Business Plan Jump-Start For Artists

Artists, we are now in the month of January, named after the Roman god Janus. Janus had two faces, on to look forward and one to look back. That is what we need to do now!

Looking back. First, start with what you accomplished last year. After what has been such a rotten year economically, a look at all the positive events is in order. Second. Look at how these accomplishments helped you realize or move toward your goals. Look at what you planned to do and did not get done. Did that hinder you or did you end up taking another path toward your goals? Let me explain how I am defining goals in reference to the business side of our art. Making $ 500, $ 5000, $ 50,000 this week, month, year is a goal. Going to six art shows this month would be a step in achieving this goal. While participating in the shows is sort of a goal in itself, it would be a sub-goal to the first goal. In other words, making the money is important, how you do that is secondary. Let's say your goal was to get into such and such a gallery. Did you do it? Yes? Great. The next question is, how much of your work did they sell?

Looking forward What you want to do is look at how what you did or did not do last year moved you toward or away from your desired income. This is what you need to know to be able to plan ahead for 2010. What did you do last year that was not on your plan? Did it help? Did it lead to another way of reaching your goal? Going back to the example of doing art shows, if you sent out a newsletter or called your collectors letting them know that you were participating in such and such a show and ended up selling pieces online because of those calls, but the show itself wasn ' t so great, what did you learn? If you sat at home and called your collectors / potential collectors and made more money than you did by driving 500 miles setting up a tent and display, working a show for 3 days or more than taking it down and driving home, all the while paying for gas, meals and lodging, perhaps you should spend a little more time making direct contact with the people on your list.

Am I saying then that you drop the shows and just stay home making phone calls and sending emails. No, but you might want to spend more time and energy on direct contact. Remember the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of your effort leads to eighty percent of your results. Look at what worked last year. Build on that. We do want to work smarter not harder. It's hard enough already. If you did not love doing it, you probably would not. Keep you eye on the ultimate goal. Think of it as a destination. Your plan is your mapped out journey. You might get to your destination by a different route than you planned, but if you did not have that map and follow it at first, you would still be sitting in the driveway. Time to get out to the studio and work towards those goals!

Jump Start your Art Marketing Business Plan!

by M Theresa Brown