Managing a creative business..
Entrepreneurs in the creative industries are often very talented and passionate about what they do. They burst with ideas and usually focus on their core subject on what they know, it being design, architecture, music, advertising, visual arts. But in order to have a successful business, balancing the creative side with the business side is a must. The problem is that all too often ‘how to run a business’ is not something we are taught. Most creative entrepreneurs are simply not equipped with the skills to create, grow and manage a business and many struggle as a result.
Here I share the first four key points of what I call ‘Business Essentials’, the key things that you as an entrepreneur need to be on top of outside your prime area of competence.
Strategy and Plan – Unless you know where you are going you will end up somewhere else. Enshrine your vision, goals and objectives and how to get there in a simple and effective strategy plan. You do not want a novel that no one will want to look at again but a simple plan of action, starting at the top; your Vision – clear goals & objectives – the steps on how to get there? – the time scale and Budget for each step. Then drive it forward with passion and determination.
Organisation Structure – Assess what your business needs in terms of structure and roles, the types of people to fill those roles, how they will communicate and work. Create the right structure and summarise it into an organogram. Write out the job description for each post, be sure it is all needed and logical. Adding more people to a business because things get busy is not the answer, there must be a clear rationale behind it all. Recruit the right people for each role, in line with the culture of your organisation.
Leadership and Management – A famous quote says “Managers do things right, leaders do the right thing” In an SME, leading well, often involves shifting seamlessly between leadership and management, they must go hand in hand. Although they are not the same thing they are linked, and complementary. The manager structures, plans, organises and focuses on the systems and processes with attention to detail, ensuring that all runs well. The leader is the conductor of the orchestra, enabling people to excel, inspiring, guiding, motivating, and encouraging. The leader sets the tone and the culture, providing the vision and direction.
Finances – Naturally, you must make sure you are on top of all the figures and processes: turnover, costs, pricing and margins (gross and net profit), invoicing systems, payment terms, cash flow, profit and loss. It is amazing how many business owners are not.
Good luck and do get in touch if you have questions, want to discuss certain points further. If you are interested in having your business assessed why not complete Business Propeller’s online diagnostic tool. Francis Seriau – firstname.lastname@example.org