Tag Archives: Business Startup

Don’t Forget the Little Things – Like Business Cards!

The Introduction

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.


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Art Business Startup Checklist

Art Business Startup Checklist

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:

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Coming Soon – New Book on Business and Marketing for Artists

Update: You can order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iTunes

I am putting the finishing touches on a new workbook “The Artist’s Business & Marketing ToolBox” to help artists and other creative professionals learn the basics of starting and running a successful art business. The book covers the “nuts and bolts” of starting and running a business with a huge emphasis on marketing your art. Some of the topics covered in the 360 page workbook include:

Identify market opportunities and threats

Develop a competitive edge in the marketplace

Create a brand image to propel your art business

Build a marketing plan that is tailored to your business

  • Sell more to existing customers and find new ones
  • How to develop an effective web presence
  • Using social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to expand your market reach
  • Public Relations to get the word out about you and your art
  • How to advertise effectively
  • Using promotions to build your business
  • Distribution alternatives for your art
  • Networking
  • Pricing your art
  • Using Direct Marketing
  • Creating a great gallery experience

Understand the World of Finance and Accounting

  • Finance and accounting basics
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Choosing an accounting system
  • Financing your art business
  • Developing a cash flow budget for your business

Managing and Organizing Your Business

  • Choosing the best type organization (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC)
  • Choosing a business name
  • Protecting your intellectual property
  • Managing people

Producing Your Art

  • How to be more productive
  • Developing a Creative Plan of Action
  • Manage your inventory

Develop a Visual Business & Marketing Plan

  • Easy to use forms guide you through the business and marketing plan process
  • An easy to read and understand business and marketing plan
  • Share your plan with your employees, investors and other interested parties
  • Plan is presented as a PowerPoint template which you complete with the information gathered from the included worksheets and forms.
  • A cash flow budget spreadsheet is included to make the budgeting process easier.

The book will be available for purchase Fall 2011 as an electronic download (PDF) from http://creativesandbusiness.com and will be compatible with PC’s, laptops, tablets, and most readers. The download will also include the Visual Business and Marketing Plan and Cash Flow Budget templates.

About the Author

Neil McKenzie has over thirty years experience as a marketing consultant and corporate marketing executive. He has developed and currently teaches the course Artrepreneurship at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State College Denver. Neil was also a founding faculty member of the Regis University MBA program in the late 1970’s.

Neil is a columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine where he writes a column on Colorado’s Creative Economy and business tools and techniques for creative professionals. He is a frequent speaker and presenter on business and the arts to arts, business and educational audiences. When Neil isn’t working to grow the creative sector is he a commercial photographer specializing in business and personal brand photography by combining his marketing moxie with his skill behind a camera.

Financing for artists – An Introduction

Every art business needs money to operate and grow and yours is no exception. 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.

Why you may need financing

There are many reasons why you may need to finance your business. You may need extra capital for a short time or your need for financing may last many years. A few examples are:

  • Purchase a new studio or building
  • Purchase new equipment or supplies
  • Fund living and travel expenses for a new project
  • Pay back high interest loans
  • Provide working capital for operations such as marketing, rent, employee expenses, etc.

The Two Major Types of Financing

There are many ways to look at business financing and one of the basic ways is to categorize financing into two groups: Your Money, and Other People’s Money (OPM). Most every business starts with using the owner’ or founder’s financial resources. As the business grows and this may be sufficient but for many businesses outside capital is needed.

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