Whether it’s shooting pet portraits or making mean gin cocktails, there are few greater accomplishments than turning an interest or second career into a successful full-time business. Make a start by following our guide to entrepreneurial success.
We won’t lie—starting a business isn’t easy, so you need to be sure that you can deal with the lows as well as the highs. It’s best to ask yourself early on whether you’re prepared to take on the challenge. Expect a lot of prep work up front. It may feel as though you’re trading in your art for a desk job at times, but we promise you, every hour you invest now will make for smoother sailing (and sales) down the line.
Before you don that dashing entrepreneur hat, be sure that you have enough work lined up to sustain you until you can generate new business and referrals. The most profitable small businesses are those that launch with several paying clients waiting in the wings so get some Business Cards and get networking. Knowing that you have some orders to fill from the start can do wonders for your confidence, too.
Your website and social media channels are the face of your small business online and are absolutely vital, especially since you may not have the capital to invest in advertising off the bat. When posting photos to your site or social media, choose ones that convey what makes your work special. On your website, include images of all the product options available to buyers in order to show your range. If you don’t want to splash out on costly web developers or designers, there are some free off-the-shelf website templates and hosting services like WordPress.
Creating a personable online profile on your social networks of choice can go a long way toward building awareness of your service and brand. With eyes glued to screens and face-to-face interaction on the decline, it’s important that your profile feels “human.” Keep it brief, but include how you can help your clients, what makes you different and a few fun facts about yourself.
Create both your online profile and your portfolio with your customers and clients in mind. Keeping your brand consistent across everything that represents you is crucial! People should be able to recognize your services regardless of whether they’re looking at your Instagram profile or your Letterheads.
Don’t forget your print materials: business cards, full-color postcards, flyers and personalized stickers. A digital presence is a must, but there’s nothing like premium paper stock in the hand to make a potential client take notice. To ensure that your marketing materials stand out, choose a distinctive color scheme and typeface, MOO has lots of design options for you to choose from.
You may rather be designing handmade gift wrap than fleshing out a contract, but it pays to give careful consideration to any business pitch and be clear on your pricing strategy. Set a realistic price for your products and services, and be firm— people may get dubious if you set them too high or even lower your price too eagerly to get the work.
As you head off to make your business dream a reality, remember that old adage about great efforts producing sweet rewards. With a strong strategy in place, you’re well equipped for success. Good luck!!