Think of your business card as more than something you leave behind after meeting someone. Make it an extension of your brand and your story
You need a good business card and I put emphasis on “Good”! I have met many artisans in casual situations and even at art fairs who don’t have a business card. Not only do they miss out on future sales they are not giving their brand a professional image that says, “I mean business!”. Here are some ideas and tips on putting your business card to work for you.
Your art business does not exist in a competitive vacuum! Your customers and prospects have a multitude of choices when it comes to parting with their money. As the world becomes a flatter place (a term coined by Thomas Friedman in his book, The World is Flat) not only will your competition come from your local area but increasingly you will see it from around the globe.
You can thank the internet and trade policies for turning the world into one big marketplace of ideas, products and services. This trend could be viewed as a threat to your business but it could also be viewed as an even larger opportunity.
Today there is no shortage of companies providing any and every product/service and that includes art! In order to stand out in this crowded marketplace it is imperative that you think about your brand experience. A good brand experience will set you apart from the competition and get people talking about you and your art business. A bad brand experience will likely will get you passed by and a really bad brand experience will get people talking about you – and not in a good way!
The business planning process consists of four basic questions
Every business needs a plan including businesses in the arts! A plan will help you organize your business and give it a much better chance to succeed and grow. Many successful artists and galleries have told me that when they started their business they now wish that they had spent more time to create a formal plan. They felt that having a plan would have enabled them to grow faster and make fewer mistakes – take their advice!
Whether you are starting a new art business or have an existing one, make sure that the planning process is a part of your business life. A major benefit of the planning process in addition to the plan itself, is developing a way of thinking about your business and the environment it operates in. You will begin to see things differently and uncover opportunities and threats before others see them
Most people spend more time planning their vacations than they do in planning for their businesses – don’t let this happen to you. Set some time aside for planning in your normal course of work – planning should be a normal part of your work!
The Planning Process
In keeping with the “planning your vacation or trip” theme, planning for your business is quite similar. The planning process is really quite simple and consists of four basic questions. Finding the answers to these questions is a little more complicated and will require some time and effort on your part. The basic questions in the planning process are: