SHOULD YOU NEGLECT CREATIVITY?
What led you to your creative business career? I’ve spent years working with people who run creative businesses and the answer is usually, ‘I wanted to become a designer/producer/architect/insert glamorous creative occupation here’,
No one ever says, ‘I wanted to run a small business’. Yet that what they have ended up doing.
So creativity came first and the practical demands of running a business came second. I’m always interested in how people gained those contrasting skills. Did they find both within themselves? Or did they seek out others with business nous to complement their creative genius?
Whichever way it is, those pragmatic business concerns are a vital part of a creative company’s success. But there are certainly times when it can feel to a business owner that their lives have become all company and no creative. How did they get here, from wanting to be a designer/producer/architect etc?
If you find yourself in that ‘all work and no creative play’ situation, there’s a problem. And not just a personal disillusionment problem, a hard nosed, this-will-impact-the-bottom-line business problem.
For many creative products, the value is not in the time taken to complete the work (as indicated by the mentality of charging by the hour) but in the quality of the idea behind the work and its execution. It’s the creative value of the work which allows you to charge a premium for it.
Consistently generating excellent creative work has a positive financial impact. It may be timely to review the work you’ve been producing from a critical standpoint. Have you maintained creative quality? How does it stack up against the work of your competitors? Have you consistently brought the best ideas to fruition? And does your execution do justice to those ideas?
If not, you might want to start thinking about your work place and your team. What do you do to encourage creativity? How can you prompt new ideas? What level of experimentation do you allow your staff in their day to day work? How can you get the best creative ideas to surface?
So enough of all the business talk (at least, briefly) – consider giving your business a creativity audit. As a starting point, put the above questions to your team and let them come up with creativity-boosting initiatives they can own. And set about a re-invigoration of the creative passion which got you here in the first place.