With false expectations of what it means to build a creative business, many artrepreneurs are left disappointed. I’ve seen dozens of clients face “failure” because of their own failure to address the importance of stages in their entrepreneurial journey. Should they have prepared properly, they could have obtained the success they were looking for.
NOTE: It’s true–not all paths are the same. Some people work through these stages one at a time, some work through multiple at once, and some jump between stages throughout their journey. Do what’s best for you, but remember to at least think through each stage during your preparation process.
Study the market – Take some time to understand what’s already being offered. Don’t forget to think about competitors and target markets that aren’t immediately obvious. Here are some resources to help you.
Master the craft – Learn as much as you can about your art and the business in which you will operate. You don’t have to become an expert before you start your artrepreneurial journey, but you should work on becoming an expert as soon as you can.
Build a solid business model – Before you jump into launching your creative business, make sure you have a game plan. Better yet, your game plan should be backed by data or experience. And that’s where TESTING comes in:
Test your product – As you’re developing your product or service, it’s important to test it as you go. You don’t want to build what seems like the perfect product, only to find out that your customers actually hate it’s design or functionality.
Test the target market -After studying the market, you should have a good idea of who your target customers are; but, its helpful to confirm your assumptions. Approach your target market, have them interact with your product or service, and ask them to provide feedback about their experience.
Test your pricing – As you’re working on testing your product and target market, don’t forget to test out your pricing, too. After you’ve interacted with customers, ask them about the pricing. Would they pay XX amount for this? If they say yes, great–you might even be able to increase the price a bit. If they say no, you’ll know your pricing is too high. Read more about how to price your work here.
Take what you’ve learned and apply it – As you work through the preparation and testing phases, remember to make note of the insights you discover. Don’t forget to incorporate what you’ve learned into your future business decisions. If that means adjusting your business model or product offering, do it.
Take your creative business full time – Once you’ve gotten to a place where you’ve tested your business model and have secured your first few clients/customers, it might be time to take your business full time. However, some businesses can be launched as a side hustle, so think about what is right for you and your creative business.
Consider looking for additional funding (if applicable) – Depending on your business model, you might need additional funding to start up your business. Read this article to learn more about financing and discover what’s right for your creative business.
Building a successful business is about the long game–build a good foundation and success will come more easily in the future. Take the time to work through each artrepreneurial stage and watch your artrepreneurial vision come to life.
Remember: Your artrepreneurial journey will consist of many levels. Don’t be so eager to get to level 100, that you forget to enjoy the levels in between. Levels 5, 20, and 80 all come with their own satisfactions. Don’t miss out on the journey because you’re too focused on the final destination.
For more straight-to-the-point information about artrepreneurship, follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet.