How to Start Thinking Like a Creative Entrepreneur!

creative Entrepreneur instructor
Emily Fata

If you’re a creative entrepreneur, you probably started your journey out of passion for your art. Maybe you specialize in macramé, teaching yoga, or sewing the best damn alpaca sweaters on the planet.  

On the other side of the spectrum, there are entrepreneurs who focus less on craft and more on building businesses to solve customer problems. Loan sharks, for example—are masters at solving (well…. exploiting) problems that many people face every day.

Where do you fall on the spectrum of a maker or a problem solver? Are you creating products that you love but not paying attention to what customers might need? The good news—you don’t have to choose between being a maker and an entrepreneur. (And you definitely don’t need to sacrifice your morals!) Take out a journal and answer the next few questions to start shifting your mindset from a creative maker to an entrepreneur.

  1. What products or services do you create?

Start by making a detailed list of all of the products or services you can offer with your creative skillset. If you’re a videographer, could you make how-to videos, documentary films, AND advertisements for local businesses? Get creative and broad with the list and try to think of services that your competitors might not offer. Maybe you can teach bloggers how to make their own videos or edit old-school video footage for family reunions?

  • Are these products a necessity or a luxury for customers?

This might not be so obvious at the beginning. For example, a massage might be a luxury for a healthy person, but a necessity for an injured person or a professional athlete. Exquisite jewelry might seem like a luxury for most people, but could be a necessity for a couple seeking wedding rings. A new homeowner decorating her living room might think she NEEDS a fabulous print or painting before she hosts her relatives for the holidays. Write down all of the possible uses for your products or services and rate them on a scale of 1 (totally luxurious) to 10 (completely necessary).

  • Identify your Niche.

Use these two lists to start thinking about your ideal target client. Of course, it would be nice if everyone wanted to be your customer, but it’s key to start nailing down a specific target demographic. What kinds of services or products did you rate higher on the “necessary” scale? What kind of customer is in need of your creative skill set and what are they looking for? This is the first step of thinking like a money-making entrepreneur. Once you nail down the target customer, you’ll be ready to start selling.

Small business consultant, Emily Fata, teaches a one-session course through Colorado Free University, Starting a Business for Creative Professionals. The next session of her course is June 4th.

Colorado Free University is Denver’s premier lifelong learning center offering skill-based and enrichment classes to adults. Find out about registering for classes and CFU policies here…