It’s an often-quoted statistic that 93% of all new ventures fail within the first three years. But what you may not have heard is that business startups, when participating in a community of other startups, actually have a 90% chance of success!
Build a network within the creative community which supports you, and surround yourself with positive thinkers who believe in your vision. These may be other artists in your city, a mastermind group, a guild, or a virtual community online.
Find a mentor. Someone who knows about business as well as art, to help you through the confusion and questions that you will have. As a creative individual, you don’t want to waste a lot of energy bogged down in learning “the hard way” about the practical side of the business.
Mentors are especially useful because they interact with you and are able to give specific advice for your particular situation. They provide practical guidance and also moral support.
In a world where business competition can seem cutthroat and menacing, the arts community is a refuge. The creative spirit is a generous one, and as a new entrepreneur you will find that other artists will help you learn.
Some of the most important learning has to do with the left-brain side of business – marketing, pricing, sales techniques, money management, planning. Artists who have a business background are far more likely to be successful than newbies who have none.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t make it if you don’t have this background – but it does mean that you need to gain this knowledge as early as possible – and that you continue to learn as your business unfolds.
Your community as well offers support to you. Working in isolation almost guarantees that you won’t grow. Artists are incredible networkers, and they are often the first group to jump into new technologies, such as Google + and other social media.
Find out new ways to market and sell your work. Compare notes with others on what works and what doesn’t. Share the wisdom you have gained as you build your business – by building your community as well.
Visit these online groups to jump into an arts community: