Inventive, artistic entrepreneurs

Creating wealth: how artists can become inventive entrepreneurs

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Do entrepreneurs and artists have a similar skill set?

Artists can make the transition from creative to business owner and the roles are not as different as you might think. Business minded entrepreneurs act with vision and determination and need to ‘think outside the box’ when trying to improve their marketing and customer strategies. This strategic thinking is not unique to entrepreneurs; creative artists who produce their work for commercialisation think about the individualism of their products and how they can make money from their vision.

According to the Design Trust, creative entrepreneurs should spend 40% of their time creating, 40% marketing and 20% on administrative tasks and professional development. Whilst inspiration doesn’t always correspond with business, artistic entrepreneurs must learn to harness customer relationships alongside their creative work to keep the money coming in. The question is, how can the two be managed?

Read more here.

Aim for a start up, not a grad scheme

Enterprising graduates are better suited to start up companies, rather than big business grad schemes

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Graduate schemes are incredibly competitive and often big businesses can be selective with their chosen graduate employees due to the large number of applications they receive every year. These large corporations, it seems, have their pick of the crop and smaller businesses miss out on top talent.

The Guardian report that due to the popularity of graduate schemes, there is a growing issue of skills shortages affecting smaller business owners who struggle to attract univers and more must be done to encourage graduates to consider start up firms as well as well known, national brands to ensure a healthy recruitment pipeline for all.

Whilst it may be true that there is often greater job security working for large corporations, this does not necessarily outweigh the job satisfaction and varied, fast paced roles offered by new and ambitious business ventures.

Read more here.

The Guardian’s Small Business Showcase

Enter the Guardian’s Small Business Showcase competition and shout about your achievementsguardian small business

Are you particularly proud of something your business has achieved? Have you excelled in a certain area and think you should be recognised for your success? Don’t be modest; enter yourself and your business into the Small Business Showcase.  

There are seven categories celebrating different aspects of best practice; each will be announced in the Guardian’s Small Business Network newsletter (sign up here).

The first category to be announced is ‘Innovation in Funding’ where you can submit your funding story; did you do something crazy, extraordinary, or risky to raise your start up capital? For details on how to enter and tips for a winning submission, follow this link. Please note the deadline for the Innovation in Funding category is Friday 14th August.

Learn to code and be a successful tech entrepreneur

Digital skills are increasingly in demand; knowing how to code is vital to your tech business

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Britain will need 745,000 additional works with digital skills for continued economic growth. Great news for techies, but what about digitally illiterate entrepreneurs with a tech start up in mind?

Daniel Thompson believes not knowing code is a significant disadvantage to a tech start up. ‘Ideas guys’ can be dead weights, productivity can be affected if you are reliant on external experts, and as the use of apps and e-commerce is increasingly important, knowing at least basic code will allow you to think about your digital content and initiatives.

Do you know your HTML from your CSS? Heard of Java, C#, SQL?

Read more about the importance of coding to your tech start up here.

Photo by Alamy

Stop doing it all yourself!

Learn the art of delegation and be a better business leader

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As an entrepreneur your business becomes your life, making it difficult to step back and hand over responsibility to others; learning to delegate, however, is something Richard Branson believes has been a crucial element of his success.

Of course, its possible to do everything yourself and many entrepreneurs choose to do so; however, as your business (hopefully!) expands and succeeds over time, working alone becomes increasingly challenging, stressful and ultimately detrimental to your business potential. In fact, in a recent report it was revealed that one fifth of small business owners who manage their time well are more likely to achieve higher growth margins than those who don’t.

At our recent ‘Start up Stories’ event in March, Lancaster alumnus and successful entrepreneur, Gian Fulgoni, also advocated the importance of hiring staff who are smarter than you, or possess skills/knowledge you do not- thus, delegation to talented individuals is not something to be feared, rather it is a sign you understand what is best for your business and future success.

Want to learn how to delegate effectively? Read this article and find out more.