Thank you for joining us at one of our Top Ten Tips workshops. We hope you enjoyed your time with us and learned a thing or two!
Tip #1: Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Running a creative business is hard work, whether you’re an individual freelancer, a partnership or a larger arts organisation. You’ll need to be sure that this is the right path for you, by working out what you want from this endeavour, and understanding why you’re choosing self-employment. You’ll also need to get really good at setting – and meeting – your internal goals.
- Read our tips on setting out Goals by the Dozen
- Access our Short Term Goals worksheet
- Learn how to Map Out Your Longer Term Goals
- Read more about Self-Sabotage
- Understand Imposter Syndrome
Tip #2: Be Business-Like about Your Creative Work
Applying professionalism from the beginning of your business means that you’ll get taken seriously that bit quicker. This includes getting an ABN, working out what the professional name will be for your business, considering which business structure you’ll be, and formulating a basic business plan.
- Check on your ABN – the Australian Business Register
- Register for an ABN and a Business Name
- Choosing your Business Structure
- Not For Profits and Social Enterprise help
- Article: The Business Plan is Dead?
- Article: Finish Your F*!&CKING Business Plan!
- Find out more about business.gov.au
Tip #3: Be the Boss of your Time
Time management is one of the keys to being accountable in your creative business. Learning how to manage everything will allow you to make the most of your business, creative and personal life.
- Read the Time Management for Creative People eBook
- Read All About the Monday Morning Meeting
- Article: Procrastination – I’ll Do That Later!
Tip #4: Take Care of Your Money
Having an irregular income is the hardest part of working for yourself, and you’ll need to figure out ways to take care and control of your money. That includes working out how much things are going to cost (your budget), how much you should charge, and understanding how money will come in and out of your business.
- Check out all of our Money Resources
- Look into the government’s Money Smart website
- Read the Arts Law Liability and Insurance Fact Sheet
- Learn more about Grants and Tenders
Tip #5: Understand your Unicorns and Workhorses
Not all the work we do in our creative business is designed to make money. Some of our work will never be paid, but has it’s own reward. The secret to making a creative business work? Understanding the unicorns as well as the workhorses.
- Read more about your Unicorns vs Workhorses
- Amplifier: The Arts Business Guide for Creative People
- The Writer’s Guide to Making a Digital Living: Choose Your own Adventure
- T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity eBook
Tip #6: Learn the Basics about your Tax Situation
Nobody expects you to like tax, but learning about your situation can actually be very empowering and help you understand your business that little bit more. At the very least, get help from the ATO and/or your accountant to clearly understand what tax deductions you are entitled to, and how to plan effectively for your tax responsibilities.
- ATO – Small Business
- ATO – Starting a Business
- The ATO App
- ATO Small Business Assist
- Tax Basics for Small Business video series
- ATO TV – yes, that’s right!
- ATO – Small Business Webinars
- Helpful Tax Tools and Calculators
- Business or Hobbyist? Help to Work it Out
- The ALL-FAMOUS Groovy Accountants
Tip #7: Learn about the Law
Understanding your legal situation is vital to making your business professional, and that includes having a contract with your clients and suppliers. It also includes understanding how IP and copyright affect you as a creative business person. Check out:
- Arts Law Centre of Australia
- Artists in the Black
- Australian Copyright Council
- IP Australia
- Not For Profit Law – Information Hub
- Australia Design Unit – Tool Kit
- The Funky Lawyers
Tip #8: Find your cheerleaders
Running a creative business is an unusual choice, and you’ll frequently meet people who just don’t understand what you do, or why you’re doing it. Finding helpful supporters and cheerleaders can help you to keep going on track and moving forwards in your business. That includes getting an awesome accountant, an understanding bank, a network of peers, a mentor from your industry, and professional guidance when you need that extra education.
- Check out our Advice Programs – we can be your mentors!
- Find Creative Organisations, including for your industry
- Take care of your own wellbeing as well
Tip #9: Marketing is a Journey, Not a Destination
Marketing is a process, not simply website or a facebook page. Spend a little bit of time all the time working on your marketing strategy and thinking about how best to connect to your clients and audience. This includes thinking about who you are and what you’re offering, researching strategies that are available, and working out ways to measure the effectiveness of those strategies.
- Find everything you need on our Mondo Marketing page
- Article: Multi-Hat Marketing
- Download this Marketing Plan template and guide
- Social Media Plan Template and Guide
- Read more about LinkedIn: Ten Tips for Creative People
- Learn more about digital marketing from Google Garage
- Article: What Clients Want
Tip #10: Hang in there
The trick to making a creative business work is simply hanging in there. Creative entrepreneurs need to be thick-skinned, well organised, and good-humoured. Believing in yourself and what you’re trying to achieve is also vital. There’s no secret to creative business success, just remember to enjoy the good times and learn from the tough times. The payoff is entirely worth it.
Once again, thanks for joining us for our Top Ten Tips!
PHOTO CREDIT: Shutterstock