June 3, 2014

Setting Goals for Your Creative Business + Giveaway Winner

Can I just say that Jiminy Cricket is a smart little guy? (C'mon ya'll know I just had to throw a Disney reference in here somewhere!) Although I probably wished on more than one star, my dream of working at PaperLark Studio full-time has become reality. What a wonderful new (and kind of scary) adventure, right?

Personalized When You Wish Upon A Star Art Print - Baby Delicious
Stepping forward, I know that I've got to make some solid goals in order to be successful. In the last two years of building my creative business part-time, I've learned a few key factors in setting goals for a creative business.

Find your focus. When I get excited about something, I tend to over do it. I'm usually a big believer in doing all or nothing. However, I quickly learned that when it comes to owning a creative business trying to be the Walmart version of an entrepreneur will not get you very far. You have to hone in and focus your talents, energy and time into one creative pursuit. For me, that pursuit is creating custom stationary goods which brings me to my next point.

Be creative on the side. Even before the concept of PaperLark Studio came into fruition, I was a craft and DIY fanatic. As a creative entrepreneur, I think it's critical to keep that spark alive by focusing some of your creative talents outside of your creative business. For example, on the weekends, I'm satisfying my crafting quench with sewing projects and scrapbooking - nothing related to creating or designing invitations. By keeping the two separate, I don't get burned out and it keeps the creative juices flowing so to speak. 

Be you - all the time! Ultimately, you are your brand. This also tails off of finding your focus. You can't be everything to everyone. You've got to find your niche. At the end of the day, there's nobody better than being yourself cause there's no one else like you! The good Lord above created your niche for you. 

Create your goals around how you want to feel. Is it cheesy? Maybe. However, every book I've ever read about pursuing your own business advises you to consider this. Quite frankly, I think it's the best guide to helping you form the basis to construct your goals. About a year ago, I read How to Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin, who stresses the importance of creating a business plan and setting strong goals for your business, and wrote down three words describing how I wanted my business to make me feel. I wrote: free, self-sufficient and successful. It was around those three words that I built my business plan and goals. 

Dont' forget about the other components of owning a business. I think most creative entrepreneurs would agree - we'd love to make things all day long and not have to worry about yucky things like accounting or taxes. However, it must be done! If you neglect them, you won't be able to grow your business which is the ultimate goal, right? 

In order to not forget about these other key components, I divide them into categories and strive to make at least one goal for each. 

I've listed my categories and subsequent goals for each below. Of course, your categories and goals will differ depending on the type of creative business and where you are in your pursuit. 

  • Accounting and Financing
    • Goal. Learn and thoroughly understand how to file quarterly taxes.
  • Creative Direction / Products
    • Goal. Explore getting into some local boutique shops.
    • Goal. Create party packages for all birthday invitations.
    • Goal. Participate in at least one other craft show this year in addition to Market Day.
  • Marketing and Branding
    • Goal. Expand outreach on Facebook by posting at least 3 times a week.
    • Goal. Create some quality content for the shop's blog.
  • Studio / Production
    • Goal. Keeping the office clean and organized!
    • Goal. Purchase better printer and keep printing in-house.

It's time to put your helmet on and enjoy the ride. Bring on the adventure!

Let's Be Adventurous Art Print - Elm Street Studio 
What are some goals you have for your creative business? 


P.S. Congratulations to Danielle Marie for winning the six pack of handmade cards from Studio 266.

Disclosure: This post does contain an affiliate link. I will receive compensation if a purchase is made. 

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