How To Thrive in 2021

COVID has changed almost everything about how we run our business and one of the key things we took away from 2020 is adaptability. If you don’t learn to swim, you will drown. Simple as that. Instead of hoping things will go back to normal, we have to adjust to this new working world we now live in and make sure our businesses take giant leaps forward to reach new levels of success. Here are some things you can do as a business, a creative or an entrepreneur to ensure success this year, and next: 

Firstly, fix your finances!

Now you might be thinking, what do these creatives know about finances? It’s not usually an area of expertise for creatives. And unfortunately that is where you can fall short of success and long term wealth. But you can change that with a few simple steps.

1. Cut down your expenses.

Very simply, do not spend money on things that are non-essential. Go through your bank statements over the last 3-4 months and be deliberate about cutting down. Even small expenses make a difference in the long run.

2. Diversify your income.

Because the pandemic has caused financial insecurity for everyone, make sure you have more than one form of income. This looks different for everyone, but do some research into passive income streams that are accessible and suitable to your personal strengths. Do not limit yourself to only one form of income.

3. Build up an emergency fund.

An emergency fund consists of 3-4 months of income. Build one for yourself and for your business. One thing that the pandemic has taught us is that you never know what’s going to happen and so you should always be prepared for the worst. Having an emergency fund saved might be the difference between paying your rent or losing your entire business. 

If you were to lose your entire income tomorrow, how long would you last? Make sure you give yourself enough time to get back on your feet.

Secondly, learn new skills. 

This does not mean learning how to bake banana bread or play a musical instrument, but rather to look at your business critically and consider what skills you could learn that would take you to the next level. There are so many things you can do to elevate your business and increase your confidence. They all start with learning. 

1. Learn how to sell to clients.

Understanding your clients and being able to meet their needs is essential. Consider where you might be falling short of expectations, and find new ways to approach sales or client communications. This might be an area you might need help with and you can contact us here.

2. Read books.

Everything you want to know can be found in a book. Want to learn how to do copywriting to elevate your website and increase sales? Read a book. Want to figure out how to start investing to diversify your income streams? Read a book. Want to understand how digital marketing can benefit your small business? Read a book. Set aside 30 minutes a day to read and trust me, you will learn something valuable!

3. Watch YouTube videos to learn new skills.

If reading isn’t the most helpful way for you to learn, try watching some YouTube videos. YouTube is such a powerful platform to find information. So use it as a resource for your business. You’ll be surprised at how much knowledge you gain and how in-depth the information is. 

Thirdly, invest in your business. 

This might sound self-explanatory, so I will go into more detail. In order to grow your business and increase your profitability, you need to put in the time and effort. You have to give 110% into the business, in order to see significant and visible growth.

  1. Get help.

As your business grows, you will realise that you might not be able to tackle everything on your own or within your team. Invest in partnerships that will help take your business up a notch. Do your research and make sure you are choosing the right partner – whether its a new web developer, brand designer or creative strategist. The right partners will revolutionise the way you work! If there’s any way we can help you our, just let us know. 

2. Re-do your website.

In the age of social media, you have to do everything in your power to stand out. So a simple suggestion is to revamp your current website. A fresh look can change so much for your business. Not only that, but you will feel a new sense of pride in your business. Sometimes change can be as small and simple as a new website but it has such a huge impact. If you need help in this area, get in touch – its what we do.

3. Work on your portfolio.

In line with re-doing your website, a very easy way to invest in your business is to refresh your portfolio. As creatives, we’re often so busy doing new work and interesting projects that we forget to add these things to our portfolio. Clients want to see your best work and so try to make it a habit to update your portfolio every month with your recent work. It’s an investment in your business that will also serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come!

Next up, never stop hustling. 

May 2021 be the year we learn to hustle again! Many freelancers and businesses have forgotten how much we had to hustle when we first started out – and if you are just starting up your business this is a reminder to stick with it. This is the year to work harder and smarter than you have before, to reach goals you once thought were completely unattainable. Your dreams might be big, but put your mind to it, do the work and your efforts will be fruitful! 

1. Email and DM new businesses to pitch to them.

Honestly these unprecedented times call for action and that means getting your business out there. The pandemic has affected businesses very differently, but gone are the days where all your work comes from the client seeking you. Nowadays you need to show businesses why it is that they should work with you. Learn to market yourselves again. 

2. Contact your old clients for refreshers or for referrals.

If you produced good work and built a relationship with a client, then asking for a testimonial or a referral from them will only benefit you. And more often than not the work you did with them could be refreshed. Whatever it is they need refreshing, make sure you position yourself in a place to help them achieve their goals, thereby achieving yours. 

3. Do more personal projects.

Do not think that in order to make sure your business has a successful year, that you can’t have any fun. In fact, the opposite is true! If you never do anything just for the love of it, you run the risk of coming to resent the work you do. Instead, put time into passion projects, because the time and energy you put into doing things that energise you will impact your business in a positive way!

Written by

Matt Masson has worked in the creative branding industry for over a decade, specialising in multiple areas including photography, stills and video production, brand and marketing strategy and graphic design. This has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and experience that informs his style, his writing and all his creative work.

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