As an artist, having a business plan is essential for success. A good business plan can provide the necessary resources and guidance to identify your goals, develop strategies to reach them, allocate resources accordingly, and track progress regularly.
Your business plan must be professional-looking, comprehensive in information, current on market trends, realistic in objectives and expectations—and of course, tailored specifically to you as an individual artist.
Crafting such a document can seem daunting at first, but when broken down into manageable steps with the right tips along the way, it’s easier than you might think.
In this blog post, we’ll outline how to create an effective artist business plan that meets all of these requirements while helping you take charge of your artistic career.
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Business Plans For Artists
A business plan is one of the most critical tasks for an artist as it allows them to visualize their goals and develop a strategy to achieve them. A business plan is an executive summary that encapsulates the resources, objectives, risks, and opportunities associated with an artist’s work.
It typically outlines actions that need to be taken to reach the desired outcomes and guides their professional choices. Artists can use their business plans to stay focused on their objectives, identify potential obstacles and develop appropriate solutions. With a thoughtfully crafted plan, artists can minimize threats and maximize success while better navigating uncertain waters and remaining prepared for any changes in the industry.
Bottom line: having a thoughtful business plan makes it easier for artists to take charge of their creative business instead of letting random events decide their fate.
An art business is much more than just creating artwork to sell. It takes hard work, dedication, and planning to sell art steadily.
Once you have decided to start selling your art, you have crossed the line from being a hobbyist to becoming a professional artist.
You are no longer creating art just for pleasure. You are creating art to generate income. You will no longer spend your time and money on art supplies to create art that you will give away for free. Your goal will be to make a profit and an honest hourly wage.
Before developing your art business plan, you will need to answer a few questions.
- Do you want to make extra income from your fine art to help supplement your entertainment expenses?
- Do you want to make a career from your art?
- Are you willing to do other activities such as teaching, tutoring, or commissioned work relating to art to supplement your income?
- Do you have a steady income now to help supplement your income while building your business?
- Do you have a support group? (People around you that will support your vision and goals)
Art Marketing Strategy
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of the business’s products or services. (Source: Investopedia)
You will focus on your strategy when you write different action steps. The action steps are strategic tactics you will implement daily to guide you toward your business goals.
Decide on your primary objectives and where you would like to be in a year from now, five years from now, and ten years from now.
Your objectives could be as simple as selling your art online. Or it could be hosting an art show in your local area.
It does not matter if you want to start a digital art business or are trying to write an acceptable art photography business plan. A clear vision of your objectives is essential for starting a business as an artist.
To learn more about writing achievable goals, visit:
- How To Write Art Business Goals How To Succeed
- How To Set Art Goals You Can Achieve
- How To Review Your Goals And Sell More Art Next Year
Tactics are the strategies you execute. They will be decisions you make, such as what platform you use to sell your art, pricing, stores, galleries, craft shows, agents, social media networks, studio, and overhead costs.
The tactics or ideas you implement should reflect your strategy and complement your objectives.
For example, if you are selling art online, you will need a platform where people can view and purchase your artwork.
Your tactic will be to build or have someone build a website where buyers can see and purchase your artwork.
The following steps will be to upload your art on your website, set the prices, promote your website on social media platforms, and drive traffic to your art listings.
To learn more about driving traffic to your artist’s website, visit How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Art Gallery.
Milestones art like goals but are used more for inspiration and motivation.
Write down some measurable milestones you would like to accomplish.
Start with small milestones—something you can accomplish in a relatively short amount of time but benefit your art business.
For example, it might be selling your first painting. Or maybe it will be to collect 100 emails for your email list. How about your first YouTube video or your first blog post?
Write them all down. When you accomplish something, check off the day it was completed and set a new milestone.
Creating milestones will help you to stay focused on what is essential at the time.
Achieving a milestone will motivate you to work as hard to accomplish the next milestone so you can build a successful art career.
Many artists fear writing a sales forecast simply because they do not know what it is.
TrackMaven describes sales forecasting as:
“Sales forecasting is the process of estimating future sales. Accurate sales forecasts enable companies to make informed business decisions and predict short-term and long-term performance. Sales forecasting gives insight into how a company should manage its workforce, cash flow, and resources.”
