluate each job on its individual merits. While you may feel as though you need to accept every potential client your first year, that’s not necessarily good business. Reasons to turn away a client include:
- Too difficult or demanding
- Didn’t pay on time in the past
- Doesn’t answer calls or emails
6. Take Time for Yourself
As a new small business owner, you might think you need to spend every waking moment working on your business. Doing that will burn you out. You need to continue to have other outlets, such as spending time with friends and family or pursuing a favorite hobby, to give you the balance to keep going.
Think about it in practical terms. If you overwork yourself, your product will suffer, and you won’t get as many customers. Taking time off is actually a way to ensure your business thrives.
7. Invest in CRM Software for Creative Entrepreneurs
Automation has saved many small businesses from going under in their first year. Management software, such as what we offer at Táve, can help you do small things you may not have even considered when you launched your company, such as:
- Tracking your leads and interactions with potential clients
- Generating contracts and questionnaires for events
- Tracking workflow on a project
Organization offers the key to making it through your first year as a creative small business owner. By using Táve, you can get organized, track your progress on different accounts and ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
The coming year will teach you many lessons and result in triumphs you will celebrate for years to come. The first year can be challenging, but also magical. Get in touch with Táve today to secure a free 30-day trial on our creative small business management software, and let us be the first to congratulate you on your thrilling new path.