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Welcome To Creatives and Business LLC

Creatives and Business LLC is about helping artists and other creative professionals run and market their business more effectively. Whether you are just starting out or have an established art business we have the tools and resources to help you become more successful.

We cover art marketing and business from A to Z so you don’t have to hunt for the information you need. If you don’t have time to go to business school then Creatives and Business LLC is for you. Some of the resources you will find here include:

  • Articles That Make You Think and Show You How
  • Online Learning and Webinars to Learn Even More about Marketing and Popular Software Tools
  • The Book
  • Consulting and Training
  • And a whole lot more…

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Intellectual Property For Artists And Creative Entrepreneurs: Creative Commons

Image of scribe copying a manuscript

Creative Commons Licenses give you flexibility in choosing how you want your works to be shared, modified or remixed, and the type of use allowed.

The Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2001 as a way to help you modify the terms of your copyright with a global license. The organization is known for being a leading player in what has become to be known as the “copyleft” movement.  This movement seeks to provide alternatives to the “all rights reserved” copyright license by adding the ability to easily present a “some rights reserved” type of license.  You keep your copyright but can change the rights you grant from none to all, commercial or non commercial, allow derivative works or not and set a level of attribution.

Generally your work is protected by copyright from the time it is created in a fixed form and becomes the property of the author who created the work. A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed. More than likely your works are already protected by copyright laws.

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Financial Advisors For Artists – Who’s On Your Team?

Painting of accountant

Every art business needs good advisors and this starts with your accountant!

The people you surround yourself with play an important part in the overall success of your art business.  The accounting and finance world can be complex and is ever changing so it is important that you get good advice in running your business.  As your business grows, so may your needs for additional or different kinds of financial advisors.  You may need financial advisors for different purposes and in many cases it may make sense to use a specialist.  It is highly doubtful that a good bookkeeper or even CPA can fill all of your needs.

You need to make sure that you have access to and consult financial advisors as you need them.  Whomever you choose to help you with your accounting and finance needs, make sure that there is a high level of trust!  A good financial advisor will explain things to you and help you understand but remember, understanding of what you are getting into is up to YOU.

Types of financial advisors you might need

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Mission Statements for Artists

Image of ancient inscriptions on a gold plaque

While you probably don’t need to carve your mission statement in gold, it’s a good idea to write it down and post it someplace where you will be reminded of why your art business exists

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

Your Competitive Advantages Or Your “Secret Sauce”

College football competiton

Success in business is a lot like sports when it comes to competitive advantages

Competitive advantages are the things that allow a company or organization to outperform its competitors in the marketplace of products, services and even ideas. These advantages can take on many forms from brick and mortar facilities to more intangible things like an organization’s reputation and customer base.

Your competitive advantage may touch all aspects of your art business from creating your art to billing the customer. There are a lot of things that go into competitive advantage and it is well worth the time to determine the competitive advantages for your art business. Think of your competitive advantages as your “secret sauce”!

Competitive advantages are not permanent. The business and competitive environment is always changing and it appears that the speed with which things change is becoming more rapid. With the internet and an age of instant information it doesn’t take too long for competitors to see what each other are up to and change their game accordingly.

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Sales Taxes & Compliance For Artists

After_Reymerswaele_Tax_collectors_in_their_office

Tax collectors have been around for a long time and even the subject of art!

When working with students or people just starting an art business, I ask the question of how many of them have made a sale. Usually several hands are raised. I then ask them how many of them have a sales tax license and the number of raised hands is usually less. Just like any business, your art or creative business has to be in compliance with your local and state taxing authorities.

Sales and use tax compliance may get complicated especially if you sell your products or services outside of your local area. Many taxing jurisdictions require you to collect taxes on the sales of products and/or services. To make matters more complicated many taxing authorities want to tax the sales you make on the Internet as well. One thing is for certain: as local and state authorities struggle to balance their budgets and pay for services they are going to be looking for additional sources of revenue including the sales tax on your art or creative business.

The basics

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