Top 10 tips to make your designer-maker business a success

We’re very excited to have a guest blog post today, from Nicole Bachmann of Brook & Mann. Nicole is an expert business coach and facilitator who has worked with Hidden Art for a while giving business advice to our members.  Nicole will be running 1-2-1 advice sessions on ‘Developing Your Business Brand’ at our Shoreditch offices on Tues 23rd Aug 2011 – for more information or to book a place, visit our website.

Top 10 tips to make your designer-maker business a success

Nicole Bachmann

Developing your business when You Are your business is challenging.

 If you are a designer-maker that challenge doubles, as you are not only responsible for everything to do with your product – and are very often making it yourself – but you are also operating in a field that sits – sometime uncomfortably – between Art and Business.

 Here are 10 things that will help you set yourself up for business success:

  1. Choose whether you see yourself as an Artist, or a Business Woman/Man – if you decide you are the former, get an agent. – If you are the latter, read on…
  2. Decide what you want to stand and be known for – find your authentic self (this one will take some courage)
  3. Develop 2) into a vision for your business (for this one you will need inspiration)
  4. Establish how you will implement that vision and make it reality (this might require some outside help)
  5. Think about who will promote and market you – i.e. help you spread that vision (this will take some work)
  6. Find yourself advocates and build relationships with them (this will require expanding your network)
  7. Realise that building a business doesn’t happen overnight – (it will require discipline, perseverance, initiative and passion)
  8. Acquire great tolerance for frustration (this will allow you to deal with the many set-backs you will encounter along the way)
  9. Ensure you have/do enough things that give you energy each day (this will ensure that you keep going when the going gets tough)
  10. Have lots of fun and enjoy the journey (this will make sure you get there)

So, if in doubt, laugh. Laugh heartily and remember what you love; why you have chosen to build a business out of doing something you are passionate about; and how much fun and satisfaction you get out of making your product.

Have fun and good luck.

There are 2 comments

  1. poppy treffry

    Most important thing for designer makers is to get your pricing right from the start. There is no point having a vision and working your socks off to achieve it if, after 5 years, you realise you could have earnt a lot more working in Lidl – even if you do love what you do.

    Get advice from a business mentor and be honest about how long things take you to make, just because you enjoy spending every evening threading swing tags/doing emails/making your website/ sewing eyes on/ folding brochures doesn’t mean it’s free!

    1. hiddenartdesign

      Hi Poppy, really good points – as Nicole says, at the end of the day it’s all about being business-minded, even though the business might be based on something very creative and personal to you.

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