Skip to main content

As entrepreneurs we wear a lot of hats. You have to be a business strategists, a CFO, an operations manager, a customer service guru, a sales wizard and, lest we not forget, you also have to know how to produce the thing your business creates. It can be a lot and it’s almost always overwhelming.

Recently, I was asked by someone starting a new creative agency, “There is so much to do. Where do I even start?” My reply led to this list of “things” needed to have a successful launch of a new creative business. Oh man, how I wish I would have had these things in place when I started.

01: Define target customer

​Who are the people you are passionate enough to serve even when times get tough in your business? The more you love your target customer, the easier your business will become. This is the tentpole of your entire business strategy.

02: Define problems of target customer

​What challenges do they face that are big enough they will be willing to spend money to solve them?

03: Define services to solve the problems​

What will you offer to solve the challenges of your target customer?

04: Establish price point for services

​How much will you charge for your services? What volume will you need to do to make a profitable business at your chosen pricepoint?

05: Develop a brand that resonates with the target customer​

Create a brand style that resonates with the target customer and differentiates you from the competition.

06: Create marketing materials​

Write messaging. Create a website. Plan social media. These are usually a good place to start marketing.

07: Create sales and marketing strategy

How will you get the marketing materials in front of the target customer? How will you capture leads of potential buyers?

08: Create sales document templates and proposals

​Get your templates in place so you are ready to sell your services and win projects.

09: Create contract templates to close clients

​After you win projects, you’re going to need a contract template to officially close the project and protect your business during production. Get those in place.

10: Create SOPs (processes) for each service​

This will make your business organized, efficient, less stressful, and capable of delivering consistent results.

11: Generate leads using marketing materials and strategy

​Now that you have your marketing strategy and templates in place, you are ready to generate leads and find clients.

12: Transition leads into buyers using sales strategy and proposals

​Use your sales strategy and proposal materials to convert leads into buyers.

13: Close sales using contracts

​After your client says, “Yes,” use your contract template to lock them in.

14: Produce work using SOPs

​Once your client signs the contract, use your SOPs to execute on the work.

15: Make ongoing improvements, changes, and pivots

​Track and analyze everything in your business! And make ongoing improvements part of your standard practice.

It’s easy. Haha. Just 15 simple steps and you’ll have a great business! Take a look at the list. What are you missing in your business? There is no better time than now to put it in place.

Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.