Making your business a success!
Every dream business idea that you plan, develop and work hard at, will succeed! You might go through stages that where you will be struggling to get that new client, wonder how your business will run smoothly and constantly be saying "will I be able to ever not have to work, work, work!"
Well.... we will not lie "it is really hard work"
BUT..... Every business out there all started where you are even the very big companies!
Planning and being organised is the key to success! We know it takes time but set aside some of that precious time for your business, as it is just as important as getting clients!
Now where to start! Most people will say a business plan is the best place to start, but my business, before it became a studio, started by setting up a workspace in my home as I had so many ideas that I needed to be able to spread out all those ideas and be able to leave them for the next day to work on. It was a small desk where I set up my iMac, sketchbooks, piles of books, along with pots of pens and pencils. It looked so very dull, so with a plant to brighten it up, my business began!
Now your workspace can be set up anywhere at home, in a rented office or even in your garden shed! The choice is yours! All you need to have is somewhere you are comfortable to work. I do recommend that if it is in your home you find a place, where you can leave your work at the end of the day and do not have to pack everything away. As you don't want to have to spend time the next day taking it all out and reorganising it all again. That wastes time and time is precious!
Next, is the time to get organised and plan! Here are a list of areas that I undertook to create and develop The Creative Avenue.
- Business name: time to create a business name. The best way to do this is some name generating and then narrow them down to your favourite. Always ask friends and family what they like the best as you are trying to make sure that it appeals to all different people
Branding & Naming Worksheet
Simply click the download button to get your hands on your copy of the branding & naming worksheet. To get your hands on more checklists and guides, sign up to our Newsletter to gain access to our library of resources.
- Register your business: All businesses need to be registered in the UK. So go along to the HRMC website and get registered.
- Business plan: You need to spend time a lot of time on this and get everything organised and very clear in your mind about what it is your business is going to sell and how you are going to make that happen. Really do some brainstorming! Have plans on different areas, as every small detail counts towards your success.
- Business insurance: It is always good to cover yourself with insurance, as the unexpected can happen at any time and in my opinion it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Goals: These are always referred to as SMART goals. It is important for all small businesses to have goals that are achievable and effective which are reviewed from time to time. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. When your goals are set, break them down into a clear set of smaller tasks so you can work on the smaller tasks daily which lead to a successful goal being accomplished.
- Brand: Invest in a good brand! This is very important to get right as this is what you will be remembered by. Now this is where you call in a design company to create your brand (excuse the pun! The Creative Avenue creates unique brands for all sized companys new or established, take a look on our portfolio and feel free to contact us). This is a harder part when you are a design company as you will undertake this job yourself and it is always harder to be your own critique and more time consuming! But it is well worth it whatever way is taken!
- Website: Within the digital world we live in, it is important to reach as many clients as possible. Today everyone searches the web to find the perfect business that they need. In order to ensure your clients are drawn to your website it is important to provide them with a clearly, organised, aesthetic and unique website that stands you out from your competitors. This is an important part of your business and is where you need to draw your clients to through the use of social media sites, business stationary and groups, as this is what hold all your details and work. Feel free to check out our portfolio and contact us if you require a website to be designed and created.
- Connect on social media: Social media is a way of drawing people to your website and becoming noticed. So set up pages and start connecting with people. Remember it is not about the amount of followers, likes you get. It is about directing and promoting your business. Start to brainstorm about what type of blogs and posts you will be posting and how often they will be sent out. You don't need to panic about getting them written as yet, having the ideas is a start. These can be included in your weekly plan, which is further on. So keep reading! Once you start to post blogs and posts remember to check your analytics so you can see which ones are popular and where your website traffic is coming from.
