We have been thinking about all that we’ve been up to over the last couple of months, and thought an update may be a good idea. Not just to let everyone know what we’ve been spending our time doing, but also to remind ourselves that we’ve been doing okay.
Starting a new business is a continuous challenge - there is always so much to be doing, and not a lot of that can be seen on the surface - by others, or even those who are building the business. The foundation blocks of a business are the most important; because it is what you invest in at the beginning, which shapes what the business will become. By not doing any research or planning, or putting yourself out there, how can you then grow? So it is always a good idea to reflect on what you have achieved, as it will usually be more than you think.
So what have we been up to?
Well, there has been much activity going on behind the scenes – the website is developing and we have been adding more and more content. We now have our services listed as well as other opportunities available to artists and makers. This will be ongoing, so if you know of anything else we can promote please do let us know.
We have also been sending out regular newsletters which have been a great way to let everyone know what we are doing with regards to events and updates, it has been good to get these scheduled in every few weeks. If you’d like to sign up, please do!
We have been slowly starting to build our client base with some wonderful mentees, and we are over the moon to be working with a co-operative of artists in Bristol, helping develop a 6 month action plan for them.
We have also been holding our regular Creative Women get togethers and planning more for next year, which include some hands on workshops; starting with blogging and Twitter, as we have had feedback from attendees that this is what is needed. We are also completely thrilled that Sarah Duggan from Baxters Gallery in Dartmouth will be speaking at our February event.
We are continuing to set up meetings with other like minded businesses and organisations in the area in the hope that we can build our network further, or even collaborate with others – to really help support all the brilliant creative businesses within the area. So please do get in touch if you feel you would like to work alongside us, or you have a suggestion that we could help you with.
The best thing?
It sounds so clichéd, but it is helping people. It really is the best – from that initial chat where we meet a potential new client (everyone really is SO lovely!) to working alongside them and seeing them grow because of that support. Creative businesses are our passion and to work alongside all of these incredible people, and become just a little part of their business growth really is the best thing ever!
What have we learnt so far?
We are on a huge learning curve with all aspects of the business. We are constantly questioning the choices that we are making – from whether Instagram is right for us and how we can best optimise it, to looking at how the services we are providing are the right ones. The development of hands on workshops has come out of re-evaluating what we provide, and we know that it will be a positive development to our portfolio.
We know that we aren’t blogging enough! It is a big frustration because we tell others why they need to be blogging regularly but we aren’t taking our own advice! It will happen - honestly…!
We have also learnt that doubt creeps in from all angles. Regardless of what is going on, or how busy you are, you can be caught out by it at any point. We see so many other established providers within the creative sector who help and guide creative businesses, and that comparison to others can’t help but make us unsure of our offering. We see what else is available, and know it is fantastic, and wonder whether we will ever achieve that. We become insecure and anxious. We wonder if there is any point in what we are doing.
But then we remember why we are doing what we do, and we hear the words that Sarah J Perry spoke of in our last Creative Women session. Imposter syndrome, or feeling like a fraud is common - to all of us, but mainly those high achieving businesses who never seem to feel good enough. Those other organisations that we see, they have been going for years - they have worked so hard building up their following and of course we can’t compare to what they have achieved. We have just started on our journey, and it is going well. So let’s keep reminding ourselves of that!
So that leads us to one of the main things that we have learnt, which is; we need to applaud our achievements – no matter how big or small. We are doing well, we are working hard and it is starting to pay off. Maybe we need a mantra to focus on with that in mind. It is so easy to get caught up in things that may not be going 100% that you forget about the things that are.
Moving forward from here…
Well, we really do need to keep going back to why we are doing this. What it is that feeds us - and that is helping and supporting those creative businesses that need it. We know that we are enough for them; we just need to keep reminding ourselves of that.
Don’t stop questioning, or challenging ourselves. We don’t want to stagnate; we want to develop our business and ourselves. So by questioning what we do and why we are doing it, and whether we are going down the right path is vital to keep growing.
Always applaud our achievements. This is also important for anyone reading this - don’t every under evaluate how far you have come, or what you have achieved to get where you are. Even if it doesn’t feel like very much, why not write it down and you will be surprised of what you have accomplished. Keep reminding yourself of that and try not to focus on what others are doing. They are on their journey and you are on yours – that’s the main thing.
We will continue to do what feeds us. Not just in business, but in our personal lives too. Join us in this; give yourself time to look after yourself, and do what makes you happy. Whether that is a coffee with close friends, or an exercise class, make sure your soul is happy so you can be too. Running your business is part of you, so you can only do it well if you are whole.
Oh, and blog more. Yeah yeah, we know…
The CBN Team x
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4 New Buildings,
01884 266045 / 07969 044006