Look for opportunities to grow your art business but don’t forget to to avoid the rocks (threats)…
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!
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:
___ Cool Study - To turn the pages move cursor to upper corners.
As was mentioned in the first part of this article Business Plan Basics SWOT (Part I) – Strengths & Weaknesses, a basic part creating your business and marketing plan is conducting what is called a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. The second part of conducting a SWOT analysis is doing an inventory of the opportunities and threats facing your creative business.
As we did with analyzing Strengths and Weaknesses the first place to start by taking a piece of paper and draw a vertical line so you have two columns – one labeled Opportunities and the other labeled Threats, you can take it even further by adding a third column labeled Neither or Neutral.
When we looked at our strengths and weaknesses we were analyzing factors that were internal to our creative business – opportunities and threats are factors that are external to our business. Typically these are called “environmental” factors – not necessarily the green kind but this type is becoming increasingly important.
Why do I need to look at Opportunities and Threats?