How to Start a Creative Business

Creative Home BusinessBy Kirsten Hendrich

Starting a business from home may seem like a daunting task. While it certainly isn’t effortless, becoming self-employed is often much easier than most imagine. Of course, it takes careful planning, persistence, a unique skill, and a large time investment, but when you can find a way to turn a passion into a creative business, the work hardly seems like work at all. Plus, the Internet has made starting a home business easier than ever. It can now be done with limited capital, few resources, and no inventory. But perhaps best of all, small business owners today have the opportunity to reach out to customers across the globe without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.

Here’s how to start a creative home business:

Find Your Niche

Success in the business world depends upon the ability to carve out a unique niche in the marketplace.  To do this, you need to narrow in on a particular customer demographic, and offer them something they can’t find elsewhere.  This can be a matter of style, of the particular product or service you sell, or even the attitude with which you market yourself.  In any case, the first step in starting a business is determining what makes you special and locating the customers who value that uniqueness.

Research the Competition and Customer Base

The next step is to find out what similar companies are doing, and how. By researching the strengths and weaknesses of the competition, you will learn how to improve your own business model and gain a better understanding of where you stand in the marketplace. The competition will also indicate how large the customer base is, while linking you to their communities. Use social media, blogging, online forums, and any other community spaces you can find (online or off) to learn about the unique demographic you will be targeting.

Start Marketing

You can never start marketing and networking too early. Once you have located your target audience, begin reaching out and making connections. Devote particular attention to a personal blog, your social media network, and relevant online forums.

Craft Income Goals

To have realistic expectations, you must first craft a realistic business plan. How much do you expect to sell?  What will your overhead be? How many products can you produce per week?  Is your business scalable, and to what degree? These are all questions you must ask yourself and answer honestly before getting started. If the prospects for profit are bleak, you probably need a new plan.

Address Legal Issues

Consult local law to determine if you need to file special tax forms, report income, obtain permits, get licensed, or have insurance for your new business.

Invest in Professionalism

Craft a brand, develop a company image, and find a particular aesthetic that will permeate everything your business produces. Especially when it comes to Internet marketing, having a distinctly recognizable brand is essential. This will be the face of your business, and customers will know you by it.

Produce

Last, but not least, you must create! The more time you spend making quality products, the better you will become at your art and the better position you will be in to expand your business. So don’t get caught up in the business details and lose sight of the ultimate purpose: to create.

At the end of the day, persistence is the greatest asset anyone hoping to launch a home business can have. Understand that it will take a long time and much work before profits begin rolling in, and that you will have to overcome many frustrations along the way. But anyone talented enough to turn a creative passion into a source of income is sure to be a highly motivated individual. If you can remain focused on the ultimate goal; while also finding ways to balance creativity with productivity, your business is certain to be a success.

Kirsten Hendrich recently left the comfort of full time employment to develop her creative handmade silver jewellery business to allow her to spend more time with her family. She has spent years developing her brand as a side project, but is now working hard to grow her business.

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