The concept of transforming a creative idea toward a real business is the goal for so many up and coming entrepreneurs and dreamers. Creativity is defined as, the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. Creativity, while a key asset in a business does not necessarily guarantee success.
With the influx of the You Economy, after the great recession of 2007-2008 (working for oneself) many individuals realized through creative thinking that there was an economic alternative to what they did in the past. Gigging on the side, creating new industries, disrupting old industries and personal innovation spurred this new world of creative ideas.
One item often overlooked in the excitement of taking creativity to the next step of a real business, is that it must generate enough income to pay your bills. Sounds simple and there are two schools of thought:
1. Quit your day job and spend every waking hour and complete focus on your new creative idea.
2. Maintain your day job to cover personal bills and spend all your time outside of the normal work schedule building momentum for the launch of the business.
Each approach offers pro’s and con’s but more than anything else, creativity does not guarantee you will be able pay your bills. It’s very similar to CEO hiding. This is evident with organizations where leadership hides behind their social media posts, their emails, and all non-verbal communication to clients and prospects. Eventually, the lack of direct communication and face time from a small business owner with their clients may result in the situation when the bills can’t be covered. It typically starts with not having cash for payroll.
Creativity is great when reviewing business ideas, but it’s important to consider testing the ideas with actual potential buyers extensively before launch. The throw everything against the wall and see what sticks philosophy rarely works over the long term. To build on the creative idea, make sure the financial's make sense. After the market analysis and determining a real need for the product or service, fully understand the profitability (or not) of the business.
Over the years working with entrepreneurs with every type of creative idea and “can’t lose ideas”, very few consider the day-to-day planning of cash flow with their creative thinking. The typical answer when I ask, how the bills be covered, “I will go out and raise capital." Maybe this might work convincing friends and family for seed capital to cover some the daily bills when the aspiring entrepreneur quits his or her job, but long term the creativity and business income must cover your expenses.
5 Tips to Your Business Creativity :
- 60 Minutes of uninterrupted deep focused work – Preference is early morning hours to fully engage in work when the mind is fresh and no distractions. However, this time can occur in the evening for the night owl entrepreneurs.
- Debt Management – Don’t accumulate large sums of consumer debt. This is simple common sense but a major hurdle when covering future cash flow needs. Eliminate debt, it’s that simple.
- Read Every day on Creative Entrepreneurship – Read, listen to audio’s, videos around creative entrepreneurship every day. If you are not learning you are stagnating and eventually the ideas and passion will die. Check out creative entrepreneur, Steven Sparling and his blog for some inspiration: http://www.thethrivingcreative.com
- Adapt to Change of Your Creative idea – Be flexible and the mindset of beating your head against the wall and pushing forward with consistent daily persistence is fine, but at some point if it’s not working – STOP and REACCESS. Maybe it’s time to tweak or fully change the idea.
- Creative Ideas without profit are hobbies. This is fine if you want to just take ideas as part of a new hobby for fun. If the goal is to make it a sustainable business covering cash flow it must generate profit over time. Tip: learn how to read an income statement and balance sheet. Consider taking a class on Quickbooks.
These 5 tips may help as you refocus your creative ideas if you are considering launching a business or within your existing company. Don't be discouraged, take some action or nothing will happen and realize real cash flow with your creative idea!