Ten Tips to Running Your Creative Business

Most of you reading this post are not newcomers to business.  But every so often, we need a refresher course — if I can call it that — on what works and what does not.  Our featured article today from Handmadeology is just such an article.

Here are the ten tips:

 Thing no. 1: Hobbyists don’t make good livings

 Thing no. 2: You have to wear a business hat

 Thing no. 3: Going full time is not about selling more

 Thing no. 4: Success is a state of mind

 Thing no. 5: You must continue to learn

 Thing no. 6: Don’t assume sales equal profit

 Thing no. 7: There is no value in free

 Thing no. 8: Systems will save your life

 Thing no. 9: Brand is not about how it looks

 Thing no. 10: Appeal to less and you’ll learn more

READ FULL POST for the details.

Personally, I agree with many of the tips, and disagree with others.  Here is my take on the tips:

#1 Hobbyists don’t make good livings — Absolutely true!  Until you look at your hobby as a business and act accordingly, you will never make a living with it!

#2 You have to wear a business hat — Also very true — business people need to deal with bookkeeping, marketing and sales and other aspects of business (listed in the article).

#3 Going full time is not about selling more — Both true and false.  I would say that going full time is not JUST about selling more.  If you are able to move your business to selling wholesale, you will probably be full time and selling more!

#4 Success is a state of mind — Oh, very true!  If you feel successful, you will be successful!

#5 You must continue to learn — This is a no-brainer!  You are able to keep up with the trends in your business, new technology and sales tips, etc. …. to keep that edge above your competitors.

#6 Don’t assume sales equal profit — at least not NET profit!

#7 There is no value in free — Well, that depends … in the example given in the post, I would agree, but in other circumstances, I would disagree. We frequently give aways free items for advertising, for extra trouble involved in a web sales, to offset a high shipping fee, and sometimes just because we feel like giving our customers a bit extra!  Giving a little can go a long way in developing customer relationship!

#8 Systems will save your life — Oh goodness, yes!!  When you have a huge rush in sales, instead of running two directions at once, use systems!  I could not have gained the success I did as a sales rep if I did not have systems.  And the same goes for product based businesses.  Have a list of  what needs to be done first and set up your office/shipping center to work as streamlined center.  If you have a helper/partner, split the tasks — instead of stepping over one another!

#9 Brand is not about how it looks — Very true!  Product brands must be a complete picture.

#10 Appeal to less and you’ll learn more — Also true!  Niches is where it is at today as you cannot appeal to everyone.  Try to and you will appeal to no one!!

So, that is my take on the 10 Tips.

The author concludes the article with the following tip that is, in my estimation, more important than most of the tips above:

 Bonus thing: Never assume it’s your customer’s fault

This is a huge part of wearing your business hat and building those handy systems–it’s never your customer’s fault. It’s not your customer’s fault for slow traffic, it’s not your customer’s fault for poor product, and it’s not your customer’s fault for shopping elsewhere. Take total responsibility for how awesome your business is because it will speak volumes! This includes your failures and your successes.

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