Things to consider when managing a space for your creative business in Scotland
Making your original plan fit
As the space begins to be used, the actual activity will now inform best ways to proceed – so you now need to be prepared to re-examine your business plan and aligned operational structure to be fit for purpose and to respond to unforeseen challenges. At this stage you will also need to ensure that formal day to day operational structures are put into place and led by specific individuals. These should include: building management, business planning, staff and volunteer management, maintenance and repairs planning, risk assessments and safety planning. To ensure the operation of the building runs smoothly, regular management meetings should be held to review the space’s operation – ensure that there is good communication between all areas of the functioning project.
Sources of income
Your business plan should outline your initial financial model for the first 5 years of business – you should now regularly review the first year plan as you begin to operate to understand and adjust actual running costs. Ensure that you have basic financial training and access to a qualified accountant to ensure that you control the project finances effectively.
Programme of activity
Aligned with the other building operations you should also have a staff member who manages the activities programme and a staff member who administers your studio tenants – this may be the same person, depending on the size of operation. All activities and workshops should be guided through an agreed code of practice and education plan, for both staff and participants – written contracts and specific procedures should be created in all areas. All studio tenants should also have a code of practice and a formal lease agreement, clearly outlining the agreement of responsibilities of all participants. It is vital, at the outset of any activity in the space, that clear supporting communication (both written and verbal) is available for all staff, tenants and visitors. Depending on the type of activities that you are undertaking you may at this stage also need to secure licensing permission from your local authority as set out through the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 – consider Premises Licence, Occasional Licence and Public Entertainments Licence.
Marketing and communication
You will now need to formally consider how you will develop your network and communicate to your cultural community. There are many guides available that detail best methodologies – ensure that you consider and cover the 7Ps of marketing: product, place, price, promotion, people, process and physical environment. Aligned with other building operations you should have a staff member who leads the communications strategy, develops the website and manages all social media to create a coherent identity for the project. This strategy should link with clear accreditation to sponsors and supporters in all communication and link with the activity and studio programme through advertising, public relations and online ticketing.