More and more people are opting to start businesses, allowing them a better work/life balance.
And the world of Art is no exception.
An Artist Business Plan (ABP) is a document that lays out your plans for success.
Whether you’re starting a new career, launching a side hustle, or expanding an existing one, having a clear set of goals and strategies laid out ahead of time helps ensure that you are making smart decisions along the way.
A good ABP includes three main sections: Mission Statement, Vision & Goals, and Action Plans.
These sections should each include specific information about your art, your audience, your skills, and your desired outcomes.
Let’s look in more detail about what to include in the business plan. (Also see: How to Build a Profitable ART Business)
Your vision statement is a short description of how you see your art business growing over the next five years.
What are some of the things you hope to accomplish?
How much revenue do you hope to generate? Where do you think your career will take you?
Your vision statement should include both long-term goals and shorter term objectives.
Think about where you’d like to be in ten years – perhaps you’re hoping to have a thriving studio and sell your work online.
Or maybe you just want to make enough money to pay off student loans.
Whatever the case, keep your vision simple and realistic.
Don’t set impossible expectations for yourself.
Remember that your vision statement needs to be something that you believe in and can live up to.
If you don’t believe in it, why should anyone else?
Artists often struggle with self-doubt. They wonder why they aren’t getting better, whether they’re good enough, whether anyone else likes what they do.
This isn’t just about being confident; it’s about understanding how you work and where you want to go.
You’ll never know everything there is to know about art, but reading books, talking to people, watching videos, and looking at examples of great art can help you understand yourself and your art.
The second part of our process is to understand what makes your customer tick.
This is where we start digging into the nitty gritty of your customer life and uncovering some interesting facts about your potential clients.
We want to know everything there is to know about your customer.
You can identify your target market once you know what type of art you’d like to create.
You need to understand who those people are, how they behave online, and where they hang out.
The best way to learn about your target market is to look at your existing customers and prospects.
Start by identifying your ideal customer. What does she look like?
Where does she live? How much money does she make?
Next, look at your current customers and prospects.
Who are they? Do they fit your ideal customer profile? Are there any gaps in your knowledge?
Finally, take some time to research your market.
Find out what types of artists are already doing well in your field, and who else is creating similar artwork.
The best place to start is by following the money. What do rich people buy?
How does someone become wealthy? And what makes something expensive?
These questions help you figure out what types of customers you’ll attract.
If you’re looking to make a living selling paintings, you might want to target affluent individuals.
Why? Because those people already have the money to spend.
So why not give them something beautiful to hang on their walls?
Or maybe you’d rather focus on high-end items.
Find out exactly who your potential buyers are and what they’re willing to spend.
Then find a way to bring your artwork to them.
Social media is great for selling art, but it’s unlikely going to sell enough art for you to survive.
You’re going to have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is probably closer to home than you think.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, now might be a good time to start one.
If you want to post pictures of your artwork online, there are plenty of free photo sharing sites out there like Flickr and Instagram that allow you to upload photos without paying anything.
You can then direct them to local areas.
If you’re looking for a way to market your art, don’t waste too much money initially on advertising.
Instead, spend your money finding ways to connect with people in your area.
There are many different kinds of communities where artists hang out online, including groups on Facebook, forums on Reddit, and blogs on Medium.
These are all excellent places to meet people interested in buying your art.
You may also want to consider joining a photography club.
Most cities have clubs that focus on everything from pet photography to sports photography to wedding photography.
They often offer workshops and seminars, and they’re a great way to learn how to take better portraits.
Some even provide memberships to professional photographers who teach classes, allowing you to practice what you learn under their watchful eyes.
The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is failing to write a business plan.
This is one of the most critical pieces of information needed to start a successful business.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service is — no one else does either.
Your business plan lays out the vision, mission, and goals of your business.
You’ll want to include some of the following sections:
This section presents the key points of your business plan.
Include the name of the business, the location where it will operate, the date it will open, the number of employees required, and the projected annual revenue.
This statement describes the reason why you’re starting up the business in the first place.
For example, “I will provide unique artwork customized to your needs”
In this section, describe the products or services you offer.
Be specific about what you do, how you do it, and what makes you unique.
Identify your target market. Where is there demand for your goods or services?
What problems are people having today that could benefit from your offering?
Develop a budget for the next three years. Include projections for sales, expenses, and profit margins.
Describe your marketing strategy. Will you use traditional advertising methods such as newspaper ads, billboards, radio spots, etc.? Or will you focus on social media and online marketing?
(Check out: Creating an Art Marketing Plan for 2018 and Beyond)
An Artist marketing plan can help you get started on the road to success.
It’s important to understand that an artist marketing plan isn’t just a list of tasks.
Rather, it’s a roadmap that helps you map out your entire journey.
The more detailed your plan is, the easier it will be to follow through.
With a positive mindset and plenty of hard work your Art selling business has the potential to grow and thrive.
If we can't teach you, no one can!