Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!

I noticed that a lot of artists are looking for business plans. I did some looking and it turns out there aren’t a lot of pre-made business plans out there for artists, so, I brought Jennifer Lee, author of Right Brain Business Plan, here to share her creative ideas for business plans. She’s really amazing, so I’m sure you’ll love this!

Also, check out Jennifer’s book!

You’ll want to see her Right Brain Business Plan home study course.*

Not Ready for A Full Right Brain Business Plan?

Here’s a simple 4 page example plan that will help you get started.

Business-Plans-for-Artists (pdf)

Business-Plans-for-Artists (Word doc)

The first thing I ask every artist when we start working together is if they have a business plan. Most of the time the answer is no. Why do you need a business plan, you ask? Great question.

You will become focused. As you start planning, that shotgun approach to marketing that most artists take will start to thin itself out and you will learn how to put a system in place. Also, establishing your unique selling proposition is really important. Sure, you’re a painter, but what makes you stand out from all of those other painters out there? There’s a lot more to being an independent artist than just creating your art.

You’ll know where you stand. Your strengths and weaknesses will become apparent to you as you start to create a business plan. What aspects of your art do you excel at? What do you tend to put off because you don’t know how to finish? Once you know where you stand, you’ll know what your weaknesses are, and this is really important. Most artists have no idea that they’re not good at accounting, or they don’t want to admit it so they run around in circles. A business plan will help you eliminate this.

You’ll know how to get where you want to be. Once you write down a business plan, it’s easy to refer back to it often to get re-focused on your goals. Carefully analyzing what you really want out of your art business is a good way to stop doing what is getting in your way.

You’ll know what other artists are doing. Do you want a competitive advantage? Are you afraid of really pushing your business because you don’t know what will make you different and make people want to purchase your art?

This post has been updated since its 2009 original publish date.

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15 comments
Aminah
Aminah

Thank you for sharing this information, it can be difficult finding business resources for the artist/entrepreneur.

shawtyrp
shawtyrp

Thank you this was very helpful :)

benjamin
benjamin

thanks for everything. i like this site so much...

Teresa Dominici
Teresa Dominici

Hi Cory & Jennifer, I totally agree with having a business plan, writing down all the ideas & growth you have in mind for your business.

Ingrid Coke
Ingrid Coke

Thanks Cory. A Breath of Fresh Air!!! For the first time at last...with drudgery behind me, I can now pursue my business plan in JOY!!! In full celebration of all right brainers...here's to your unlimited success:-)

figmentations
figmentations

Thanks for posting the examples.  I didn't realize that I already had lists covering most of the sections.  This really helped me put everything together in one place.  Now as I get new ideas, I have one document that I can go to.  I can quickly jot it down and properly categorize the idea right away knowing that I will have it on hand for when I have time to review the bigger picture over time.  Thanks again!

KirstenL
KirstenL

Wow!  I'm so glad I stumbled onto this!  Just what I needed!

steffmetal
steffmetal

Creating a business plan was one of the smartest things I ever did. I wrote down all the ideas that had been spinning around in my head but had never been inserted into my business as a whole. Just the process of writing everything down becomes a way to clear your head and see the way forward. It's great to see an honest, physical example of a business plan - thanks Cory!

Bob the Beginner
Bob the Beginner

Do you have a business plan for dummies and beginners? This is kind of advanced. I have nothing but 5 good paintings right now.This is my first time coming to this website. I was very confused by the business plan. Who is "I"? As in, "I help artists dispel the starving artist myth"? It took me 15 mins to finally understand who "I" is, and who Cory and John Smith is.

watamyr
watamyr

This is great. Thank you for doing this. It's really something I've always known I needed to do. I will definitely do it now.

Damien Franco
Damien Franco

This is a really great resource that I'll have to share with my readers. It's always wonderful to find other people putting in the hard work and dedication that goes into doing what you do. .-= Damien Franco´s last blog ..Photographer’s Intro to Twitter =-.

CoryHuff
CoryHuff

 @figmentations Glad it helped!

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