So, tomorrow is the big day, the Spring 2012 Brighton Craftaganza market! Pretty exciting! For our last post before the event, I thought we’d look at some really boring stuff. No, bear with me a minute.
There’s loads of advice out there for designer-makers on the exciting things like marketing, selling, and updating your twitter account, but less on the nitty-gritty of setting up your own business.
So today we’re going to look at online advice for some of the less sexy topics out there, like insurance, business planning, tax, and copyright. Think of it as the business equivalent of eating your greens before you’re allowed pudding.
Copyright – Something that’s been in the news lately, with Claire’s accessories seemingly copying the work of UK company Tatty Devine, copyright can be a very tricky issue, whether you’re being imitated or accused of imitation. It is a bit of a grey area legally, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
- The British Library has some totally free online courses all about intellectual property, which are well worth signing up for.
- There’s a new UK service called Creative Barcode, where you can register your designs for a fee.
- ACID (Anti Copying In Design) are a membership organisation campaigning against copyright violations.
Insurance – The definition of boring? Maybe, but lots of situations you’ll encounter as a designer-maker will require some kind of insurance, especially if you end up working with local authorities or the like.
- There’s a comprehensive and easy to understand guide to it all here, at UKHandmade.
Business planning – Not just for suit-wearing bankers, business plans are a key tool for helping you expand your business.
- There’s a nice, step-by-step guide from BusinessLink here
- The Design Trust point out that planning your business is all part of the creative process, and they recommend their top five books to help you along the way.
Tax – Oh no, the dreaded T word! A fact of life for everyone, taxes are no-one’s favourite subject, but facing them head on is the best way to deal (or that’s the theory…)
- Again from UKHandmade, here’s a brilliant guide to keeping the tax-man happy, all based around the ’3Rs’.
- Ever tried to navigate your way round the HMRC website? It’s a bit like a giant labyrinth of tax, so it’s a good thing that the Cockpit Arts blog have picked out the most useful pages for designer-makers. Read part 1 and part 2 here.
Phew, I hope that was useful. Here, have a picture of a bunny as a reward. See you all tomorrow at the market!