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
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.
The role of management in your art business
One thing most successful businesses have in common is that have a mission that defines why they exist, what they hope to accomplish and how they interact with the world around them. For many companies this mission is distilled down into a statement or series of statements that describes their mission. Many companies have a formal mission statement which they use to guide their overall actions. For other companies their mission statement may be informal and for far too many companies they don’t have a mission statement at all – probably not a great choice!
Creating a mission statement for your art or creative business is one of the most important and perhaps most difficult tasks in developing your business plan. In a sentence or two you describe why your business exists, what you sell and to whom, and should include a bit of your “secret sauce.” In short, your mission statement is what gets you up in the morning! Your mission statement should guide your strategies and everyday actions so that you can achieve your art business goals. Continue reading