Business is exciting, painful, demanding, and wishful all at the same time and no matter how small or large it is important to treat your business as if you’re in business. Many creative entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and authors tend to shy away from the business side of creating a company. I have heard so many artists over the years wish for a manager or an agent to handle the business side of an operation. Often that is because of the processes of sales and creativity and the fact that they use different sides of the brain. We have also heard the horror stories of a mega star going broke because they didn’t really know what money was coming and going in their business while they were busy creating a major brand.
Whether you have an agent helping you with your business is not the point. Unless you are a high profile artist you most likely won’t be able to pay an agent enough money to be interested in working with you anyway. The important piece that many artists miss is running their business like a business. They treat it like a hobby, maybe that’s because many creative businesses are created from hobbies and then turned into income generating machines. Nevertheless it should still be treated like a business larger than it really is. That means tracking and operating as though you are larger than yourself.
You can turn the ego off! I am not talking about belittling others or walking around as though you are above everyone else. I am talking about vision and seeing your operation as if it was double in size of what it is today. That includes setting up processes for the operation that are important but not necessarily fun like tracking the mileage in your car or creating project jackets for your jobs. It may mean talking numbers with an accountant and looking at reports on sales in the business. These are all things that business owners do and many tasks that entrepreneurs hate, but it is paramount to a successful business.
When you start a business as a creative entrepreneur you are often focused on getting clients and bringing in enough income to live. Then the day hits when we become a certain size of business that requires processes, hires other people, or brings on other brands. When this happens we realize we need those processes to keep our business in order and continue to grow. This can be hard to do when other people are involved and new products or services are required.
It is important to think of that day as early as possible. Start watching your interactions with clients and the type of projects you like to work on. Learn where your strengths are and what type of work you don’t like to do. Start organizing any process you can and look at automating as much as possible within your expertise and budget. Start doing this early on and you will be able to grow your business without having to revamp the whole organization every time you bring on a new product, service, or brand. It worked for us!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, speaker, and creative entrepreneur with two podcasts, art business, and television show. Bruce started his career following passions that many considered to be dead end jobs and now is using many of those talents in his business today. His podcast for creative entrepreneurs called Cashing in on Creativity Podcast helps inspire artists to be successful using their talents. You can learn more about Bruce or book him to speak to your group at www.bruceoutridge.com