Business Support

Could you do with a little support to get your creative business to where you'd like it to be? Are you charging enough for your product (or making a loss without realising it?) Do you love what you do but aren't confident about approaching galleries and have no idea where to start with a trade fair? I would love to help! 

I have over 20 years experience in business and business development and have most probably been worried, or a bit stumped about the same things you are. I offer affordable, bite size business support packages that focus on helping you take logical and sustainable steps forward. I have learnt a lot on my journey and I love nothing more than seeing other people thrive. Talking in depth about your business can be both terrifying and emotionally draining (I get this) and it sometimes feels much easier to stick your head in the sand, but it doesn't have to be like this. Little tweaks can make a big difference to your success. I know from experience it's really hard to see these possible 'tweaks' when you are wrapped up in the day to day running of things. Add to that the fact that creative businesses are so personal, (your heart and soul are often part of the business model) and it becomes obvious that it's really hard to look at what you do objectively. I offer a sensitive, affordable and honest approach to evaluating your business and helping you create solutions for moving forward.

Here's what a couple of my recent clients have had to say about my services:

"Helen has such an open, approachable and positive demeanour which put me very much at my ease. She has much experience in all aspects of business which gave me great confidence in her detailed advice and suggestions. At the same time she encouraged me to work things out for myself, and that helped raise my own self-confidence, something I very much appreciated. I would wholly recommend Helen's services, both from a practical and financial aspect. Definitely money and time well spent."

Ruth, Ruth Makes Jewellery

"I am not the most confident person when talking to new people, never mind discussing something as personal and as invested as my business, but Helen put me at ease from the very first email.

Her straightforward approach and questions, alongside her knowledgeable and honest thoughts, meant I left our meeting feeling she understood me, my business, and I no longer felt lost on how to move forward.
Would highly recommend any creative business to invest in Helen's services as the results speak for themselves."
Claire, Wirelife Art (soon to be rebranded Claire Cerysanne Groves after our session!)
I have professional indemnity insurance and am an ACIM member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). This is a professional body that offers guidance and frameworks for best practice within the marketing industry, providing me professional accountability and you with peace of mind! 
 
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at helen@helenrussellcreations.com otherwise pop that session in your basket and let's get started!

 

  • SYNERGY

    (Growing your business)

     

    Time: 1h 15 mins

    Cost £75

     

    In person or Microsoft teams

     

    In this session we’ll review your business as a whole. We’ll be looking at whether your business model is cohesive and financially viable, what you do well and where there is room for improvement. Obviously, this is a lot to cover in one short session! The idea is to identify your strengths and weaknesses, raise awareness of areas that need work and give you the confidence to go away with this information and build upon what you already have. A short session with long-term goals and impact! Synergy is tailored to you and your business but will generally cover things like:

    • Product – quality, use, availability, variations, big (and small) dreams
    • Branding and voice –trading name,
      logo, images, written copy
    • Promotion – social media, talks,
      PR, events, trade, advertising
    • Pricing –are you competitive, too
      cheap/too expensive, are you making money!
    • Customers – who are they? Who
      could they be? Who do you want them to be?
    • People – you as an advocate for
      your work, does anyone else help you?
    • Process – production methods,
      time for research and development
    • End product – customer service,
      product packaging, website

    Please expect lots of questions in the run up to your session. The more information you provide, the more I can help. The cost of this session
    includes 1 hr of my time for research prior to our meeting.

  • INCEPTION

    (Starting a business)

     

    Time: 45 mins

    Cost £50

     

    In person or Microsoft teams

     

    Are you thinking of setting up an art/craft business but don’t know where to start? This session will talk you through some of the things that you need to think about. I’ll give you tips on how to avoid some of the pitfalls I encountered when I first started, and I’ll share basic versions
    of my business documentation for you to adapt. Bring your idea to the meeting and we’ll look at things like:

    •  Business name and branding
    • Organisations you may have to contact - e.g. HMRC, insurance (please be aware this isn't legal advice, just pointers as to the things you need to investigate further)
    • Pricing
    • Creating an action timeline ready for launch day!

    Please be aware I will need an outline of your proposed products/services before we meet so that I can research and tailor the session to your idea.

