Launching a Successful Creative Business

lizzyLaunching a business can be exciting and difficult. You have an idea, a talented team and if you’re lucky, you may have investors onboard. However, envision your once perfect dream quickly becoming a horror story. In fact, the failing business saga happens far too often. According to Forbes Magazine, 90% of startups end up in the business graveyard. How do you increase your chances of joining the 10% who survive? According to Lizzy Hazeltine from The Startup Factory, and presenter for our November 19, Swerve meetup, the key to success is to test ideas and work harder.

So, your journey to owning a creative business begins. Maybe it starts with an idea you casually share with a few family and friends.  Fueled with positive feedback, you think you have a clear vision for how your business idea can provide a solution to a problem society is facing. What might you do? Rob your bank account and borrow money from family and friends? Or, take out a loan perhaps and go for it? We’ll talk further about raising capital for your creative business during a Swerve meetup and blog post at but for now, let’s focus on the product and service. So, you’re all set. Your product or service is ready to go and you’re anxiously awaiting for customers to buy. Let the profit roll in.

Where are the customers? I was told this is a great idea, you tell yourself. Society needs this. Right? Not so fast – you likely assumed you were providing a needed product or service. However, according to Hazeltine, your original idea on how to solve the problem is likely wrong. Ongoing testing is key to determining if you have a sustainable business model.

“I tell everyone thinking about starting a new business to get out of their own head and to start sharing their idea wildly and widely to a lot of people,” said Hazeltine. Why share? “Feedback will help you understand if you have gone off the rails or if you have an idea that is interesting and a scalable business model.”

Lizzy hazeltine + 2 launching a businessTalking with potential customers, collecting data, testing data and making decisions based on data is key to success and increases your chances of your business surviving rather than ending up in the 90% defunct club. What’s next? According to Hazeltine, “you must roll out new iterations and tests all the time. It’s a continuous cycle of data collection and testing.”

Are you a successful, thriving creative business? Do you have a business and your struggling? Or do you have a business idea and you’re not sure where to start? Join the Swerve conversation and share your thoughts at a SWERVE meetup on join the online conversation on our log and social media channels.

Do you desire for your startup to join the ranks of the 10% who survive? It’s not impossible, it can happen. With a little luck, an enthusiastic and talented team, and a solid testing process, you may find success. Good luck and go for it – Swerve is here to help.   Join us for our next FREE Swerve meetup on Dec. 3rd, to learn about Marketing Your Creative Business. To become a member of Swerve and to view our programming schedule for the year, visit us at We would also love to hear your thoughts. Are you a successful, thriving creative business? Do you have a business and you’re struggling? Or do you have a business idea and you’re not sure where to start? Join the Swerve conversation and share your thoughts on our blog and social media channels.



One comment on “Launching a Successful Creative Business

  1. Ramsey Belanoff on

    Swerve and the Center for Creative Economy are a launching pad of sorts. You grow, as a creative individual, in your own skills and gifts, confidence, and business, by becoming part of a network, and the network grows into a supportive community. “Getting out of your head,” as Lizzy Hazeltine put it, is the cornerstone for this transformative process: art as a form of self expression becomes art as a form of business in its own right, and as it supports other industries. I have been proud to see Winston-Salem become revitalized in the arts movement, and find the Center for Creative Economy, under Margaret Collin’s leadership, to be a positive force in the city’s present and future.


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