Over the next decade or so the nature of the economy will start to change quite decisively. Many jobs and industries that are based around performing routine tasks will begin to disappear, thanks in part to AI. Accounting is one example of an industry that is at threat from automation. But so too are factory jobs that involve just pushing one button. Heck, with the rise of autonomous vehicles and Uber, taxi and lorry drivers might find themselves looking for a job too.
Economies go through a constant process of creative destruction. Services that are no longer demanded fall out of the economy. And the freed up labor finds new tasks to perform. What’s so exciting about this revolution in the job market is that it looks like people are going to have to get creative. And that means there is an opportunity for more innovative startups to enter the marketplace.
Getting a creative startup right, however, is a daunting challenge. But it’s not one that can’t be overcome by following a few simple rules.
So what is the path to success?
Know Your Expertise
Many startups try to be all things to all people. They’re so desperate for business that they take on all manner of contracts.
But if they’re honest with themselves, they’re not well suited to many of those contracts. In fact, some represent a real threat to the financial viability of the firm.
Taking on design jobs in which you have little expertise is a recipe for disaster. You risk not delivering the product that the customer asked for, and you, therefore, risk not being paid. You could also find that your reputation is damaged too if you can’t deliver on a project. The best way to avoid this is to define precisely what your startup does in your business plan.
Choose the Right Equipment
It’s often the case that creative companies require specialist equipment. But all too often they make do with generic solutions.
Don’t make this mistake. If you’re a company that specializes in audio media, get the exact equipment you need. If you’re a company that designs on paper and then scans onto a computer, find suitable scanners from companies like Colortrac.
In the creative design industry, many small players play it safe. They’re risk averse organizations that aren’t looking to shake up the marketplace. But by doing this, they’re diminishing the chances that they will be recognised and stand out.
To get noticed, choose bold design concepts. Don’t think that you have to play it safe, especially if you have significant expertise in your chosen area.
Collaborate Within Your Business
Often it’s the case that many brains can come up with better solutions that just one. And this is no less true for your creative start-up. Different people will have different perspectives on what it is that the clients wanted. Taken together, these different points of view often add up to a good approximation of their actual needs.
That’s why it’s so important that you foster a culture of openness and dialogue in your startup. Make sure that designers and managers are having conversations all the time.
You can also collaborate with people outside of your startup. Suppliers and other firms will have ideas that can help you develop your product offering in ways that you might not have thought of yourself.
Use Digital Media
It’s a wonder that in today’s world, all of your content can be digitized. This is great news for several reasons. For one, it makes the job of running a design company far easier. You’re not dealing with precious, one-off designs. You’re making copies of your designs and uploading them to the cloud.
But digitizing also presents great marketing opportunities as well. Showcase your products on social media websites, like Pinterest. And post examples of your work on your blog or somebody else’s.
Don’t Lose Track of the End Game
One of the reasons that a lot of creative businesses fail is because they are managed and run by people who haven’t put their business hat on. The people who get into creative design to begin with are interested in being creative. They’re not so interested in carrying out the processes that ensure their ventures, as businesses, are a success.
But the goal of setting up a creative startup should be to make money. That’s why it’s so important to not let your love of content creation crowd out the job of running a business. Both are vitally important to your long term success.