- Business stationery: Feel free to contact us for all this area as we do have packages available at very reasonable prices! All business stationery is needed to give that professional approach to your clients. Get yourself some business cards that you can hand out as this is the easiest marketing strategy and will allow you to start up conversations with potential clients. Invoices and receipts are needed as you want your business brand and professionalism to be portrayed across all stationery. Also it is a very good idea as you can then just print or copy them for your own accounts which will save you time. Complimentary slips are handy and if you plan to sell items as this is another way of reminding your clients of your details for their files or notice boards.
- Tagline: That all important tagline! It is amazing how we all can recall that certain tagline for those big companies. There are tagline generators on the Internet that are available or you can do it the old fashion way that we love doing here, by putting pen to paper! A good place to start is by describing your business in the shortest way possible.
- Business investment: Anything you buy for your business is an investment. If it will improve your services and knowledge then you can't go wrong. So if there is an online course that would improve your skills, a new released book that can improve your knowledge or even the up to date software that allows you to give your clients the best. Why not make the investment. Although I would recommend that you just don't get carried away before the cash starts coming in.
- Join networking or creative groups: These a good places to meet other business that are local to you. I have been too many of these as they are a great way of collaborating with others and spreading the word by mouth. Every little bit helps your business to become successful.
- Attend events: Meeting people face to face and keeping up with new events and news Is always essential to any business.
- Give your self a title: I know it might sound strange but you definitely need a title. Choose a title you are happy to have next to your name. There are many different ones so a few examples are: owner, director
- Set up a weekly plan sheet: Always set aside time in your weekly plan for your business - download our weekly plan !!!!!!!
Simply click the download button to get your hands on your copy of the weekly worksheet. To get your hands on more checklists and guides, sign up to our Newsletter to gain access to our library of resources.
- Set office hours: This is always important as everyone needs to have time for family, friends or just that own personal time that we all need to rest and regenerate our batteries! Yes at the beginning they will be long hours but by setting hours will ensure your batteries don't run out!
- Open a separate bank account: This is a good idea as when you come to do your accounts for the end of the tax year there is nothing worse than having to go through which purchases were business and which were personal.
- Keep track of all incoming and outgoings: This is essential for any business to do on a regular basics, as you need to fully understand and keep up to date on exactly what your bank balance is. Sort out a system on where you can clearly see what invoices are outstanding and what regular payments that need to be made. At the end of the tax year you need to submit your tax return. This can be done by yourself or you can have an accountant complete these.
- Contracts: When it comes to contracts, some people believe it might turn away clients if they are informed that a contract has to be signed and others believe it is the best action to take because it can safe guard both you and your client. This is really down to your choice. You can also go for a letter of agreement, if that is your preference.
- Sort out your costs: When clients start to come in they will be asking you "how much?" You need to work out whether you will be working by an hourly rate, paid a price for the complete job or If you are selling products then these all need to be priced. You have to work out your coatings to ensure your business is making a profit but is still competitive with your competitors.
- Plan a marketing strategy: Research, plan and decide what is the best way forward for your business on how you will go about reaching potential clients. If you do a range of services then ensure you aim the right services at the right clients, otherwise you will be wasting your time and money. A range of marketing materials will be flyers, brochures, posters, ect. We are happy to help with any of your marketing needs.
- Weekly plans: Things can always mount up and those little things take longer than expected! So try doing a weekly plan on a Sunday for your week ahead. Be realistic when working out times! Remember if you are meeting up with clients and you arrive early then you can use the waiting time to do some thinking or planning. Accumulating all those 5 minutes jobs together and placing them into a hour slot can be beneficial. Be aware that checking social media sites and emails, you could end up with getting carried away and the time just goes, so turn off those mobiles and close down the internet pages. You will be amazed how much more work you will get done. Don't forget to leave some slots for you own business development. We have created a downloadable weekly plan for you, to make your life easier!
So just a few reminders:
- The best way for your business to become successful is to spread the word about your business, it is never too much!
- Constantly review your goals and organising to keep an eye out for what is not working
- Always ask for help
As your business grows, the areas will develop and right before your eyes your business will start to be the success you always dreamed off!
Where did your business start from? What did you find worked for you?