Business Growth for Creatives (Online)

Online courses occur as 1.5 hour live sessions, during which time you will interact with your tutor, classmates and course content using in-built audio and video chat, instant messaging and the virtual work display area.

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This course is designed for artists, designers, photographers, image makers and creative practitioners who wish to achieve growth in their business in terms of increasing profitability. It may be the case you have been self-employed, a sole-director company or partnership for a number of years...

Taught by: Alison Branagan.


This course is designed for artists, designers, photographers, image makers and creative practitioners who wish to achieve growth in their business in terms of increasing profitability.

It may be the case you have been self-employed, a sole-director company or partnership for a number of years. Perhaps you might already be collaborating with others in your field but wish to understand how you can formalise these arrangements or become more tax-efficient. Equally you might have ambitions to expand by taking on employees or scaling your business activity up in some way such as forming an arts or design collective, outsourcing, forming a pool of associates, publishing, digital distribution, franchising, licensing, or manufacture.

Over eight classes you will discover where to find support, explore options for growth, taking on staff, premises, developing accountancy systems, identifying growth markets, business planning, promotion, finance, manufacture, and trade shows. Other topics include key legal issues, how to build your brand and options for investment.

Additional Extras

The course includes free tax and legal support sessions, one with a specialist accountant and a second with a top London Solicitor’s firm.

Course Level - Intermediate/Advanced With the aim of making a new plan or direction.

This course is aimed at sole traders, partnerships or micro enterprises (artists, designers, makers, photographers, creatives) who wish to achieve growth in some form. There may be many reasons why students would wish to enrol on this course, it could be that they aspire to achieve an increase of profitability, find new markets, lesson their current workload and responsibilities, or an opportunity has arisen which to take advantage of they need to move their arts practice or design business to the next level.

Course Outcomes

While on this course, you will learn about options for growth and be able to explore other ideas further. It will equip you with vital theoretical and practical industry knowledge which will help you to expand or scale your business activity whilst increasing profitability in the long term.

The objective will be that you will achieve a clearer vision and fresh outlook for your future by being able to make informed decisions, with the advantage of banishing any previous experience of stalemate or frustration. It would be anticipated that your interest in your practice/business would be re-energised with new ideas for scalability, expansion, out-souring, or further collaboration, with a view to increased profitability. Enthusiastic students may wish to revise or create a new business plan either during or after the course has concluded.

Course Outline

Week 1
Context of growth in the visual arts and creative industries Exploring options for growth, e.g. outsourcing, forming a collective, manufacturing, franchising, premises, licensing, etc. Case Studies. Assignment: Prepare a short presentation

Week 2
Students’ introduce their businesses and early plans in under 2 minutes. Different forms of legal status of business Business planning for Growth, new markets/growth markets for profit and risk. Assignment: Clear outline of fees/rates and costing and pricing of products (in draft if student is unsure)

Week 3
Business growth live practical student vision exercise. Joint ventures, associate agrrements, etc. Financial Planning, forecasts, manufacturing/costing and pricing ratios. Assignment: Estimate sales or number of freelance days for profitability.

Week 4
Introduction to manufacturing, sources of support and various rules/regulations, import/export, etc. Making the most of trade fairs and trading online. Assignment: Select a number of fairs to visit in thecoming months, get stand quotes.

Week 5
Interviewing, taking on employees or hiring freelancers, key regulations and employment contracts. Setting up a payroll, Introduction to VAT, & Accountancy software. Relevant tax issues raised. Exercise or Assignment: What could be achieved if they had more people or resources? Assignment: Contact the accountant and book a session if ready.

Week 6
Student presentations of their trading names, logos & styling. (Current or draft) Licensing, IP matters, Trademark and contract law. (This session will be adapted/tailored specially for the group) Assignment: Contact the solicitor and book a session if ready.

Week 7
Student presentations of their current websites and promotional materials, rebrand or brand make-over ideas. Advanced marketing strategies, online showcasing, profie rasing projects, and social media. How to take on premises and other temporary options e.g. pop up shops. Goup discussion/debate Assignment: Students to prepare a presentation on growth strategies.

Week 8
Student presentations about their plans for growth. Depending on the size of the group, student presentations would be between 3 and 8 minutes and then feedback would come back from the tutor and the group. End topic - How to value and sell a business.

Tutor information

Alison Branagan MA IC FRSA’s publications include 'The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers', and 'A Pocket Business Guide for Artists and Designers' both published by A & C Black, 'Making Sense of Business' (A no-nonsense business skills guide for managers and entrepreneurs, published by Kogan-Page). For more information and to view over one hundred student testimonials go to and


Please bring the following materials to the first session:

  • Pen and paper

Details for booking

DateDay of WeekTimeDurationCostStatusLocationAction
11/01/2017 - 01/03/2017Wednesday18:30 - 20:008 Weeks£520Available Online Add to Basket