Last week, I went to New Beginnings Fair, an event held Annualy for budding entrepreneurs and business owners. If you ever need a bit of creative business inspiration, this is the place to go! There were several stands with vendors such as accountants, printers, social media experts.. There were also discussion panels with successful business owners and workshops you could do on the day. Overall it was a great event, full of inspiration! I find it’s always great to take a step back from your business, listen to how others do things and get new ideas and perspective.
I have compiled my top creative business inspiration from attending the event!
I completed a workshop with Jess from Collabosaurus and its was really insightful! Collaborating with other brands that have the same target market as you can: add a new revenue stream, generate PR and new customers and gain a wider audience on social media or with email lists. Make sure you pick a brand that has a similar aesthetic and that you both write down exactly what each party will do. Most importantly, make sure to leverage the collaboration by promoting it really well! The best thing about these types of collaborations is that you market your business without having to spend money (it is a barter), which a lot of start-ups do not have.
#2 Creative Business Inspiration 101: Know and Market Your Story
At a panel discussion, we got to hear from Alex McBride, co-founder of The Fifth. When they were starting out, they had a design blog but then decided to start selling watches. More important than the product he was selling, Alex said their focus was always on beautiful design. No matter what product they launched, they amassed such a big following due to knowing and leveraging their story. They used influencer marketing from the very start. Alex spent their entire budget on samples whcih he sent to social media infuencers. These influencers promoted the watches (that did not even work yet!) on social media and the brand was able to sell out the entire collection on launch day. The fact that the product was unisex watches also helped as they did not require a lot of stock in different sizes etc. They launched one product at a time.
#3 Use your time Wisely
Kaylene from Start Up Creative ran a speed business coaching round that was amazing! Some of her key learnings was to do with time management and batching. She used to run around meeting clients wherever they were and on any day/ time they liked. Now she has streamlined her meetings to 2 set days and she does it all over skype. This got me thinking that we waste a lot of time running around to meetings and trying to please everyone. Being stricter with your time boundaries can save you time and money. She also recommended to read the book How to make friends and influence people which I have now added to my reading list!
#4 Have clear boundaries
We heard from Victoria Beattie, co-founder of cult classic brand The Beach People. Her brand is huge and is stocked in so many amazing stores worldwide. Victoria told us she started the brand so she would have the freedom to be a stay at home mom and still make an income, she never thought it would blow up the way it has. She emphasised how strict she is with her boundaries – she finishes work every day at 5pm and never works weekends even though there are always urgent emails from stockists.
She says ‘If not now, when? You are only going to get busier and busier. The business can control you OR you can control the business.’
So many amazing tips from these speakers. I had so much creative business inspiration that I felt like going straight back to work even though it was a Friday! Overall, the common theme was that these were all just regular people that just didn’t give up and faced any challenges that came up head on. None of them had degrees in marketing or were expert sales people. What they did have was self-belief and determination so stick with it.
Believe in yourself and keep moving forward.