You like this world of acting or modeling. It's fun. It's exciting. It's potential is uncapped in many ways, including financially. All these things make you feel good about being an entreprenuer and about running your own business. That said, it's time to talk about that dreaded idea: being a business person.
According to research done on small businesses (which is what you are as an individual), owners start their small business because they think they can do something better themselves; or they have substantial cash flow for an idea or fall upon a large sum of income; or they are chasing a dream. As talent, you could fit in any or all of these categories, which again, confirms that you are running a small business. Irrespective of your motivation, I doubt you're going into business with a desire for failure and I suspect you might welcome the tips to follow in this next set of blogs that can help you achieve long term success.
As a business owner, the first thing you need to understand is why most small businesses fail. It's not because a certain percentage of them are doomed from the start, so breathe easy that you aren't fighting Fate! (Business Tips in red courtesy of Anthony M Turner)
Tip 1 - understand why most businesses fail to reach their full potential.
Yes, there are a multitude of reasons/excuses why business owners fail to reach their full potential -- but the two most common REAL reasons are that business owners are unclear about their goals (or have lost sight of their original goals as to what they want to get out of their business) OR business owners don't really know what's going on in their business.
Talent find themselves in the same quandary. Setting goals for your new year is crucial, but having short term and long term goals are just as important. Take five minutes right now to stop and write down your short term and long term goals. Second, ask yourself if you really know what is happening with your business. Do you know and feel good about what you did last year when it comes to marketing, networking, studying, and working on set? If you dropped the ball in one or more of these aspects of your business, what can you do to start improving?
We're no longer shocked by the blank faces of business owners when we ask them why they are in business. After talking for a while, they start to remember their original reason for starting. A balanced lifestyle is one of the most popular reasons but often hard to believe when we see them (the business owners) working incredibly long hours for little return and often feeling trapped like those hamsters on a wheel who keep running faster and faster whilst getting nowhere.
Working on set for long hours is part of the business, so we can consider the balance in overall time spent since you aren't on set every day. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be working at least 40 hours a week on your career, though. If you spend 10 hours on set one day, you should have 30 more hours of committed work time toward your craft. But committed work time is only beneficial if it is focused in the right areas where you can earn a return in the future. Off set, how are you spending your time? Telling yourself as you read is not enough. Stop and write down what you are doing so you can see it on paper and then honestly assess how many hours each week you spend doing those things you wrote down.
Not knowing what's going on in the business is also extremely common and relates to knowing your KPI's (key performance indicators) e.g. how many people you have to connect with to get the right percentage to walk through your door and the right percentage of those to purchase and the right percentage of those who purchase to become loyal clients and/or referrers of others to your business.
Talent work, like sales, is a numbers business. Smart talent can you tell right now exactly what their casting to booking ratio is. This business thought can be difficult to follow, but what they are saying is . . . do you know how many times your headshot has to be submitted before you get called in to audition? Do you know how many auditions you have to attend before you will book a job? Do you know how many times you have to work with a new client before they start asking for you by name and become a repeat customer? The numbers build only as fast as the statistics show, which is why the more proactive talent build successful businesses faster!
If you haven't hired a manager (which talent working in secondary markets don't need to do or spend the overhead usually), these are all things you will have to do yourself. More tips to follow, but for now, you should have a list of short term and long term goals; an idea of what you did last year for your business and how your time was spent; and a way to track your numbers for the future.
Of these ideas, what aspects did you do well last year?