The creative industries: a range of differing sectors that all work towards the goals of both exploring and exploiting creativity; with creative industries being worth almost £10 million an hour to the British economy, it’s no surprise that even those who have never really been in tune with their creative side are now wanting in on the action. Whether you have always been creative, or simply just want to tap into the profit of creativity as a business owner, there are plenty of ways to do so. No matter what sector of creativity you wish to business in — whether it be marketing, architecture, design, TV, IT, publishing, libraries or music — here are some tips to help you create great creativity.
Firstly, utilising the creative tools of today is key. As those in the book publishing and films sectors (should) know especially: King Arthur had the sword of Excalibur; Harry Potter had the sword of Gryffindor; and Bilbo Baggins had Sting. All three of these fictional characters needed their fictional weapons in order to become the heroes of their respective stories; and you can become the hero of your own story by using the weapon at your disposal: modern day technology. For instance, you must focus on website design. Like the shop windows of businesses of past generations, the businesses of today must have a website that shows prospective customers everything they could possibly want to see, and quickly. And with searching and shopping from smartphones and tablets, otherwise known as mobile commerce, soaring in popularity, your business’s website must be responsive to mobile devices; simply meaning they must work clearly and coherently when accessed on them. So whether your business idea is one that’s been a hobby of yours for years, which is something that can be done, or simply something that you think will find a gap in a market, using the technological tools at your disposal is a must.
More specifically, however, is the need for computer programmes that are designed with creativity in mind. Each individual sector, of course, has its own unique software and computer programmes that do specific jobs for specific purposes; for example, budding architects could use any of these programmes: Microstation, SketchUp, Softplan and Punch Software, to name just a few. But in a broader sense, however, there are programmes that can be used by all those involved with creativity. This includes Adobe Photoshop, a programme that allows for professional-style editing of images and a programme that can be used by most, if not all, of the previously mentioned creative sectors. Every business must promote their unique selling point in marketing campaigns in order to beat their competitors as much as possible: to creative businesses this means showcasing their creativity, something that can be portrayed easily through the medium of imagery and the creation of posters. Whether it be a publisher working towards promoting a novel from a debuting author; a TV or film producer needing to push a new series or movie by using imagery; music management needing to promote an artist and their tour; or, of course, a graphic design company needing to do what they do best: creating designs, software such as Photoshop is pivotal. The range of things that can be achieved when using it are unparalleled by any other kinds of image editing system and it offers any prospective creative business owners the chance to show just how interesting they are — seeming interesting is key in this kind of business. Photoshop training can be sought for those novices who wish to advance in the world of photoshopping.
And there are other ways of getting as much training and education as possible in the various areas of creativity and business. For those who wish to partake in extensive teachings in their chosen field, there are courses that offer genre specific lessons with the end-goal being a degree that can be taken into the world of work. This degree is a way of certifying to any prospective customers to your business that that you know what you’re talking about, even if that was the case before. This includes higher education courses in Publishing that provide those who enrol on them the chance to learn about the business that is publishing. On one you would be likely to learn the fundamentals on how books and magazines are designed and produced to budget and marketed for sale — as well as learning writing and editing skills. There are a few focused publishing degrees to choose, or you can combine publishing with creative writing or English in order to gain an insight into any authors you would be likely to work with. And of course, there are a number of Business & Management degrees to take which will stand any graduate of the course in a good standing, regardless of the business that they wish to go into.
But if spending three or more years extra years of your life in education, for a sizeable fee in the form of the loan, doesn’t appeal to you, there are ways of doing it all yourself. You have to know your goal — why are you doing this? You must always listen to your heart — what idea makes it flutter every time you think about it? But make sure to do the market research — where can your little idea fit into the big, wide world that it will be entering? Utilise your USP — how best can your idea’s unique selling point be used as a tool to wedge itself firmly in the gap you’ve identified? But never, ever lose sight of the original goal — when you are in a position to do so, operate using the 80:20 rule: 80% working on your product, 20% marketing it.
The next step is scaling your company from start-up to leader in the field and taking yourself from ‘solopreneur’ to fully-fledged entrepreneur; for now though, well, baby steps. At the moment, just focus on getting the most out of the creativity either your, or your clients were born with.