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Magic Numbers: What the Creative Sector is Worth, And What You’re Worth to It 

As I’ve said before, at Glaisyers ETL we’re looking to build a team that’s rooted in the sector we’re looking to serve. Law firms don’t tend to do too well when looking to engage with the creative industries, so I’ve always tried to sell our service to clients using terms they understand as part of a business plan that has previously been too long and supported by actual validated numbers.

If you’re looking for an overview of the worth of the Creative Sector to the UK Economy, then the DCMS and Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre figures are a good place to start, especially if you happen to be an incoming government looking to support one of the jewels in our crown on the international stage:

  • 2,419,000 jobs were filled in the Creative Industries during 2023, with 23,000 net new jobs filled between January and December;
  • 9.7% of the 3.7 million registered businesses in the UK were part of the Creative Industries – 265,420 in total;
  • The Creative Industries contributed £124 Billion to the UK Economy in 2022, making up around 8% of UK GVA, 12% more than before the COVID19 Pandemic and 50% more than in 2010 – by 2025 this could be £132 Billion;
  • The Creative Industries grew more than twice as fast as the UK Economy as a whole in 2022. 

As they often do, numbers tend to create more questions than answers – what do these numbers mean to you, and do they reflect where you are as a business? Are you hiring more staff, and are they easy to find? Are you scaling as fast as you want or need to? How healthy is your bottom line? How can lawyers help you get to where you want and need to be?

If you’re scaling, then you may be working with Freelancers (who make up around 31% of the Creative Industries). If so, you’ll need to have terms in place with them to avoid being able to make the fullest use of what they create for you and control related risks. Just because you pay for work to be done doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily own the IP in deliverables, which clients will usually expect to own outright. An agreement doesn’t need to be lengthy or complex, but it does need to be at the heart of your relationship when outsourcing, whether you’re dealing with an individual or even a smaller competitor.

Your business may look very different now than when you started out. Are the founders all still on the same page, and if so, is it worth putting the right kinds of processes and documents in place to make changes easier to deal with? Is it time to think about how best to incentivize your senior team and other staff through share options, EMI schemes, bonuses or an employee ownership trust?

Is it time to look for external funding, an acquisition or a sale? If so, what work can you do to get yourself ready and what kind of deal do you want or need? Do your client contracts still work and, if not, can you renegotiate or look to introduce your own where you’ve usually signed what you’ve been given?

What about your policies and procedures? Are you working towards GDPR compliance? Can you demonstrate that you own the IP you generate? Are your employment contracts and handbook still fit for purpose?

And what about you? You may be looking after your team and your business, but who’s looking after your family? Estate Planning isn’t exclusively for the rich and famous, and it may make you both one day.  

Numbers don’t mean much until you dig into the information, businesses and people behind them, and there’s no better time to start thinking about the figures that are important to you. With the right advice, hitting them may be easier than you think and we’d love to talk to you about how we can help you do so.

To find out more about our Creative, Digital & Marketing team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Steve Kuncewicz at

Steve Kuncewicz

Author Steve Kuncewicz

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