Realities of Running a Business

Creatives are typically very good at being creative and very bad at running a business. Here are some good tips on how to stay on top of what keeps you employed.

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Focus Growing an audience

Whether your business is already up and running, or you are just finalizing the details with your first big client, there comes a time when certain realities rear their head and can come as a bit of a shock. It doesn’t matter if you run a creative business, a financial firm, or any other sort of enterprise; there are some things that can interfere with your success.

The key to growing the business and keeping your sanity is to know what to expect and know how to plan for these issues. A good “non-business business plan” designed specifically for you, and not the bank, can often help you problem solve or troubleshoot well in advance.

Consider the following issues and how to address them effectively:

Gaining new clients – Development of a growing audience is something that too many businesses forget. (Sugars, 2014) They grow an initial clientele, do their SEO and marketing, and start to achieve success. They then stop giving so much energy to gaining new clients. This is a huge mistake. You must always be working at drawing new business.

Invoicing – Separate from standard paperwork is the creation of invoices for clients. This is something that needs to have professionalism, and it has to be done in a timely and entirely effective manner. It is a process that needs follow-through and troubleshooting in the event that payment is an issue.

Paperwork – There is, literally, an endless array of paperwork necessary for running a business. Part of business planning is identifying and making plans for managing this aspect of the work.

Emails – This is huge. Emails are even more endless than paperwork and demand immediate responses, or at least cordial acknowledgement that they were received. It is easy to make ignoring emails a habit, and this too is something you need to consider in advance.

Financing Essentials – Debt is not the way to run a business, and so it is up to you to determine how you will underwrite such important things as office space, client expenses, and so on.

The business of running a business can mean that you no longer have the amount of time you did to direct towards your craft. However, be honest with yourself and determine the level of dedication required to make this a success. There is a famous saying about hiring your weaknesses when you are going freelance or you’re building a business.

If you discover that certain parts of running your business in Texas are going to represent a weakness, whether it is some of the items above, doing SEO, updating a website, or anything else, consider collaboration. A bit of teamwork can make the difference between success or failure, and creative problem solving is always a beneficial skill!

Read - Using failure as a guide [/eightcolumns]