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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Is Running a Creative Business Really So Risky?

 

Artistic entrepreneurs and creatives are often expected to live a bohemian lifestyle, and that is down, in part, to the unpredictable nature of obtaining work. But is there a difference between running a creative business and being a creative? Many creative business owners are themselves artistically-inclined, and so they will often know the struggle of attempting to be financially-rewarded for hard work.

 

Is it possible to get insured?

Of course it is always possible to get some sort of cover, and you will find providers offering everything from business-specific insurance to professional liability insurance and property insurance. However, happily, you can actually acquire arts insurance for your creative company.

 

Networking

Networking in the arts world is slightly different to the colder corporate world. Networking is still about exposing yourself to opportunities, as it is in other industries, however, it’s also about making room for collaboration. Working together on an arts project isn’t always financially fruitful immediately, but it can pay off in the long-run.

 

Funding

Arts funding is often hard to come by, and often it has a trickle-down effect in terms of its benefits. For example, while some performers may struggle to get funding for their project, a council might offer a performance space money to expand and create state-of-the-art facility. This then has a trickle-down effect by giving those artists a chance to get seen by the public and perhaps even the ‘right’ people.

 

However, it’s worth bearing in mind the cashflow is a risk for any new business owner. Getting regular and reliable income is a worry for any business owner, particularly at the beginning of their venture. The issue for many creative business owners is creating a commodity or service that has high demand. If it is something that cannot be reproduced again and again, then that business owner will need to diversify their skillset to offer multiple services for potential customers.

 

Don’t go bohemian

Just because you’ve seen one person on Instagram generate a business by gathering fame and fortune through their craft doesn’t mean that route will work for you. In fact, that person might be a much more shrewd business person than you suspect. Getting organized and formulating a business plan is essential to achieving any level of success. Crafting a plan for your art, forces you to define exactly what it is you can offer people, and why they should invest in it. This may seem like a soulless way to discuss an artistic practice, but by turning your passion into a profit, you have already started the process of thinking financially about your talent.

 

Creative businesses may be exposed to slightly more risk than more transactional ones, but that doesn’t mean that all is lost. By being able to define what you have to offer, you can start to set prices and formulate a plan to get it seen. On top of that, there is also financial security available to creative business owners, which will be a relief to many.

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