Stage 4 – All the spare time goes to craft fairs and advertising on social media, spending most evenings plus weekends on the creative business… It’s paying for materials plus a little extra to treat yourself and the family.
This is a great stage and one that many people (myself included) spend years in.
Often we are quite comfortable just to hang out in stage 4 and that’s great, you get to meet people, make extra money and it’s fun!
You do need to be mindful that it doesn’t completely take over your life!!
So what happens if all of a sudden you find that your spending most evenings and weekends on your business and you’re exhausted?
Yes, you guessed it – it’s decision time!!
You can either scale back what you’re doing to ensure you have some down time to recharge your batteries or you can assess your creative business and see if it can support you…
Scaling back doesn’t always mean less income, it could be raising your prices and doing less for more or streamlining some of your tasks to free up your time.
Your business need not be your only income.
4 things to consider if you want your business to support you:
1. Can you reduce your hours in your main job?
2. Do you know your numbers?
3. Are you charging enough?
4. Do you have a full (or nearly full) order book?
Why consider these things?
1. Keeping a part time job while you build your creative busines to the next stage gives you a safety net and a regular income as the beginning of a business can be unpredictable.
2. Knowing your numbers is so important if you want your business to start supporting you! You need to know who much profit you make on all your creations and whether you want to sell to retailers (they will take up to 50% in commissions).
3. Regularly re-assess your pricing – your costs may have gone up and you may need to add retail commission!
4. Having orders in place means that you are in demand and helps reduce the stress of the first few months.
A website at this stage is a good idea – it shows that you take your business seriously and suppliers will often insist on this before offering trade deals.
You can find out more about business and costing tips at Ventures with Vision, to find out what the other 5 stages of a creative business check out the 6 Stages of a Creative Business blog.
Be kind to yourself, keep learning and enjoy the journey!