Determining your strengths and weaknesses is a key step in creating your business and marketing plans
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.
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:
A basic part creating your business and marketing plan is conducting what is called a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. SWOT analysis is a staple in most business programs but I bet you didn’t hear much about it in art school. The first part of conducting a SWOT analysis is doing an inventory of you or your firm’s business strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths are areas which you can capitalize on, they help identify your competitive advantages and provide ideas on how to market your brand. Weaknesses are areas on which you need to improve and they may be a hindrance to your success and growth – either fix your weaknesses or figure out some way to get around them. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses in order to develop effective strategies for your business. Continue reading →