Develop your career

Our research shows that freelance and small businesses make up the majority of the creative industries, so this section is dedicated to helping you develop your business skills. Get advice from the industry on starting or growing a business, as well as guidance for being a successful freelancer. Learn more about finance, funding and legal issues.


The 7 Ps of planning effective workshops

If you Google “how to plan effective workshops” you will find pages full of results that could lead to hours of reading. Going through some of these pages, I saw a common trend and a useful pattern. Here are 7 things you need to consider when planning workshops, based on my research and experience as a workshop leader.


Not just networking but NEXTworking

Whether you’re a freelancer or looking for a more permanent job, networking is important but it’s not the end of the game! Darryl Howes provides some useful strategies for following up effectively with contacts for the best results.


Make sure you get paid on time by checking your standard invoice template

5 financial promises freelancers must make to themselves

A topic often forgotten by freelancers during the quiet months is the financial tidying up of your business. This is necessary to ensure all will run smoothly and economically once business starts to pick up. Darryl Howes suggests five promises you should make to yourself.


5 self-promotion tactics for quiet people

Marketing yourself can be hard when you are a naturally quiet person. Pete Mosley, advisor to creative people and businesses, shared five top tips on how to self-promote.


5 ways freelancers can build contacts

For any freelancer, contacts are the lifeblood of their business and social world. The creative and cultural industries are certainly no exception. Here are five tips for building contacts and keeping your business pipeline healthy.


Nervous before a networking event? Good!

Don't let nerves hold you back from making a splash at a networking event. Networking expert Darryl Howes provides a game plan for thinking differently about networking and channeling nerves so that they work for, not against, you.


Financing your creative business

What can you do to make your business ready for investment? Sarah Thirtle from Creative United, which helps creative organisations to maximise their commercial potential, shares 5 steps for getting your business primed for finance.


There has been a great deal of research in recent years on the benefits of having a social outlook on life. (Image: James Fletcher)

Skills for better networking

Face to face networking doesn't have to be a nightmare, but first of all you need to work on your social and commercial skills. Networking expert Darryl Howes looks at how to improve these skills and aid your networking technique.


Hivehaus benefited from Transmit funding to help develop its business creating modular living space.

Why the UK is great for creative businesses

The UK’s world-class creative industries are booming – good news for the start-ups that are so vital to the sector. Creative business mentor Damian Baetens from Transmit explains why now is an excellent time to launch your business.


The DONATE mobile fundraising platform is free for arts, crafts and heritage organisations to use.

Fundraising: why mobile matters

Paul Cutts, chief executive of the National Funding Scheme, explains why mobile matters and how to make the most of its fundraising potential.


Reach your audience with email

As a creative you should be allocating a portion of your time to marketing. In the online world this often translates to using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, email still remains one of the most effective forms of online marketing.


Pitching your match-funding idea to a third party in the right way is key to your success.

How to approach match-funding

How can you use match-funding to reach your funding targets? Chris Buckingham, from crowdfunding research agency Minivation, explains how to approach third parties who may have an interest in your project succeeding.


Advertising for new staff

When it's time to take on new staff, how do you make sure your advert reaches the right candidates? Amy Edwards, from digital jobs board Bubble Jobs, shared advice for employers on targeting the right people.


Freelancers and creative business owners must make sure they claim expenses correctly and legally.

Claiming freelance expenses

When it comes to claiming back your expenses as a freelancer, it can be challenging to figure out what you can and can’t claim. Shannon Norman, of 1st Contact Accounting, shared 10 common claimable expenses.


This tool consists of six big questions. They are suitable for any business that wants to make a change in the world.

Focusing on your outcomes

When it comes to outcomes, do you have 'measurement anxiety'? This tool looks at how you can strategically achieve your outcomes without getting bogged down by the technical problem of how to measure your activities


Colin covers a range of areas, including staff, organisational development, reward, recruitment and volunteering.

Get the most from your staff

Does your organisation value its workforce? Colin Butler, Head of HR at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, gives six ways for creative businesses to help their staff develop.


The business health check tool asks you to spend a short period reviewing key questions about your business. Image © Anna Steinberg

A quick business health check

How do you step back and review the direction of your business? Download a free tool that can help you think about what you have achieved and where your business is heading.


Personal injury claims can run to many thousands of pounds, and take hours of legal argument to settle. (Image: Peter Shanks)

Insuring your public space

Few people set out to cause an accident, but they do happen. And if one happens on your premises, you could be considered responsible. Nick Green from PolicyBee explains how insurance can help.


Your website could be the key to winning over a new customer or losing them to a competitor.

Tell your brand story online

What do you think is the most popular page on your website? Surprisingly, it's often your 'about us' page. Simon Goble from print and design company MOO gives 7 tips for making sure you get it right.


Tools for decision-making

How can you map out tough business decisions? Download a free tool that can help you lay out the options.