Starting a creative business is never easy. It takes months of planning and collating all your past work for a portfolio. You want to impress potential clients, so your business needs a lot more than just a fancy website. You need a home for your business that inspires you and your clients. The offices you choose should be professional yet welcoming, and, of course, show off your creative flair.
Most people like to work close to home so that they can be close to the kids while they’re at school. It also reduces the commute time so that you can spend more quality time with your family in the evenings too. However, if you are a collaborative creative, then you also need to consider your client’s needs.
If you already have a few clients clustered in a single town or region, then it makes sense to set up your offices in the middle of them. After all, they are the ones that might help expand your business through word of mouth to other business owners nearby. But if most of your potential clients are in the city centre, you may have to consider setting up your offices near there. At least consider locating your business on a main route from the city.
You are a creative, and you sell your creative services. Clients have certain expectations about creative people. They expect them to look a certain way and have offices to match. It’s worth putting your design skills to work in the office. It’s another way of promoting your abilities and style. Try to align what you show with what your clients are looking for.
You might specialize in a particular style of design or maybe just one or two design areas like photography or sculpting. Make sure there are plenty of examples of your work on show. As for the office layout? Think free-flowing ideas, intense and inspired creativity, and a wealth of design ‘heroes’ to steer you to success.
When you purchase or rent an office, you are responsible for ensuring it is safe, clean and healthy for visitors and employees. Some minor maintenance might be required, even if you have serviced offices. Of course, you’ll also need to manage your own cleaning. Finding a company to take care of the janitorial services you need is easier than you think. Small businesses often prefer local firms that have stood the test of time. You can read about it here or consider asking some of your business neighbors who their service provider is.
You should also speak to the Health and Safety Executive. If you are working with any machinery like photographic studio equipment and chemicals, or sharp blades, safety is key. Make sure you have provided the training necessary to keep employees safe and equipment in good working order.
Now you have moved to bigger premises, or just started up with a new office, it’s time to consider recruitment. Your offices should be designed to attract the best creatives you can find. Think about the working day there. How can you manage the working hours and on-site facilities or activities to promote creativity? Just like you, creative people want to feel energized and inspired by the working environment and the other people working within it.
Of course, the people you want to work with are the people that push you to succeed. Those that feed your creativity and help you to explore challenges in new and exciting ways are essential to your success. You might assess a candidate based on their portfolio but why not sit down with a creative test project and see how you work together? If you’re working as a team, it’s important to get the right group dynamic.
Entertaining That Big Client
One of the biggest things you need to consider when moving to new business premises is how you will entertain the clients that visit you. More and more businesses prefer to order goods and services online using systems like email. However, when it comes to developing creative projects, you’re often working with the most creative person in your client’s business. They want to get involved, and they want to work with you to create the designs their business needs.
Will you have a client’s office or use a larger space like the conference room? How will you prepare the room when clients visit? Will you need extra staff to provide refreshments or help with any technology that needs setting up? Perhaps potential clients would like to see how you work and how your employees work together on creative projects? What is the best way to demonstrate this?
Creatives need tables to work at. That goes without saying. But you can get creative with your choice of office furniture. After all, it comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. It doesn’t come cheap, though, so be prepared to do some research to find what you need within your budget. Would you be happy to paint or alter your furniture to show off your style and design flair?
Seating is essential to productivity but also to good health. You should be prepared to invest in high-quality supportive office chairs that promote spine alignment. Don’t forget that moving around the office can improve your circulation, boosting your focus and creativity. Why not install some standing desks and have plenty of standing meetings too?
Moving day is always stressful. You need to find homes for all your documents and artwork. And you’ll need someone technically minded to get the phones, computers and internet connection up and running. Once you’re in, the clock is ticking. You’re paying for the space, the taxes, the facilities and the utilities from that moment. Now you have to start winning clients and earning cash to cover these overheads.
It’s not always easy to get started in the creative business. But you have something your clients don’t have – a vision that clarifies their ideas and the ability to bring it into the world. Good luck with your venture.