  • PORTFOLIO

    (what you create/sell)

     

    Time: 30 mins

    Cost £40

     

    In person (preferred) or Microsoft teams

     

    Are you happy with your collection of work or do you think there might be room for improvement? In this session we will review your portfolio,
    looking at the quality of the pieces included (strengths and areas for
    improvement), prices and whether you have a cohesive collection. Having a body of work that sits together is important, visually cohesive collections lead to more sales opportunities! Portfolio reviews can be challenging, I totally understand this. It can be hard to look at your work objectively, and even more difficult to take constructive criticism. We will aim to improve your offering, and build your confidence, through an honest but sensitive discussion about your work. Everyone has room to improve, this isn’t about comparing your work
    to other people’s, this is about you showcasing the best of you – where you are now and where you would like to be!

  • EVENT

    (Selling your work at trade & retail events)

    Time: 1hr 15mins

    Cost £100

    In person or Microsoft teams

    This session covers all things events. Attending events is a
    great way to get your work seen, but they are a big investment so it’s
    important that you go about them in the right way. It is easy to lose money if you go in ill-informed! This session covers both retail and trade – both have very different needs when it comes to planning, presenting and selling your work. Over the course of the session, we will look at things including:

    • Pricing
    • Branding
    • Event paperwork – sample
      templates are included in the price
    • Display
    • Set-up and breakdown
    • Is it a financially viable option?
    • Insurance (please note this isn’t
      legal guidance, just a nod towards things you will need to think about)
    • Customers

     Investing additional money into something that you are planning on doing to make you money may feel like a strange decision. I firmly believe that this course will save you £100 in mistakes, unknowns, experiments and lack of direction. It is the course I wish I had been able to do before I leapt into the wonderful world of events. I would have saved myself a fortune, generated more sales and made the experience even more enjoyable from the outset. You can’t make people buy at events, but you can put yourself in a position where you give them every opportunity to do so.

  • GALLERY

    (How to pitch your work to galleries & shops)

     

    Time: 30mins

    Cost £25

    In person or Microsoft teams

     

    Do you want to know how to approach galleries and shops about selling your work? If so, this is the session for you. Learn what to do (and what not to do) when approaching stockists directly. Find out what they will expect from you when they say yes to your work, and learn how to keep a paper trail just in case there are any problems. No more wandering into a shop and hoping for the best!

     

    (If you want to know if your work is ready for pitching to
    venues, you need to look at PORTFOLIO)

  • LIGHTBULB

    (dedicated ideas generation time)

     

    Time: 30min/1hr

    Cost: £25/£40

    In person (preferred) or Microsoft teams

    (Also available for small groups, get in touch for a chat)

     

    Are you happy with your current business but a bit stuck in a rut, or worse a bit bored with what you produce? This is a creative session
    aimed at generating ideas to take your business forward, to add some variety to your portfolio or to chase that new dream! There’s no business planning, costing or branding work in this one, it’s just the pure unadulterated joy of putting two heads together and seeing what pops out. This type of session is great for refreshing your creative practice, and for momentarily stepping away from the day to day running of your business. No ideas are off limits with this one, I’ve found that even the craziest concepts have a grain of possibility in them. Dare to dream!

  • PHOTOGRAPHY

    (Promoting your work in the best possible light)

     

    Time: 30 mins

    Cost: £30

    In person or Microsoft teams

     

    Does your photography do your products and brand justice? Are your images good enough to get you selected for that show you’ve always
    wanted to do, or are gallery owners wrinkling their noses in frustration?Good images can make the difference between people buying into your work or heading next door to visit your competitor. Images are such an essential element of a creative business. They sell your product in the absence of a physical piece and tell the story of your brand. An image says a lot about your work but also a lot about you! You might have the best product in the world, but if the image is rubbish how do we know it’s the best, and more importantly what does it say about your approach to business and/or your belief in what you are selling?

  • PURSUE

    (Follow up session)

     

    Time: 45mins

    Cost: £25

    In person or Microsoft teams

     

    Pursue is for people who have already taken part in a session (excluding Paper), have gone away to work on things and have come across an area/idea/thought/question that needs more work and some extra support.

     

    Please do not book this session unless you have previously worked with me

  • PAPER

    (paperwork examples to get you started)

    Time: N/A

    Cost £15

    Documents will be emailed to you

    A set of basic paperwork templates/examples/guidelines for you to adapt and use in your business. The set includes:

    • Invoice
    • Delivery note
    • Consignment note – for sale or
      return customers
    • Order form
    • About me example
    • Terms and Conditions
    • Sale or return contract

     

    (Please be aware these will need adapting to your business, they are a starting point only. Helen Russell Creations cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or discrepancies in the information you provide to your customers as a result of utilising these documents.)

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