There's so many things to think about when you start up a creative business. It can be a little overwhelming sometimes, so hopefully this blog post will help you with ironing a few things out. I'm no "business guru", but after owning this small business for 7 years and being full-time running it for 2 years, I think I've picked up a couple of things.
Firstly, you want to work out what it is that you want to sell. It sounds really obvious but you want to be passionate about what it is that you're selling. I did explain in my blog post about the 10 things to know before starting your own creative business (click here to read that blog post) that you need to be prepared to pivot your business. However, you don't want to build up your loyal customer base with one type of product to find a few years down the line that you hate making it, especially if your business is a long-term goal.
Next, you will want to work out what your USP is. A USP is a Unique Selling Point and it is the thing that sets you apart from other businesses. The business community can be a noisy place, and what makes your business different from all the others will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, I combined my love of Dungeons & Dragons and my love of yarn when I set up Chromatic Yarns. I only saw two businesses also have this idea, and neither one was in the UK, or even in Europe! With more indie dyers setting up every day, I needed to find what my different angle was.
Working out who your target market is will help you out so much with so many different areas of your business. You can invent your "ideal customer" and make them as niche as you want! You want to try to list their interests, financial situation, age etc. It doesn't matter at all if this specific person doesn't exist. Aspects of them will exist in different people.
I bought the Indie Roller Handbook at the end of last year (click here to buy your digital copy of the handbook - not an affiliate link) and it has been super helpful for my business. Something that the author, Leona, mentions a lot is your Values. It seems a bit deep and intense, but it really does help with your band and its consistency online if what you put out there reflects your values.
Now we're onto branding. I'm not a branding expert but here are some things I've picked up along the way. Remember your ideal customer you created? You want your branding to reflect and appeal to your target market. Colours, fonts and image are all so important. Your text will want to be clear and the colours that you choose is what your business will be associated with. I mean, can you envision Coca-Cola being anything other than red??
If you're like me and your strengths don't lie in graphic design, you may find it difficult to make yourself a logo. Something you can do is message someone who's logo you like and ask who designed it. If they don't tell you, then you're in the same position you're currently in! Another thing is to find an artist and commission a piece from them. If you can't do something yourself, there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help.
When people are shopping online, the only thing that they have to go off of is the description of the product, and the photograph. Photography is such an important part of an online business. In an ideal world, someone will look at your photo and instantly know it's your business. You want your photos to stand out against other people's. For example, I always photograph my stitch markers on the same backgrounds, or always have dice in the pictures with my yarn. A clear photo with accurate colours are so important too. Editing your photos will help out with this, although it's important to remember that colours may vary from screen to screen.
Anyway, I hope that you found this somewhat interesting and helpful. I'll be back with another post soon! And if you didn't want to read this, it's all in a video: