Creatives and Business is all about helping you build a successful art or other creative business. I have put together some great resources on this site to help you sell more art and better manage the business side of things. I invite you to check it out and share with your artist friends. Best of Luck! – Neil McKenzie
Why do I need a business plan?
The main and best reason to develop a business plan is so that you have a blueprint to run and grow your business. Imagine trying to build a house without plan. If you are starting a new art business, a plan will help you organize your thoughts and help you tackle the challenges faced by startup businesses. If your art business is established a plan will help you in building a great team and allow you to focus on your most pressing problems, opportunities and initiatives.
A business plan will also be required if you are seeking some type of financing either from a bank or investors. Your plan will show what you intend to accomplish, how you will do it and how much money will be required. More often than not a business will prepare a plan with the sole purpose of getting financing. Your plan is an important tool in the success of your business and should be much more than a document just to raise money.
One of the most often overlooked benefits of a business plan is that it forces you to think about your business in new ways! The skills you develop in creating a business plan are universal and transferable to businesses of any kind or size. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of preparing a business plan is that you will start to think strategically, look at the big picture and develop a critical way of thinking about your business.
What is a business plan?
Every business needs money to operate and grow and your art business is no exception. It is important that you have a basic understanding of the various ways to finance a business that are available. Most artists start(finance) their businesses with their own or borrowed funds and use the money generated from sales to fund future activities. For some artists these funds are not sufficient to fund their growth plans or other obligations and they need to raise money.
In this article I will explore the common ways to finance a business. You don’t need to go to business school to understand the basics of business financing. Learn the basics and you are well on your way to keeping your art business viable and growing! In a future article I will take a look at other financing methods such as grants, fiscal sponsorship and crowdfunding.
Why you may need financing
Artists and creative professionals live and thrive in a world of projects. Projects can be large or small, last from weeks to even years and involve only the artist or a multitude of people. Whatever your project, you need to be efficient in managing your projects as this will have a big impact on your bottom line.
Most art projects start with some kind of deadline when a work needs to be delivered to a client or to meet a show opening date. Project management will help you identify and schedule all of the steps or activities that need to be accomplished for a project to meet its deadlines. Meeting your deadlines is a key ingredient in your art business brand, so don’t take your commitments lightly. Remember: It is better to under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver!
If you already run an art business or are thinking about starting one then one of the things you will want to get a good grasp of is management. Whether you are a one man show or employ numerous people you are involved in management.
As a business owner you need to be concerned about managing people, money, projects and all of the other business functions like accounting/finance and marketing. Even if you don’t employ others you will need management skills to work with others such as contractors, suppliers and even customers! If you are a business owner your overall success depends on having good management skills.