N17 Creative Callings – ‘How To Run Your Business Successfully – Profit Is Sanity’

Running a creative business…so many have innovative ideas that are quite brilliant but it’s the actualisation of these ideas into business where many creatives falter and fail. Enter our latest business support initiative ‘N17 Creative Callings’, supported by the Mayor of London and the European Union, to help retain, support and nurture creative businesses in the Tottenham area.


On Thursday 20th February Fashion-Enter held their first Employer Engagement programme with a four-hour session on ‘How to Run your Business Successfully – Profit is Sanity’. The session provided an informal but pragmatic styled seminar that fully engaged all attendees, it was clear that one of the main starting points for the creatives was the identification of marketing strategy and building brands to win online.

(Seminar attendees with Tottenham based Fashion-Enter employees stood at the back.)

It was stressed however, that all creative businesses are exactly that – a business. That being creative is not a hobby, craft or a labour of love but it has to be defined and that old adage of ‘Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity and Cash Flow a Reality’ is totally true. Some of the employers have literally just started their own business and to undertake this hard-hitting viewpoint at the very beginning of their mentoring was welcomed.

The session moved on to that all-important area of sales – without sales there is no business and in today’s dynamic world digital is the way to go. Discussions centred on changing dynamics of the digital world, creating marketing strategies and what is the marketing mix including Kotler 4Ps, Porters 5Forces, SWOT, Boston Matrix, Product Life Cycle and when to kick start new product development before saturation occurs. These theorems were brought to life by the attendees and great examples were given of their own products being rising stars, dogs etc.

Then it was time for the real nitty-gritty. What is the brand? Here the nine key points of the brand were discussed in detail – each employer had to identify exactly what was point number 1 – Root Strengths! This was an interesting discussion for lots of reasons but in particular it was the perception that employers “thought” they had a clear understanding of their own USP – however as the discussions unfolded it was clear that simple messages have to be hard hitting and repeated to ensure AIDA is achieved – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action = buy buy buy!

A creative break out session then took place looking at Brand Archetypes – which brand was going to be the ‘Lover’, ‘Caregiver’, ‘Innocent’ or even the ‘Outlaw’! It’s only when employers start digging in deep that brand identity is really exposed and confirmed.

The full agenda included:

1- Overview of Fashion-Enter and N17Creative Callings programme

Meet and greet the team

2- Business formation – what business status is right for you?

3- Marketing Strategy and building brands online to win

Changing dynamics of the digital world

Creating Marketing strategies and the marketing mix

Building Brands, personas and brand archytypes

Understanding the decision process and how to influence it.

4- Financial overview – budgets, forecasts, margins, P&L and Balance sheets

5- Factory Tour

6- Questions

Fashion-Enter CEO Jenny Holloway commented: “It was a truly inspiring session and I am glad to say that everyone that attended provided positive feedback on the session with five people joining up to the programme immediately! We have been providing practical advice since 2001 when we worked for the ‘London Development Agency’ and we love it – seeing creatives grow and expand their business and their own personal core strengths too is so rewarding for us all here at Fashion-Enter.”

Feedback from attendees included:

“From this session I have learnt about marketing, cash flow, time management, strategy and target market.” – Graham

“I am learning more about the N17 Creative Callings project. I enjoyed talking about Omni-channels. I hadn’t really thought or understood the importance of this.” – Sisi

“I found out that I can get help with learning and funding that I need to help me progress in my business.” -Aurea

“I learnt about SWOT analysis and the image of the brand. I found out how to transform a money making design so that it sustains the profitability.” – Omar

“The information delivered at this seminar was really helpful to me.” – Aphenia

The next meeting for employers is ‘What’s Happening in Fashion Today’ – Wednesday 11th March 2020 – 10.00am – 2pm

If you have just started or are looking to grow a small business in the Tottenham CEZ area, then please get in touch and we will advise on how N17 Creative Callings can help you and your business. Contact Esme: esme@fashion-enter.com