All you have to do is predict how much money you will make in a year or broken down into quarters.
This information will significantly benefit your planning. You will know whether the strategies you are implementing are on target. You will be able to make adjustments promptly and be more focused on what matters—making money.
Think of it as your monthly budget. You know how much your bills will cost you monthly and how much income you will generate.
What Are The Five Parts Of A Business Plan
Successful artists, entertainers, creative endeavors, and small and large business owners know that the plan does not bring them success. It is implementing the plan.
5 Parts Of A Business Plan:
Mission statement – A brief story explaining why you are in business and what you have to offer
Elevator Pitch – 3-minute speech that is an overview of your company
Market research and marketing strategies – Marketing strategies that complement your company’s goals
Employees – How many people work for you
Financial budget and Financial documents – How much money you have for expenses and accurate records of money coming in and money going out
How To Write An Artist Business Plan
Here is a breakdown of how to write an effective artist business plan. Every artist is unique, so your plan will differ from all other artists selling their products.
What is the mission of your company?
Why do you want to sell art?
What do you want to accomplish with your business?
Many people confuse a mission statement and a vision statement. The mission statement says “why” you have a business. The vision statement says “where” you want your business to go.
Do you want your business to grow big enough so you can live in a beach house?
Do you want to employ people and other artists?
Do you want to make enough money to enjoy a night out at a fancy restaurant?
The answer is up to you, but you want to know the answer.
Setting goals are essential for any movement or change.
If you want to lose weight, you have to set a goal of how much you would like to lose and when you would like to lose it.
If you want to make money selling art, you have to decide how much you would like to sell and how much you will be charging.
A successful business plan starts with goals and objectives.
Who Are Your Customers?
Identify who your target audience is. Your target audience is the people who are interested in your artistic style. This is an essential part of a business plan and is often overlooked.
They are the people who are looking to purchase your products.
Here are some questions you will want to be able to answer:
- Does your work attract mainly males or females?
- What is the age range of your audience?
- What is the yearly household income of your target audience?
- What is the marital status of your audience?
- What inspires your audience?
- What motivates your audience?
- What common problems can you solve for your audience?
- What are your customer’s values?
- Where does your audience shop?
- What fun activities does your audience like to do?
- What social media sites does your audience hang out on?
Who are Your Competitors?
You want to know who your audience is, but you will also want to know your competitors.
- Who is selling work that is similar to yours?
- How long have they been selling?
- Where are they selling their products?
- What are their prices?
- What social media sites are they using?
- What strategies are they using that is working?
After you know your competitors, you will want to do some reverse engineering.
Figure out what you will need to do to outshine your competition.
- How can you make your website better?
- How can you make your artist blog better?
- How can you make your listings more appealing?
- How can you shine on social media?
One of the best tools for discovering new artists and artist blogs is Keysearch.
Your business will have expenses.
Make a list of your expenses, including money for supplies, shipping, marketing, promotional items, and learning.
Make a detailed list of all your expenses and how much artwork you will need to sell to cover the costs. you will also want to keep a profit and loss statement to adjust your pricing strategy.
- How are you going to market your creativity?
- What platforms and mediums are you going to use?
- Are you going to market online, offline, or both?
- How much time are you going to devote to marketing?
These are essential questions you are going to need to answer.
You have to make people aware that your artwork is available for sale and that you are the artist who created the piece.
People cannot buy something if they do not know it exists.
Art marketing is making people aware that you sell artwork and what work style you create. Take the time to write a monthly marketing plan for your business.
Final Thoughts On Business Plans
An artist business plan is a plan that makes people aware of your products and services. A successful business plan will turn potential customers into loyal clients.
Many artists are trying to sell their products and services online and offline. The internet has allowed businesses of all sizes to promote their ideas to clients worldwide.
You no longer need gallery representation to be a successful artist. Look at your favorite artist online and see how they promote their work. There are many ways you can reach new clients online and ways to communicate with your fans, like sending an email newsletter or posting a question on social media.
The best resource is the artists who have become successful online. Many artists share articles that explain what has worked for them. Success comes from developing a plan and executing a plan. Success comes from developing a plan and executing a plan. Take the time to draft your artist’s business plan.
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