Marketing

What Is a Business Mindset and Why Is It Important?

Learn how to develop a business mindset and apply it to your creative work for guaranteed success

Whether you’re looking to get your first ideas off the ground, are thinking of a career change, or looking for ways to improve your business strategy, having a business mindset is crucial to your success as an independent creative.

We creatives are passionate about our jobs, and feel extremely lucky to work in the sector that we do. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that we do not recognize the value of our work, undersell ourselves, or give away our skills, knowledge, or time “for free”.

Remember, creativity is a skill and you are bringing something different to the table, so you should be looking to make a profit on your work.

Creativity is a skill that allows you to bring something different to the table.
Creativity is a skill that allows you to bring something different to the table.

Having a business mindset simply means you understand and appreciate the unique value you offer, and are able to implement and follow a strategy or action plan that ensures the recognition and financial success you deserve.

4 key pillars for creating an action plan

Abraham Asefaw (@abrahamasefaw) is a creative business consultant and entrepreneur who has worked with the likes of Coca-Cola, Facebook, and Conde Nast. He believes that anyone with passion can set up their own viable business if they have the right action plan.

He is also a Domestika teacher and an expert on demonstrating how to use a business mindset to create a detailed roadmap that will make you stand out from the crowd, ensure a healthy, sustainable business, and achieve long-term success.

Abraham Asefaw is a successful business consultant, entrepreneur and Domestika teacher.
Abraham Asefaw is a successful business consultant, entrepreneur and Domestika teacher.

Abraham bases his action plan around 4 key pillars:

Creating value

First ask yourself first what it is that sets you apart from your competitors. What is the unique value you bring to the market? Try to summarize this in a few brief sentences so that it is clear and easy to market to your potential clients.

You can also think about the kinds of problems you are helping to solve and for which group, as well as who you are targeting specifically, and who else is doing something similar. Once you have identified your competitors, you should also think about how you can differentiate yourself from them. This will answer your client’s question “what unique value will you bring me if I choose you over your competitors?”.

Delivering value

You can have the best idea in the world, but it will not succeed if you do not know how to deliver it. Abraham reminds us that it is important to take a holistic approach by focusing on the pre, during, and post stages of delivering your product to create the best possible experience at every point.

So for example, pre-delivery could be looking at how you raise awareness of the product you’re selling, and how you enable them to make a purchase. Post-delivery can be how you are supporting your customers after they have bought your product, how you maintain a relationship with them, and how they can become part of your brand awareness strategy.

In his course, Abraham bases his business plan around 4 key pillars.
In his course, Abraham bases his business plan around 4 key pillars.

Capturing value

Creating and delivering value are obviously important, but they mean nothing if you’re not making a profit. Depending on which area you are working in, it can be easier or more difficult to decide on the price to set for your service. The most obvious way to do so is through market research and comparing your prices to your competitors, but there is another way.

Abraham introduces an approach called a “reverse engineering strategy”, which follows a very simple formula to work out your financial goals, yearly revenue, and how much to charge for your service or product based on those findings. Then, ask yourself where your money is coming from in order to clearly-define your income streams, before testing your target audience to see if they are willing to pay the rates that you have set.

Evolving

The final pillar is to evolve your business. After all, change is the only consistency in life. Evolving may be adapting your business, changing it completely, or innovating it. If you choose to evolve your business, first look at what it is exactly that you would like to focus on. Is it evolving your current offering? Or is it expanding your target audience?

Once you have decided, you need to research current activity in that area and look for inspiration. This will help you to generate ideas, and you can pick the most viable one to test a prototype and then evaluate whether it is worth implementing or not.

Abraham's course teaches simple and practical strategies to improve your business mindset.
Abraham's course teaches simple and practical strategies to improve your business mindset.

Using these four pillars as a reference is a good way to begin thinking and making decisions in a more business-oriented way, but you should be prepared to follow through with your action plan once you have designed it.

If you would like to learn more about creating your own detailed and personal business roadmap, that applies a business mindset to achieve long-lasting, sustainable results, then check out Abraham’s online course: Business Mindset for Creatives: Make an Action Plan.

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