As I now run a creative business, as a book publisher and author, and as I also have some experience of being self employed as a niche-market seamstress, I thought this book would be an interesting read that I could learn much from.
I know the book is aimed at a different form of creativity – it is more geared towards crafters and visual artists – but there is still much that can be of use to most small business start-ups.
For example, early in the book you’re urged to imagine your ideal customer in terms of age, income, interests, websites visited etc. This is all about identifying the market. Perhaps you could do a market research questionnaire, on or off line, or put together some form of incentive for responding, for example, an entry into a prize draw.
You might wish to carry out some competitor research, and to work out your Unique Selling Point (is it your products, service, ideology, website, marketing etc?).
You might wish to refine goals, to outsource elements of the work you don’t enjoy, consider selling wholesale and doing press releases etc.
All useful, though some might be a little obvious.
There’s also much in the book about Search Engine Optimisation and social media – all of which would be useful for any business, not just creative start-ups.
It’s when you get to the harder stuff that most of us fail – attending networking events, entering our businesses for awards, applying for grants etc – and there’s certainly a little in ‘Craft a Creative Business’ which might point you in the right direction. However, where this book is at its strongest is in its analysis of social media – especially for beginners.
I certainly found plenty to inspire. Obviously, it isn’t fair to go into any detail here about the ins and outs of techniques and skills mentioned in the book, so anyone who wants to know that will have to buy the book itself.