Creatives are good at a lot of things, but for many taking care of some fundamental business needs is last on the list. However if you neglect them then your business, your finances and your home life may suffer. Here are the top 5 things anyone running a studio or a freelance business can do to ensure a better week.
- Raise Some Invoices
You would think this would be top of the list for many, but often days, weeks and in some cases, months can pass before we send clients their bill. Take some time to sit down and raise those invoices, if you don’t then you won’t get paid.
- Chase Money
Raising an invoice is not the same as getting paid, no one likes asking for money but many clients often forget they owe you money or don’t pay until the get a statement. Send out your statements and if necessary send some emails and make some calls to get the money in.
- Ask Clients For Feedback
This may sound like a bad idea, but it’s only a bad idea if you’ve done a bad job. Often clients are more than happy to offer feedback on your last job and appreciate you asking them for it. When I do this I often get given a new job to quote for - and simply for asking how the last job went. Remember if it went badly and you don’t ask then they may not come back and you will never know. So book some calls with clients and get that feedback!
- Catch Up On Your Emails
I now operate the zero inbox method - the only things in my inbox are emails that still need a response, so in effect it’s my task list. The plan is to get that inbox empty so the only way that can happen is if I do, delay, delegate or delete the stuff. This is the only system that has ever worked for me. So if you have stuff to sort and a free couple of hours then take time to respond to those email, enquiries and quotes - there may be a few jobs sitting in your inbox.
- Take Some Time Off
If you run your own business there doesn’t often seem to be a break. I know that all of the Pro Tools Expert team are often working early late and weekends. Long term this is going to burn you out and kill your creativity - so if you have to work late or at a weekend then make sure you book a day or even an afternoon off when you turn everything off and go and relax! I’m off to the movies now for that very reason!
So if you feel like you are doing a lot of work and not getting a lot in return then you may be missing some or all of this list - if you are then you are simply a busy fool and if you continue you may end up with no business, no money and no life!