Since I started The Abundant Artist, I’m amazed at the number of artists I’ve spoken to who don’t have a business plan. I’ve met successful, well known artists with names you would recognize who don’t have a business plan in place. It seems they never thought of going about getting one in place, or they thought about it but didn’t know how to do it, so they just never bothered.
UPDATE: If you’d like a free business plan to work from, I made a free business plan for artists.
Why should an artist have a business plan? It’s a good question.
It will help you make money. Ever wonder why some artists just seem make money appear out of thin air and have no problems selling their work, when you feel you are just as talented as they are and have completed just as large a body of work?
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.
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?
You’ll know how to get where you want to be. Once you write down a 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?
Building a business plan doesn’t have to be that scary. You can create something simple, as long as it has the following elements:
- A unique value proposition. Who you are and what you do.
- The kind of art you make and how you plan to sell it.
- The kind of art competitors make and how they sell it.
- Your current financial records and your financial projections.
- An analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business.
It doesn’t have to be very long. My business plan is four pages. In fact, the simpler, the better. You’ll be more likely to act on something simple.
For more on artists business plans, listen to this interview with artist Ann Rea on how to start your art business off with a bang.
Have you created your business plan? Do you need help getting one going? Let us know in the comments below or you can contact me directly.