Top five barriers to creativity in business

Creativity in business can come in many forms. From fresh content production to dynamic problem solving – allowing your ideas and innovations to materialise is such an important part of growing a successful business.

Whether its time or money or team dynamics or a global pandemic, barriers to creativity in business can come from all sides. If you’ve got too many ideas and no time to make any of them a reality or if you and your teammates keep hitting creative walls – there are several things that could be holding you back from your creative potential.

Luckily, support and free resources are out there to help you get creative and the first step to knowing what solutions you need is figuring out what’s getting in your way. Below are our top five barriers to creativity in business to get you started.

1 – Making time to be creative

Pressure to deliver immediate results can really hinder your creative flow, especially when time is money and budgets are tight. This can force you to think only about short-term issues and make you lose sight of the bigger picture. It can also make you feel like you’ve not got the time to execute all of your incredible ideas – something that’s very frustrating.

Thinking about how you manage your time can free up space and give you the freedom to do some things differently. Taking a step back and really considering where you can save time on things like business admin can make you notice all the places where you could be more efficient – a great opportunity to make some creative decisions to help improve your time management.

Making a strategic business plan that involves efficient time management and allows for flexibility and innovation can be incredibly beneficial. You can get access to free mentorship that will help you plan creatively for your business and give you space to think outside the box. Managing your time better can help reduce the pressure and give you the chance to deliver some of those great ideas you’ve been sitting on.

2 – Financial barriers

Finance and funding can be something that people feel hinders their freedom to be creative in their business. The limitations brought about by strict budgets doesn’t always let you make the decisions you want to, and this can really put a dampener on your creativity.

The good news is that financial help is out there with funding options available to new businesses. With some strategic planning, you can overcome your financial obstacles with a business loan or funding schemes and give yourself the time and resources to be creative in ways that benefit your business.

Funding might be an ongoing concern for you as a small business, but the need for thrifty business planning can make you more innovative in the long run. Thinking outside the box for creative cost-saving ideas can help your business be more efficient, more adaptable, and a better environment for new ideas to thrive.

3 – Leadership and Management

You may find that a barrier for your team is how successfully your leadership and management styles foster an environment for creativity. People need to feel confident in their ideas and that they’ll be well received in order to be willing to share them with you. So, a key part of your business strategy should be providing a space where your team feel free to express themselves creatively.

It can be hard to resist the urge to micromanage your team, especially when you run a small, new business where the stakes are high. Learning to delegate and let go can help build the trust within a team that allows everyone to be more innovative and creative. The fear that their ideas are going to be rejected and that they’re not in a position to make any meaningful changes can negatively impact your staff’s attitude towards creativity (and your business as a whole!)

Thinking about how you manage your team remotely is also an important thing to consider, as working from home is becoming an increasingly popular choice for workers here in the UK. This poses its own challenge when you’re trying to help your team think creatively. The good news is that the flexibility afforded by remote working can also be good for the mental wellbeing of your staff – and this can give them the headspace they need to get creative.

4 – Team morale

One silver lining to emerge from the pandemic is that people are becoming far more aware of the impact of work on their mental health and vice versa. As mentioned above, remote working can give people greater flexibility in their day-to-day life which can have a positive impact on their work life and their creativity.

Though it can still pose its challenges and it is still important to keep on top of your mental health while working at home. After all, it can be hard to think outside the box and explore your creativity when you’re stressed or feeling isolated. Remote working also puts pressure on leadership; communicating affirmation and praise for your teammates can be so beneficial for their morale.

By giving your staff access practical self-care tools, you help your team develop a better relationship with themselves and – by extension – their teammates. Providing workplace support to your team to help boost morale will enable you to build a happier workforce full of confident and creative people, all ready to share their ideas with one another.

5 – External factors (like a global pandemic!)

Speaking of the global pandemic – there are always going to be things that you can’t plan for, things that can really put a spanner in the works! Thinking about how you’re going to carry on when everything around you is up in the air can be a challenge, especially for your creativity! But don’t forget that disaster both impedes and necessitates business innovation.

You might be thinking that now seems like the worst time to get creative and try something new. You’re not alone! The pandemic created a state of flux with people being made redundant left, right, and centre, and businesses being forced to close their doors. But many people have also seen this as an opportunity to try something new; like Steve Harberston of York who started a new business during the lockdown.

As the pressure of the pandemic begins to abate, it’s time to take a step back and have a look at your business – now is the perfect time to think about what you did well and what you can do better. Making a disaster recovery plan can help take the pressure off the logistics so you to give you and your team the freedom to think creatively.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub for the help and support to break down those barriers to creativity in your business.