From Passion to Profit: A Creative’s Guide to Money Basics in Business

I'm Mycah!

I have been a photographer since 2010 and the owner of Mycah Bain Photography. When I'm not taking photos, I love traveling the world, designing and decorating my home, living the auntie life, running, yoga, reading, kombucha, trying new delicious foods, and happy hour with my besties.

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Starting a business in the creative industry is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you can have, simply because *drum rolls* it is in line with your passion! But where should you begin? Whether you’re a graphic designer, a writer, a photographer, or an artist, turning your creative passion into a sustainable business requires not only talent but also a solid understanding of the financial aspects that come with running a company. Money management might not be the most glamorous part of your creative venture, but it’s essential for your success.

Financial Plan for Small Businesses in the Creative Industry

  1. Separate Personal and Business Finances

One of the first steps you should take is to separate your personal finances from your business finances. Create a dedicated business bank account to keep track of all your income and expenses. This separation not only helps you maintain a clear financial picture but also simplifies tax preparation and ensures that you are compliant with legal requirements.

  1. Budgeting

Next, you’ll need to know exactly how much your business is going to cost to run daily and monthly. Budgeting is a critical aspect of any business, including those in the creative industry.  Outline your fixed and variable costs, such as equipment, software subscriptions, marketing expenses, and workspace costs. Make short-term and long-term projections with your income. Create a realistic budget that reflects your projected income and helps you plan for both short-term and long-term financial goals.

  1. Planning and Saving for the Rainy Days

If you’re planning ways to improve your business, be sure to budget for them, and save until you can afford them. If they are not necessary for your business to run well, there’s no need for you to go into debt. Know how much you will be expecting from your income. If you’re relying on your business to provide for yourself, make sure to start a savings plan for your business. Small business owners often face difficulty saving money, since many have very tight budgets when they start. Saving from the beginning will help ensure you have some cushion in tough months.  

  1. Cost Cutting Measures

Running a successful small business is all about being smart with your money. My suggestion? Every month, give your expenses a good look-over and see where you could save some money – without sacrificing the good stuff. I’m not saying be cheap, but there are smart ways to tighten up your spending and keep your business sailing smooth, all while keeping your product or service top-notch.

  1. Pricing Your Creative Services

Determining how to price your creative services is an art in itself. Consider your costs, the value you’re providing to clients, and what the market can bear. Avoid underpricing, as it can undervalue your work and make it challenging to sustain your business in the long run. Research industry standards and factor in your unique skills and expertise when setting your prices.  I recommend using a “cost of doing business” calculator as a part of your process.

  1. Invoicing and Payment Terms

Setting clear invoicing and payment terms for your small business is like giving it a foundation to stand on.  Contracts are GOLD. It keeps things crystal clear with clients, helps you get paid on time, and saves you from awkward money convos. Plus, it’s a pro move that keeps your cash flow happy and your business running smoothly.

  1. Tax Obligations

Understanding your tax obligations is vital for avoiding legal issues. Different regions have different tax rules, so consult with a tax professional or accountant who specializes in your industry. Keep accurate records of your income and expenses to make tax filing more manageable. Deduct eligible business expenses to reduce your taxable income and potentially save money.

  1. Seeking Professional Guidance

Managing finances as a creative business owner can be overwhelming, especially as your business expands. It’s advisable to seek professional help from accountants, financial advisors, or business consultants who specialize in the creative industry. Their expertise can provide valuable insights and strategies to optimize your financial management.

The Importance of Managing Your Business Finances

Mastering the money basics is essential for the success and longevity of your business. Often, your small business is successful because of your expertise in making your product or providing your service. Unfortunately, you might not be an expert at the other important parts of running a business, such as managing finances. If you don’t have a lot of experience with managing business finances, it can be a challenge, but it’s also crucial to the survival of your business. Organization is a major component of sound money management. So, don’t be afraid to consult a professional, but make sure you have a handle on the day-to-day management of your business’s finances, as well as a plan for the future. With a strong foundation in money management, you’ll be well-equipped to turn your creative passion into a thriving and sustainable venture.

If you want someone to walk alongside you as you run the numbers on your expenses AND determine how to price yourself and your services, I would LOVE to chat!  I have a limited number of one on one coaching opportunities available for YOU! Head over here and hit CONTACT!

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