What happens when a creative business gets stuck? Mel Hales shares some strategies that have helped her to unblock and move forward. Here are her 5 top breakthrough solutions for your creative business:
1. Get out of the house!
Many businesses have to start at home and it may take a while to find a working environment that is right for you, but being around other people and their ideas can be vital to the health of your business. Ideas generate ideas and sometimes just having other people around can have a huge influence on how you work. There are many affordable options now available for co-working spaces. One in particular, which is great for creative businesses, is the Ideas Tap Creative Space. It operates as a charity so you exchange your skills for a space in their co-working office – great for businesses on a budget. There are theatre companies, scriptwriters, designers, editors and other types of ‘creatives’ all based here, which means your can grow your network in these areas and spark ideas off each other. There are of course coffee shops, libraries, friend’s houses and anywhere else with a Wi-Fi connection that will have you!
2. Collaborate with people who have complimenting skills
One of the downfalls of creative people is that they like to mix and work with other creative people but you could be missing a trick here. Working with someone who has a different skill set or mindset can be hugely beneficial. An accountant for example might have a solution to a problem that you may not have thought of. Use your friends, family, partner and co-workers as sounding boards. Making big decisions will ultimately come down to you as the business owner but it’s always useful getting different perspectives on something. Be open-minded to collaborating with people in all kinds of professions.
Team up with other businesses or entrepreneurs and find mutually beneficial ways of working together. Link back to each other’s websites, which will increase traffic to both sites. It also makes you feel like you have an ally, you’ll have someone else out there talking about and promoting your business and you’ll do the same for them. It’s a win-win. Think outside the box about the kind of businesses you can partner with. Do you offer a service or product that their clients might be interested in and vice versa?
4. Take a Break!
Some of my best ideas have come when I’ve removed myself from my every day environment. As a businesses owner, it’s not entirely realistic to advise that you switch off from technology all together but getting away from your computer screen for a couple of days can sometimes give you the breakthrough you need. Live in the city? Try a country retreat. Out in the sticks? Take a city break and feed off the buzz of the bright lights. Don’t underestimate the power of your surroundings when it comes to creative thinking. New experiences trigger new ideas so try something out of the ordinary.
5. Find time to Meditate
Meditation is not for everyone but if you give it a chance you may find it transforms your life and your way of thinking. Our minds are constantly cluttered with thoughts, ideas, problems and worries and many of us find it hard to switch off. There is often no escape from these constant thought trains, which is why many find meditation invaluable. It also provides some much needed time away from technology, switching off your laptops, phones and televisions for twenty minutes can be hugely beneficial for the brain. People are slowly coming round to the idea that meditation can be for everyone; some of the best-known entrepreneurs out there are self-confessed meditators. There are different kinds and approaches to meditation, do a little exploration and you’ll find one that’s right for you.