Harnessing creativity as a small business owner or solopreneur

By Henry Brown

As a small business owner or solopreneur you often don’t have the luxury of working within a large team where ideas can be bounced around to find creative solutions. It’s often just you within the office environment for long periods of time. Unless you are a highly creative individual it is really important to create inspiration by meeting up with colleagues on a regular basis and by creating an office environment conducive to promoting creativity.

Why is creativity so important in the workplace?

Creative thought processes are what drives innovation. Creativity moves ideas forward, encourages solutions to complex problems to be developed and keeps a business “current” within a fast paced marketplace. Consumers are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative products and services; this is why it is so important to harness creativity within your business. Try to keep your “finger on the pulse” as to what your target market is looking for and develop your products and services to meet current demand. A business that doesn’t adopt creative processes is at risk of becoming stagnant and ultimately unviable.

This is challenging for a small business owner or solopreneur as creativity is enhanced by working within a team environment that provides brainstorming sessions with plenty of input. There are ways of encouraging creativity and this article aims to highlight some of them. Read on for creative inspiration.

Office/workplace environment

As a small business owner, your workspace may be your kitchen table, home office or perhaps you have the luxury of private offices for rent. Wherever it is situated, it needs to be designed to enhance the creative process. It is unlikely that you will find much inspiration from a desk facing a blank wall or a desk covered in clutter. Careful consideration should be given to the position of your desk. A desk near a window will provide inspiration as well as plenty of natural light. A window will encourage your mind to be creative, rather than distract.

The decor

Much research has been undertaken around the psychology of color. Color evokes emotional responses in people. Green is the color that is most often associated with creativity. Green also induces a sense of calmness and productivity. Actors and performers often spend time in the “green room” prior to going on stage, as it is thought the color lowers nerves. Try to adopt an element of greenery into your office space. A painted wall, green feature wall or, even better, plants will all suffice.

Inspiration board

Designate an area of wall space where you can situate an inspiration board. An inspiration board will allow you to place images, text and materials relating to a particular project you are working on. Think Pinterest, but in a physical sense. Inspiration boards are great for brainstorming; they are a place where you can pin or write anything, no matter how silly it seems. Creativity is a process, and it is usually best travelled in a haphazard way, rather than organized. Inspiration boards are also fun to complete.

Bring the outside in

Spending time in the great outdoors and experiencing the elements enhances the creativity process. Try to incorporate aspects of the natural world within your workspace, even if it is just a group of house plants, vase of flowers or a collection of pebbles from the beach. An aquarium is also an excellent source of inspiration and can also promote a feeling of calm.


Try to incorporate time in your busy schedule to meet people. Conversing with others stimulates thought processes and creates ideas. Try to get together with colleagues within your business sector to gain insight and ideas. Even a quick coffee with a friend can stimulate thought, especially if they are happy to discuss aspects of your business with you.

Take time to chat and converse with your target audience; this will ensure you stay connected with what they want from your products and opinions. You will be able to seek opinions so your business can be constantly adapted to their requirements.

Pursue a creative hobby

Indulging in a creative hobby enhances the skill of creativity on a day-to-day basis. Creative pursuits give you the freedom to express yourself in art, crafts and music. The skills acquired are transferable to creating solutions to problems in the workplace. Music can be inspirational and there are many playlists designed to promote creativity and productivity. Music helps you to zone out and takes you on a journey of thought processes. A working environment that is silent 100% of the time lacks inspiration.

Take a break

We’ve all suffered those moments when we simply can’t work out a solution. A blank page waiting to be filled with life-changing information can be a daunting prospect. Writers often suffer with this phenomena and they even have a term for it: “writer’s block”! The only way to move forward in this situation is to simply take a break and return to it later. If you try too hard, the work you produce is likely to be mediocre at best. You need to rest your mind, get out of the office and do something you love or find inspiring. Even a walk around the block may suffice. A change of scenery, the great outdoors and being around other people will do wonders to enhance your thought processes.


We can all get “stuck in a rut” when it comes to our work routines; we tread the familiar path without taking risks. To be truly creative it’s important to “shake things up” once in awhile, imagine how dull life would be if you visited the same coffee shop, at the same time, ordering the same item for the remainder of your days! Similarly, if your work routine is predictable and boring, it won’t be inspirational and the creative process will be dampened somewhat. Try turning your services or products on their head by making changes. Even if you don’t adopt the adaptations fully, more feasible ideas may be created.

Don’t undervalue the importance of harnessing creativity as a business owner; it may be the key to business success!


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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