If you have started a business, chances are part of what got you started and keeps you going is the joy of creating something new — something the world wouldn’t have without your inspiration and hard work.
It’s not only the traditionally titled ‘creatives’ who create, and starting a successful business has much in common with more artistic pursuits. The critical, practical, steps you need to follow are the same, whether you’re building something handmade or crafting a business.
You know what you want to create, and the clearer you are about your finished product or business, the easier it will be to proceed.
On the other hand, a creative mind is an open mind, so it’s important always to be aware of information that will impact your project or business. By doing so, you may find a better way to achieve your desired goal.
Tip: Give yourself space and time to dream and to capture new ideas.
Once your vision is clear, map out how you’ll achieve it.
In business, this is your strategic plan. The more detailed the plan, the easier it will be to follow – for you and others — and to know what comes next.
Tip: Translate what’s in your head into a format that makes it easy to check progress and share with others.
Now that you have your design mapped out, what skills, materials and tools do you need to bring it to life?
In the excitement of starting a new project, it can be easy to discount the importance of this step. It can be tempting to dive right in and get started, only to find out later that you’ve missed something essential to the project’s successful completion.
Avoid this frustration by identifying any gaps before you begin.
Tip: Find what’s missing and do what you can to be prepared before you start so your project (or business) can run smoothly.
4. Implement – and adapt
Nothing gets created until you take action to implement your plan. Without this step, you are just daydreaming. Time for imagination and reflection is vital, but constantly putting off starting something until you find the perfect way to create something can stop you from doing anything.
Tip: Make a start! If it turns out your plan isn’t working, change course. In the process, you’ve just learnt one method that won’t work to achieve your desired outcome.
Whether you’ve created a piece of furniture, a work of art, or achieved a business goal, it’s a wonderful feeling to sit back and admire your handiwork. Most business people don’t do this enough. All too often, we move quickly on to the next project and forget this step completely.
Tip: You made it! Enjoy the moment and appreciate what you’ve done. And remember to thank all those who helped you with your wonderful creation.
Starting and running a business is one of the most creative activities you can engage in. By applying the same simple steps you would follow in your leisure time to create a handmade piece, make a special dish, or build a garage or a garden, you can also create structure, process and discipline in your business.