Well-meaning creative entrepreneurs regularly make common mistakes. Avoid these to save yourself from needless complications that detract from your purpose.
Creative entrepreneurs are some of the most fun and interesting people you’re ever going to meet. They’re artists, writers, designers, craftspeople, skilled in media, good with tools, musical instruments, paintbrushes, words and colors. They’re intuitive and visionary. They’re great at envisioning and producing beautiful things. But, in our years of working with creative entrepreneurs, we’ve noticed they are prone to making several key mistakes.
Nobody goes into business to fail. But well-meaning creative entrepreneurs sometimes make inappropriate business decisions. This can be due to a variety of reasons:
- They don’t foresee how an operations decision will needlessly complicate their processes.
- They don’t anticipate being distracted from the original purpose behind their business.
- They have good intentions, but are unaware of potential fiscal impacts.
- They’re unfamiliar with best practices or how the different functions of business interrelate for good health.
If you’re a creative person, a natural extension of your ability to produce beautiful work is to make your living at it. We’ve worked with many whose talent just blew us away. But, we’ve also been blown away by some of the decisions we’ve regularly seen new and seasoned creative entrepreneurs make in their business journeys. Many of them plateau and then come looking for advice and help. Some have even failed.
Creative entrepreneurs whose businesses are stuck in a holding pattern mistakenly focus on working in their business. They take on tasks that detract from their expertise, and/or they shy away from necessary aspects that are outside their comfort zone. Some get trapped in lack: they “can’t afford to hire yet,” or they don’t trust their processes sufficiently to outsource them. All of this keeps them from working strategically on their business, guiding it and leading the way to success.
Many creative entrepreneurs wind up feeling trapped in their businesses. Much of the time this is due to inventory-related issues. Either they can’t produce sufficiently to satisfy demand, or they haven’t sold the products they have already made. Perhaps they’re caught unawares by the logistics of procurement, shipping and handling, returns, and customer service. They’ve envisioned a location independent business, but they can’t even get away for a weekend.
We’ve heard creative business owners bemoan the time they’re spending away from the process of creating, which propelled them into business in the first place. Most have trouble pricing their product appropriately to cover hidden costs, and then wonder why they’re losing money. Others can’t bring themselves into the sales and marketing functions because of fears or negative associations.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re one of these creative entrepreneurs, be honest about where you are. Educate yourself on these common pitfalls, and the success strategies you can use to avoid them. We’ve created a Slideshare that will help, and we’re available for additional assistance, just ask!