If you are just starting out or your art business is young make sure you have these things covered
In working with artists and other creative professionals I find that they are in a wide range of phases with regards to their art businesses. Some are just starting to think about starting an art business while others have a more or less fully developed enterprise. Many who are selling their art still need to complete some of the basic steps in forming and running a business. Here is a checklist to help you get some of the basics you will need to move your art business forward and minimize problems down the line.
While these items are necessary for starting your art business they are not a substitute for having a well thought out business and marketing plan. These items will not tell you how to do them or what choices you may need to make. I advise that you dig in deeper to each item and make the right choices and appropriate strategies. A good place to start is The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox by Neil McKenzie. The book is available as a softcover and eBook from major book sellers. There are also many articles on the Creatives and Business LLC website that will help you in starting your art business.
If you just started to sell your art or have a show coming up in the near future here are some things you need to address:
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:
The first few steps in developing a business plan for your art or creative enterprise are to identify your overall direction after careful consideration of you external and internal business environments and capabilities. Before you develop your Goals and Objectives you should have a good feel for your:
Mission / Vision
Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
External Opportunities and Threats
Your Products, Customers, and Markets
The next step in the planning process is to create a framework to accomplish your mission. The process is actually quite simple.