Starting your own creative business is an intimidating venture, there is so much to do and rules to follow but I found a lot of free / affordable help out there, so I thought I would share what I came across when starting Bright Corner.
The first place to start is your local council, they are very keen to encourage new business growth and offer different support and programmes. I received free one on one advice, they helped me write a business plan and pointed me in the right directions for any technical, legal questions I had. I also attended two free workshops - a full day of ‘How to start your own businesses’ and a half day on finance, which were amazingly helpful. As well as the advice, there are also sometimes funding opportunities available so checking out your local Council is a great place to start.
For paid help I would check out the Craft Council and Design Trust websites, they have lots of free resources but also offer affordable workshops / networking groups. I have bought myself a Dream Plan Do Journal from the Design Trust, it is a yearly planner to help you stay focused on your goals and grow your business. I am also part of their VIP club, so get invited to attend live online lessons to help you work through the journal, I am only 4 months in but am really enjoying it and it is definitely helping to keep me moving forward.
Working by yourself can be lonely at times so find a local networking group, they seem to be popping up everywhere, especially for the working mum. They can offer drop in co-working sessions, so you can take your laptop and work surrounded by other like minded small businesses. They also have social networking events and workshops. Prices and packages seem to vary, so find one that suits you. Alternatively you could create your own network, I have met other small creative businesses locally through social media and have met up for coffee and chats, helping each other with stories and advice from our own experiences, which has been great.
Finally don’t be ashamed to ask friends and family for help, I have had help in so many ways and definitely couldn’t have setup Bright Corner alone.
I hope these tips help you get started or move forward with starting your own little adventure.