Calling all animators! You've got the creativity and mad skills - from sketching to animating, you can do it all! But what happens when you have to put on your entrepreneur hat? Don't worry, we've got your back. We're here to help you level up your biz game, and make all those nitty-gritty business tasks a piece of cake. Read on to find out how to run your business with these essential business skills every animator should have!
Essential Business Skills: Time Management
Read our blog on Top 7 Time Management Tips for Animators!
One of the essential business skills for any animator is time management. You are likely to be working on multiple projects at once and need to know how to prioritize your time.
You can do this by setting your goals. When you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, it's easier to make decisions about which tasks can wait and which ones need immediate attention.
Prioritize tasks based on their importance versus urgency, then work your way down the list until all of them are done (or at least started).
Learn how not to say "yes" when you mean "no." This will help keep stress levels low while still maintaining good relationships with others around you who depend on your help from time to time! On the flip side: don't always assume that saying "no" means someone won't like or respect you anymore either - sometimes it just takes getting used to saying no once in a while before people start respecting your decisions.
Essential Business Skills: Budgeting
Budgeting is the practice of planning and controlling expenses. It's important for you to know how much money you need to charge for your work, as well as how much it will cost you in equipment, materials, and time. This will help you set appropriate rates for your services and make sure that your business doesn't go under because of an unexpected expense (or two!).
Budgeting also helps you understand what kind of marketing efforts are best suited for your style of animation--for example, if you're working on a short animated film that centers around your own character designs but doesn't require any special effects or complicated sets, then Facebook ads might be a good way to reach fans who already love your work.
However, if your project involves highly detailed props and scenery with lots of moving parts like cars or trains then YouTube might be better suited since it allows viewers up-close access to these complex scenes while still maintaining quality sound/video quality.
Essential Business Skills: Project Management
Project management is an essential skill for you to have. It's a multi-faceted discipline that includes planning, organizing, and controlling a project.
Project management involves setting goals, defining scope and budget, establishing timelines, and keeping yourself or your team on task throughout the duration of the project or projects. You will be required to have good leadership skills as well as communication skills so that you can clearly communicate with all parties involved in your animation studio or freelance business.
Essential Business Skills: Customer Service
Customer Service Call Center GIF by GIPHY
Customer service is an essential part of being an animator. Your audience will be your customers, so you need to know how to interact with them and provide them with the best service possible.
Another essential business skill is understanding your audience: Before jumping into customer service, you'll want to make sure that you understand who your audience is and what they want from their experience with your product or brand.
This means knowing what kind of content they consume regularly, where they go online (and why), how old they are, and how much money they spend on things like animation services or software subscriptions--so that when someone reaches out with questions or concerns about their experience with your company (or if there's anything else going wrong), then it isn't difficult for either party involved in resolving those issues because both parties already know each other well enough beforehand!
Essential Business Skills: Communication Skills
Read our blog on Animation Communication - Communicating Your Value & Ideas!
If you want to succeed in animation, it's important for you to develop your communication skills. Your ability to communicate clearly and effectively will help you get what you want from others--and avoid misunderstandings.
You'll also need to learn how to listen effectively so that other people feel heard by their colleagues, clients, and managers alike.
It's also important for animators who want their ideas heard at work (and anywhere else) not only to know how best to respond when given feedback but also to ask questions when they don't understand something or need clarification on something said previously by another person involved.
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Essential Business Skills: Managing Money
Learn to make a budget. If you're not sure how much money you should be saving, start by creating a budget and then tracking your spending habits for a few months. Once you have an idea of which expenses are fixed and which ones are variable, it will be easier to calculate what percentage of your income should go toward each category.
Make sure that at least 10% of your monthly income goes toward savings or investments. This is the minimum amount recommended by financial experts; however, if possible try saving more than 20%!
If this seems like too much right now and would mean cutting back on other expenses such as food or entertainment then consider setting aside some money every week instead of once per month so that it doesn't feel like such an additional burden on top of all those other things happening in life right now.
Essential Business Skills: Networking
Read our blog on Guide to Animation Business Networking for Animators!
Networking is an important skill for any professional to have. It's a valuable way to connect with people and build relationships, which can lead to opportunities for work, clients, and more. At its core, networking is about making connections--and this can happen in person or online.
In the animation industry, networking has many uses:
You might meet someone who knows someone else who would be interested in hiring you as an animator or artist (or even just collaborating).
Someone might know a company that needs help with their website design or marketing strategy--and they may be willing to pay you for it!
You'll find out about new jobs before they're posted anywhere else; this means less competition when applying for them!
Essential Business Skills: Negotiation skills
Negotiation skills are essential for any animator who wants to move up the ladder. It's important that you know how to negotiate with your clients and employers, and also how to negotiate with other animators in order to get what you want out of a project or job.
Negotiating is all about finding common ground between two parties who have opposing views on an issue. In order for this process to work well, both sides need some information about each other's position on whatever item they're discussing--whether it be money or time spent working on an animation project--and then come up with some sort of compromise that satisfies both sides without completely giving up their original position (i.e., "I want X amount per hour" vs "I'm willing to take Y amount per hour").
Essential Business Skills: Problem-Solving
You must possess the ability to solve problems. It entails recognizing issues and resolving them. In business, problem-solving is crucial because it enables you to keep your organization functioning efficiently so that it can provide jobs for people and generate profits for shareholders.
Asking questions, making decisions, and acting are all parts of problem-solving. For instance, if someone has an idea for an animation but is unsure about how much it would cost or how long it will take to make, they could speak with their supervisor before beginning work on the animation project to get this information.
Use These Essential Business Skills To Be A Successful Animator
If you want to become a successful animator, these are the skills that will help get you there. Getting better at these business-related abilities is one of the best things you can do for your career.
They're also useful in everyday life and will be helpful when applying for jobs or internships, so even if your primary goal isn't to become an entrepreneur (or even if it is), learning these skills will serve as an invaluable foundation on which to build all other aspects of your future career and life.
In conclusion, it's important to note that not all animators need every skill listed here. Some may be more focused on drawing and animation than others do, while others might focus more on the business aspects of their job. But if you want to become a successful animator who can keep up with today's changing industry, then these are the essential skills that will help guide your career forward!
For more information about essential business skills, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!