10 Steps To Opening Your Creative Business

Updated October 30, 2023
11 min read
10 Steps To Opening Your Creative Business


Is there anything more rewarding than when your creativity (just doing your “thing”) becomes more than just a hobby? It doesn’t matter what that thing is. It could be portrait photography, written content, designer lingerie, colorful cupcakes, or whatever reveals your creative side.

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” From many perspectives, this saying is true. However, be realistic when you see this phrase on motivational posters, especially at the beginning of your journey to build a small business. As many as 90 percent of startups fail if they are driven only by passion and love.

You have two choices: Create amazing things and sell a few here and there, or dive deeper, make a thorough business strategy, and turn your passion into a profitable and soul-fulfilling business. That’s it. If you choose the second option, below are ten steps that will help you take your “thing” to the next level and challenge you to start on the right foot.

What Is a Creative Business?

A creative business is a business whose primary asset is the original work. Every business creates something — a product, an original work, a service. But where the creative industry is concerned, the business owner needs to pay special attention to using creative work as a central element.

Entrepreneurs are called “creatives” who offer creative services or products with artistic value. Although “creative” is the main adjective used to describe this type of business, it requires more than creativity as a driving force. A successful creative business also requires a connection between the creativity of the entrepreneur or “creative” and a positive response from potential customers, which can be achieved through a profound planning process.

For a creative business to succeed, the entrepreneur should invest in building a brand, corporate culture, relationships with clients, and, of course, the primary asset — the creations. Although this applies to any business, these four things have extra power when applied to creative businesses.

10 Steps How To Start a Creative Business

The following steps will help you to get a clear vision of where to start and to make it all happen.

Step 1: Research your market

It doesn’t matter how unique or creative your product is. The number one reason new businesses fail is from misreading market demand. Most first-timers at entrepreneurship skip over this part because it’s such a boring, seemingly unnecessary step. However, investing your time in profound market research can bring long-term benefits to your business. Answer the following questions: 

  1. What is the demand right now for my product/service? 

  2. Why would multiple people want it? 

  3. Which jobs will my product/service do for them? 

  4. What do they get from me that they can’t get from someone else or something else? 

The answers will help you to see where the market is for your creative start-up.

Step 2: Write down a vision (and revise it regularly)

After you have done the market research, you are ready to write down a clear vision, starting from your mission statement and goals divided into milestones. This is the ideation process creative people usually enjoy. What do you want to do with your business when thinking about the end result? Here’s a list of questions to answer to get a more precise vision: 

  1. What is the ideal end result?

  2. What does my ideal customer look like? 

  3. How do I get the desired result? 

Always remember to come back to your vision and review it often. Also, make sure that your team is driven precisely by the same ideas.

Step 3: Track every dollar spent

The second reason many new businesses fail is because of insufficient funding. From the very beginning, keep track of your expenses, mileage, and income so you will be ready for tax time. The best solution may be to hire a professional accountant. However, there are many apps available that can make the process of managing your finances easier.

Step 4: Treat every customer like a million-dollar client

Some startups fail because they cannot address customers’ needs efficiently. In creative businesses, everyone who loves art or anything handmade is your potential customer. You will need to build a relationship and foster a community of advocates who know you and trust your business. When you have built that relationship, the selling process will be easy because you already have their trust.

Step 5: Create a brand

Creating a brand for your creative business is much more than just creating a logo or a business card for your business. Your brand is your visual identity. The word that matters the most here is consistency. Make sure to keep the same style while working on your branding. Also, make your visual business identity stand out among competitors. Sometimes, it’s about rich graphic design, and sometimes it’s about being as minimalistic as possible.

Step 6: Find the right people in the right place

Business is always about the people. You may have only three people on your team at the beginning. However, it’s still a team that needs sufficient communication and a healthy working environment to embrace creative business ideas and make your business succeed.

Step 7: Invest your time & money in marketing

Once you’ve figured out your market, product offering, and brand, you are ready for a marketing strategy. It’s time to get your product and business noticed. The first step is to create a sound website with an appealing landing page. SEO-optimized content will attract more traffic. In addition to the website, there are three important parts to every successful digital marketing strategy — content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Step 8: Set the right priorities and smart time management

You have only 24 hours in a day (for both personal and business plans). So, once you have your list of goals, you will need to prioritize daily tasks to move toward your ultimate business goal. Breaking down larger jobs into bite-size chunks (for yourself and your team) can help to ease pressure and improve focus. Also, make sure that every goal has a specific deadline to meet.

Step 9: Ensure income diversity

Creating diversity is an important step for every new entrepreneur. With different streams of income, you will be better able to keep your business sustainable. Affiliate marketing is one option to consider to earn a commission by simply promoting the products or services of another seller.

Step 10: Refine, tweak, and improve along the way

This final step relates to all the previous nine steps. As your business grows, remember that your work will never be done. You will need to continuously learn from each step to tweak and make improvements as you go. For instance, your ideal customer may change over time, as well as the market demand. Your marketing strategies that worked at a specific time might stop working. The more you learn, and the more open you are to refining your business practices, the better your chances will be for success.


Even if you start a creative business driven by passion, you’re likely to face challenges and responsibilities that will not be enjoyable, especially at the beginning. Don’t worry. It’s completely common to love your job but still feel like it’s hard work. There’s no such thing for any business as overnight success (unfortunately). With these ten steps, you’ll be ready to start selling your “magic.” You are 100 percent capable of whatever you set your mind to if you have a thoroughly planned business strategy and know what to do step by step. Now is the perfect time to start.

Article by
Ilona Riznyk

Ilona Riznyk is a Content Specialist at Lawrina. In her role, she creates and manages various types of content across the website, ranging from blog articles to user guides. Ilona's expertise lies in meticulous fact-checking, ensuring all the published content is accurate and reliable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some financial considerations when starting a creative business?

Setting up a creative business involves various financial considerations. An integral initial step would be to plan your budget and secure the necessary funding. You'll need to determine start-up costs, which include inventory, equipment, office space (if applicable), and marketing expenses.


Finding ways to fund these costs is a crucial aspect. This could involve self-financing, seeking investors, or applying for business loans or grants. Furthermore, setting up a business bank account separate from your personal account is a good financial practice. Looking into insurance options for your business is also necessary to protect against potential losses or liabilities.


How important is branding for my creative business?

Branding is exceedingly important for a creative business. It's more than just a logo or a tagline. Your brand communicates your business’s identity, telling your story and defining your business to your audience. It is the overall experience you provide to your customers.


Your brand design, messaging, website, customer service, and even your social media presence all work together to form your brand. Consistent branding across all customer touchpoints can help build trust and recognition in the market, influencing customers to choose you over competitors.


Do I need any legal documentation or permits for my creative business?

Yes, legal documentation and permits are usually necessary when starting a business. The specific requirements can vary depending on your business type and location. Generally, you may need licenses or permits from city or county agencies, a state sales tax license, an EIN from the IRS, and potential occupational licenses.


More specific to a creative business, you may need certain rights or permissions if your work involves other's intellectual property. Additionally, having contracts in place with clients can protect your interests. Given these varied needs, consulting with a legal advisor can ensure you're meeting all legal requirements.