Four Ways Small Business Owners Can Reignite their Creativity

Adobe Creative Cloud Express makes it easy to create compelling content

THE pandemic has changed the way small business owners run their operations and engage with customers, according to a recent survey by American multinational computer software company Adobe.

The majority of the respondents, some 87% of small business owners, had to get creative with their business to survive the pandemic.

However, 74% acknowledge that they are facing major hindrances to their creativity right now, while 63% plan to keep the changes they have made moving forward.

The results are based on the survey of 3,500 small business owners spanning across five global markets.

While some are experiencing creativity fatigue, here is a list of ways to reignite the creative spark to boost business:

1. Adopt a digital-first mindset

For many small businesses, the move from physical to virtual in a short stretch was a tough transition last year.

After more than a year of going digital-first, 55% of small business owners say their online presence is more important to their success than brick-and-mortar.

Online sales are the new normal, and small business owners are at the forefront of redefining the digital marketplace.

The dream of “opening up shop” looks different now as most storefronts are virtual, but both share the same struggles when it comes to creativity.

82% know that creative design will help them stand out and drive business, but 45% cite that they don’t have the time nor proper tools or software to bring their ideas to life.

Tools like the new Creative Cloud Express are designed with small business owners, solopreneurs and side-hustlers in mind.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express gives entrepreneurs the power to create compelling and distinctive visual content including graphics, flyers, menus, videos and animations in just a few taps, and the starter plan is free to use.

2. Take a break

Sometimes the only way to get the creative juices flowing is to take some time away from the business.

While this seems counter-intuitive, 48% of small business owners say they find creative inspiration while scrolling through social media, 40% while reading, and 39% in enjoying the great outdoors.

Meanwhile, 86% even say they get inspired, not discouraged, when they see others in their industry doing well online.

3. Hone social media skills

As small business owners increasingly turn to social media for inspiration, they also know that keeping up with the myriad of platforms and algorithms can be challenging.

59% of the respondents say that improving their social media skills would be the most impactful thing they can do for their business, including 64% of Gen Z and millennials.

On average, those who use digital marketing say they spend some nine hours a week thinking creatively about their business, and it’s critical for them to use that precious time resource to its fullest.

Sharp social skills are a must-have with brick-and-mortar becoming less relevant, while small business owners get a lot out of their time spent online. 42% say that the most time-consuming aspect of digital and social media is posting and managing their social media channels.

Once they’ve landed on branding, tools like Creative Cloud Express make it simple to create templates to reuse, so it’s easy to produce consistent content without having to recreate every project from scratch – saving time and money, and making designing beautiful content intuitive, fun and easy.

And to keep small businesses super-productive, Creative Cloud Express also helps streamline the back-office processes with features powered by Adobe Acrobat – transforming tedious paper-based tasks into fully digital workflows with easy drag-and-drop PDF conversions.

4. Focus on engagement

Every small business owner, whether he will admit it or not, has dreams of going viral online.

Seeing orders, likes and followers pour in after a post happens to catch fire can be considered the “holy grail” for some.

By pouring a ton of creative energy into chasing a viral moment, the pressure can be really detrimental to the overall social strategy and it can actually backfire.

By thinking about social media as the new version of a brick-and-mortar store, small business owners are finding that their customers can serve as a significant source of inspiration and creativity.

Some 39% say that their customers provide the most inspiration for how they market their business, coming in just after social media.

Interacting with customers and building a community is the key reason most are heading online, and 69% value customer engagement most when evaluating their online presence.

Inspiration can strike anywhere but it can be tough to harness, especially when already feeling tapped out or strapped for resources.

It’s vital for small business owners to celebrate that they’ve made it to where they are given these incredible circumstances, and take the next steps to relight their creative flame.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud Express here.

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