Business planning is always a worthwhile process.
I usually just flick past Facebook adverts. Sometimes it can feel as if you get bombarded with so much information, but recently one advert stuck out from the rest.
The lovely people at Creative Entrepreneurs’ Club were running an eight-week programme called ‘Design Your Practice’. The programme was aimed at people who really want to focus on their creative business and offered structured specialist support in business planning. The aim of this process is to help creative business owners set and achieve goals. The programme was being facilitated by the Chief Executive of the Cultural Enterprise Office, Rachael Brown. She has an impressive background of working in the creative industry, helping support and drive creative and social enterprises. It piqued my interest, so I signed up for it.
I usually approach programmes such as this with an open mind. I’m always of the opinion that if I learn one thing from it then I would leave the programme more educated and informed than when I started it. Personal development is a big thing for me as I don’t think you should ever stop learning.
Comfortable with being uncomfortable
At the start of the course, Rachael said that she was going to get us “comfortable with being uncomfortable”… after 7 weeks I could see what she meant. I entered into the programme with one set idea about the shape of Contribute over the next 5 to 10 years, but the programme has really challenged this, for the better. It’s made me think about business priorities and how these relate to my personal goals. It’s covered things such as the customer experience and what people get when they use Contribute. It’s made me refocus priorities and goals and it’s also giving me the support of other creatives and experts in their field.
The course isn’t just for people working in branding and design. I have met visual artists, fashion designers, visual merchandisers, musicians, body positive activists and drama therapists. On other courses and programmes that I’ve signed up for in the past, I’ve usually found that as you are going through the programme people start to fall away. The people who started on the first week very rarely see the whole course through to completion. This course seems to be one of the rare exceptions. The eclectic mix of people who started the programme seem to be sticking with it and getting as much out of it as I have.
It has been a great investment for a relatively small outlay. Regardless of where you are in your creative career, if you get the opportunity of going on this programme in the future, then I would seize it with both hands!
For more information about the programme, and the Creative Entrepreneurs Club, please visit www.creativeentrepreneursclub.co.uk