THE BEGINNING OF SALTED STUDIO.
The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.
While I was still studying it was always my dream to have my own business. We often had guest speakers at the university that would come and give us talks about the industry, one of the points they always focused on was to not freelance fresh out of varsity. How hard could it be? Until I got my first job in the industry, that's when I realised I had almost no idea what I was doing. It was only after 3 years working in the design industry, and working with talented designers that I learnt enough to get the confidence to launch my own company.
At the end of last year I decided it was time to take the leap of faith and resign from my job to pursue my own career as an entrepreneur and creative boss. The decision was made, and then the panic started to set in. After a week of ordering all my self help books on "how to start a freelance graphic design business", I started to relax and take it day by day starting with writing down a clear set plan.
It was at this time that I was able to attend a workshop offered by White Kite Studio, the workshop entitled The Pink Party is aimed at creative entrepreneurs wanting to focus their brands. The Pink Party helped guide my thoughts into one streamlined process with a clear focus point and set out steps on achieving success in your business from start to finish.
The one thing that was wonderful was my sheer excitement for this new beginning. Finally I could create my brand personality for Salted Studio. This has gone through quite a few revisions, and to be honest I don't think it will ever really be finished in my eyes, the joys of being a perfectionist! Getting to grips with having to do all aspects of a business is quite something, especially if you’re like me. Being mostly "picture" driven, and now having to make time to do invoicing and admin is quite a shift in mindset.
I've only been at this for a few weeks now but these are the few things I've learned to apply so far:
O R G A N I S A T I O N I S K E Y
Before I launched Salted Studio I set a deadline for myself to have all my branding and documents finalised before the year began. In my eyes this is essential, when your business launches, everything from setting up your price list to having a document for FAQ's should be done. This may seem like minor admin related issues but they do take some time to set out. This will save you a lot of time in the beginning in order to rather focus on other important tasks, like getting clients.
G E T U P A N D A B O U T
First things first, get up and out of bed and hit the ground running. Make some coffee, go for a jog and then get the work process on the roll. From my experience some fresh air in the morning makes for some pretty good creative ideas as well as a good way to plan your day while being active. Set aside certain days of the week to do your admin, answer all your emails at the same time every morning, organise your social media and leave the rest of the day solely for the creative process. It is so easy to get caught up with focusing only on one aspect of the job and before you know it, the entire day is almost gone. Work smarter, not harder.
S T A Y I N S P I R E D
Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. It is very comfortable working from a home office but sometimes sitting home alone all day for days on end can become draining. Get out and sit in a coffee shop. Something as simple as meeting a fellow creative for a coffee date and then staying on further to answer a few mails in a coffee shop helps to spark some inspiration and get the creative juices flowing. Following blogs and regularly having a look at work other designers are up to is a good way to keep learning and up to date with trends as well as feeling inspired to not get creative block.
K E E P W O R K I N G A T I T
Some days are easier than others. There are moments when everything is smooth sailing and other times when you will think you have made a big mistake. It's important to realise that the amount of hard work you put into your business will translate into the rewards that you are going to reap at a later stage. There is no point in sitting around and waiting for clients, you actually need to get out there and make it happen!
Like Bob Dylan said, “keep on keeping on like a bird that flew”. Make it a success!