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
One of your goals for the New Year should include a little reflection on what you are good at as well as those areas that need improvement. You strengths help you stand out among the competition and have a lot to do with the overall success of your art business. Knowing your strengths allows you to do what you do best and provides the backdrop for your marketing and sales efforts. In business terms – you capitalize on your strengths and manage your weaknesses. Just think about the things that you are really good at and how you can leverage them in the coming year.
Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses is a basic business technique taught in every business school. The concept is simple: you gain market advantage by leveraging your strengths while you work to correct or minimize your weaknesses. Luckily you don’t need to go to business school to get started – all it takes is a piece of paper and a pencil and then making a list of your art business’s strengths and weaknesses.
Now is a great time to think about all of the opportunities you could discover and take advantage of in the coming year. This year make it a point to find new opportunities for you as an artist and for your art business as well.
Knowing what your opportunities are gives your art business a solid sense of direction and a basis to develop your strategies. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes and you need to look for them because they may not be looking for you. Examples of opportunities could be new places and venues to show and sell your work, a better way to produce your art, market trends, or a better ways to run your business. If you think about it there are probably quite a few opportunities you should be looking at right now!
One of your goals this year (and for every year as well) should be to come up with ideas and make changes that will help you become more productive and efficient. You have heard the old saying “Time is money”, this applies to your art business as well. You may not think of creating your art as “production” or your finished art being a “product” but they are! Whether you create original pieces, limited editions or mass produce your art you need to be concerned about being productive and efficient in your art business.
Successful businesspeople know that any business or organization can reduce its costs without sacrificing quality or hampering the amount of work done (only to a point!). This goes for your art business as well. These costs may take the form of labor hours, materials used or technologies employed. There are probably some areas of your art business where you can reduce costs – what can you can come up with?
Being productive and efficient means:
Ok, every business needs a budget – your art or creative business is no different. A budget for your business is sometimes called a cash flow budget or cash flow projection. Typically a cash flow budget covers a 12 month period and is updated over time. The concept is simple – you itemize your anticipated expenses by month and subtract them from the funds which come into your art business from sources such sales or cash injections like loans.
If you have money left over at the end of the month you can apply these funds to future monthly expenses. If you have a deficit at the end of the month you will need to come up with additional funds or possibly defer some expenses to a later date. Budgeting for your art business is really no different than having a budget for your home.
Most every product and many services are presented to the buyer with some form of packaging – this packaging could be very elaborate or as minimal as a tag. Manufacturers of consumer packaged goods (CPG’s) have known for years that a effective package may mean the difference between making a sale or losing it to their competitors as well as the price(profit) they receive from the sale. Selling art is no different and you can benefit from effective packaging.
Some time ago I was talking to a successful ceramic artist about how he packaged and delivered his work to his customers. Typically his works were quite large, expensive and sold to upscale / well to-do customers.