and acting on them.
How do you spot a need or an opportunity and then make it into a business? This is enterprise, and sometimes entrepreneurial behaviour, fundamentally it is about recognising what is missing in the market and doing something about it.
During a life as a musician, entrepreneur and eventually educator I have seen many people with innovative ideas. Some of these people have had the drive and ambition to make their ideas reality, others have lost their way or in some cases the idea was impractical under current conditions, possible in another environment or situation but not at that time.
Recent experiences and meetings in my local area have reinforced my view that there are many individuals with creative, individual and innovative ideas and products. If this is the case throughout the country it should be possible to bring down the high levels of youth unemployment with help and guidance in a language they understand rather than finding the first job vacancy and suggesting they take it.
It is rarely easy to bring an idea to completion and it takes determination, patience and time. The rewards are also difficult to predict, it could be the satisfaction of realising the idea or it could be financially beneficial if other businesses take up the idea and use it. To many creators this is one of the difficult decisions that has to be faced, do you allow your concept to be taken up and developed by others, do you understand the costs involved and what percentage or fee do you want per item?
Music has a fairly accurate language but if other musicians are going to perform a composition there will be some elements of individual interpretation during any performance. An idea that is going to be mass-produced will have to be developed in a number of ways before the production stage to take into consideration the manufacturing process, component part(s), material(s) and machinery all based on market costs and viability of product to manufacturing cost to retail price. Art works are often individual ‘one-offs’ and how does the artist price the work? Is it a ‘materials plus per hour rate’ calculation or based on a scale depending on the size of the canvas or does some market research comparing prices of other artists dictate similar prices? In many cases a designer creates for others to make and working in a team is the normal method of developing the idea, this way of working could assist many of the more individual creators in the art, film and music areas.
Some form of collective or collaboration of artists with a sympathetic team who could promote, market and deal with the business part of the enterprise could be a solution for many individual artists, directors and musicians. The main part of the process that is difficult and sometimes time consuming is the building of trust and respect between the members of the group. If there are clear guidelines, criteria and expectations and a way of making the accounts transparent to all members then the collective has a chance to succeed.
Research and development or design and manufacture teams in business are selected and managed by the company and have a goal to produce for that company. A collection of like-minded creators does not have that corporate direction but some contract of participation is needed for the collective to be able to develop.
I hope this blog gets to someone who has an idea and just does not know where to go with it. If it gives them a nudge to keep going with the realisation that there are thousands of creative people with similar problems but many more millions of people that do not have such ideas and would appreciate the final product, then I will be happy.