Can you really have fun running your own business?
In a reflective mood our little team has sat down and chatted about how much fun we have had building this little business into what it is today…
We have been asked for jobs quite a few times here at Boxcitement recently. People send us lovely emails asking if we have any upcoming projects we’d like help with, or just to say we look as if we have the best jobs in the world! It made us think “what is it about our little business that is making people want to work with us?” and the answer became clear: we come across as happy and we look like we’re having fun – and we’re delighted with that!
But what makes our creative business really looks as if it’s a fun place to work? It’s the fact that the people behind it are passionate, motivated and open to new ideas – and determined to make our customers’ experience of buying from us as good as we possibly can. Everything from our irreverent tone (lots of woops and yays in our copywriting!) to our bonkers logo and our colourful designs makes us look as if we are having fun – so even on those days when things keep going wrong, it doesn’t look that way.
Of course working in a creative business isn’t all about creativity. Someone has to keep the accounting up to date, deal with suppliers and handle issues as they arise (a warehouse burned down recently with our stock inside it – I kid you not). But it’s really important to always ensure our message is one of positivity because why would you buy from a company that has problems, or is voicing complaints – or looking as if they are just not enjoying themselves? And even more importantly how can you feel special as a customer if you’re not being treated like royalty? Boxcitement wouldn’t be the thriving workplace it is today if we didn’t engage with our customers and try and make their days as good as possible – and of course if you are trying to make people feel good, that’s a pretty good feeling!
There’s more to running a business than making money. One of the things we’re most proud of at Boxcitement is our commitment to offering free craft projects, downloads and printables alongside our regular subscription box business – and this is a brilliant excuse for us to get our hands dirty and create fun projects so that we can share them with our newsletter subscribers. This is a great way to have fun – who wouldn’t love getting to play with clay as part of the day job!
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When Boxcitement was just an idea, a dream, we chatted about how working in such a creative field would just be so easy and we would be popping off on mini breaks in between designing stationery and making jewellery – hah! I don’t think any of us realised just how many hours are involved in getting a start-up business going – but two years in we have a monthly schedule, a sequence of events and a series of very uncreative processes that ensure we can remain focussed on what we’re good at – the ideas! And we thought that it would be good to share a couple of our insights just in case you feel like setting up your own creative biz one day – or perhaps you already are running a successful business – how do our processes compare to yours?…
How to make running a business FUN...
Make time to think - in the daily running of a new business it's easy to lose the space needed to take an objective view. We have three 'Blue Sky' days a month where we chat about everything except the day-to-day running of the business - and it's where the big ideas come from.
Map out your ideal customer journey and stick to it - engage with your customers on a regular basis to a set formula, and you'll always know at what point in your relationship with them you are. Making every single customer feel valued is a top priority.
Create a monthly calendar where repeat jobs such as website updates, email sends or packing sessions are set in stone - that way you can immediately see what 'free' time there is every month for the more fluid projects such as visiting new suppliers or networking.
Take breaks! Have days off, spend time with friends and family at weekends and keep an eye on how many hours you're working - it can be tempting to spend every hour of the week on a new business but we all need time off, and it really does refresh those creative juices and avoid burn out.
I'd love to know your thoughts about running a successful creative business - and how much fun you are having!
Stay happy - Deb
(P.S. I'd love to know what you think - leave your comment below!)