Guest Blog by Courtney Rosenfeld
Whether you are a writer, an artist, or a practitioner of any other pursuit, odds are that you have at one point dreamed of making a living off your creative ideas or hobby. Starting a business is hardly ever a simple endeavor, though, especially if you are passionate about tackling the challenge ethically. One of the best ways to take your first steps in the business world is by starting a simple side hustle. When you are ready to launch a full-fledged enterprise, you can do so by keeping a few helpful tips in mind. With the right attitude, maintaining ethical practices along the way should come naturally. Here are some tips, courtesy of Baker & Goodman.
Make a Business Startup Checklist
Before starting your business preparations in earnest, writing a business startup checklist can help you stay on the right track. Your checklist should account for all the steps you need to take when launching a business, as well as any legal obligations you must uphold. Laws vary by state, so make sure to check local regulations to determine if you have listed all necessary actions.
Your startup checklist should also account for drafting a detailed business plan that outlines the goals and operations of your enterprise. When starting a new company and creating your business plan, it is important to put your intentions of upholding ethical practices into writing to keep yourself accountable.
Determine Funding Needs
Finding funding for your business is key for taking the venture to the next level, but it can also be difficult and intimidating. Improving your credit score is one of the first steps that potential business owners should take when looking for funding. A strong credit score will make working with financial institutions easier, allowing you to access capital from traditional lenders such as banks, credit unions and other sources at competitive interest rates.
Write a Code of Ethics
Establishing a strict code of ethics is the most important step in ensuring that your business remains ethical toward all parties involved, including the planet itself. Your code should emphasize the health and safety of employees, the rights of your business partners, and your commitment to supporting the environment. You might also include a provision explaining how the code will be enforced while also encouraging questions and feedback from your team.
An effective code of ethics is one that becomes a regular part of your company culture. To that end, be sure to distribute it to all new employees and review the code on a regular basis.
Build Your Web Presence
It almost goes without saying that every business needs a website. Creatives, in particular, rely on their web presence for getting their work out in the world. Starting your own artist website is vital for showcasing your talent and interacting with potential clients.
Starting a blog on your website with solid search engine optimization techniques can even serve to drive new traffic to your business. This sort of marketing tactic works well in tandem with a dedicated social media page where you can share your posts and engage directly with peers or customers in your network.
Consider Finding a Mentor
Experts explain that mentors provide invaluable guidance to new entrepreneurs who have little experience with the complexities of running a business. Finding the right mentor means that you will have a gentle hand to steer you away from common mistakes you might have made otherwise. Try seeking the counsel of other business owners in your area or experienced veterans within your chosen field.
For many people, being creative and making money starting a business are two things that do not go hand-in-hand. For you, it might be the only combination that makes any sense for your goals and your happiness. You can achieve your dream of becoming a financially successful creative by keeping the right mindset and making the right entrepreneurial decisions.