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Creating a Professional Email Address: Tips for Business Owners and Freelancers
In today’s digital age, having a professional email address is essential for business owners and freelancers alike. A well-crafted email address can make a strong first impression and help establish credibility in the eyes of clients, customers, and potential partners. In this article, we will explore some tips on how to create a new email account that reflects professionalism and enhances your brand image.
I. Choose the Right Email Provider
The first step in creating a professional email address is to choose the right email provider. While there are numerous options available, it is important to select one that offers features and security suitable for business purposes. Popular providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail are reliable choices that come with robust spam filters and encryption options.
II. Customize Your Email Address
Once you have selected an email provider, it’s time to customize your email address. While using your personal name may seem like a simple option, it may not always be the best choice for professionals. Consider incorporating your business name or industry-related keywords into your email address to make it more memorable and relevant.
For example, instead of using “[email protected],” a freelance graphic designer could opt for “[email protected]” or “[email protected].” These customized addresses not only convey professionalism but also give recipients an idea of what services you offer.
III. Keep It Simple
When creating a new email account, simplicity is key. Avoid using complex or hard-to-spell words in your email address as it can lead to confusion or typos when recipients try to contact you. Additionally, including numbers or special characters should be done sparingly as they can make your address appear unprofessional or difficult to remember.
Moreover, it is advisable to use lowercase letters throughout your email address as uppercase letters can cause confusion when sharing it verbally or via phone conversations.
IV. Maintain Professionalism in Your Signature
While creating a professional email address is crucial, it is equally important to maintain professionalism in your email signature. A well-designed and informative signature can leave a lasting impression on recipients, showcasing your brand identity and contact details.
Include your full name, job title, company name, phone number, and website in your email signature. Additionally, consider adding links to your social media profiles or relevant certifications to establish credibility and showcase your expertise.
In conclusion, creating a professional email address is an essential step for business owners and freelancers looking to establish credibility and enhance their brand image. By choosing the right email provider, customizing your address, keeping it simple, and maintaining professionalism in your signature, you can create an email account that reflects professionalism and helps you make a strong first impression. Remember that attention to detail in every aspect of your online presence can go a long way in building trust with clients and customers.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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February 12, 2023 By Dave Nevue
How to Create a Business Plan for Illustrators
As an illustrator, you have the unique opportunity to turn your passion into a successful career. But before establishing yourself as a professional artist, creating a business plan to guide you through the process is essential. A good art business plan should include financial projections, marketing plans, and strategies like market research, a cash flow statement, and long-term business goals.
Here are five essential steps for creating the perfect business plan for illustrators.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on an affiliate link, Nevue Fine Art Marketing may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, Skimlinks, SareASale and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
Step 1: Define Your Brand Identity
Defining your brand identity is the first step in creating an effective artist business plan. It would help if you asked yourself questions about who you are as an illustrator and what makes you unique from other illustrators in the field.
- What is your style?
- What type of art do you want to create?
- Are there any particular themes or topics that interest you?
Once you have identified what sets your work apart, it’s time to move on to the next step.
How To Create Brand Identity For An Illustrator
Step one of creating a successful brand identity is knowing how to communicate your style – abstract, narrative, surrealistic, or any other type – in visuals and words.
Next, develop a mission statement that will communicate what you want to achieve with your illustrations and the message they should convey to potential customers. That way, when someone visits your page, they will immediately understand what they can find there.
Once this fundamental branding base is created, it’s time to think about language: messaging should include art-specific terms and impactful headlines that reinforce your unique voice as an artist.
Finally, select audience-tailored visuals, such as visual metaphors or graphic elements that reinforce the character of your art. With these steps in mind, you can create an engaging brand identity that will set you apart from other illustrators and attract potential fans of all levels.
Step 2: Research Your Market
The second step in creating your business plan is researching your market. It is essential to know your target audience and what they’re looking for in an illustrator.
- Are there any particular trends or styles that are popular right now?
- Do specific topics resonate more with people than others?
Knowing this information can help inform the type of art you create and which markets are best for selling it.
How To Research Your Market
An illustrator looking to draft a business plan would be wise to begin with, market research. They should ask themselves questions such as who their target audience is, whether there is sufficient demand for their product or services, and what the competition looks like in the landscape.
This information can be researched through surveys, interviews, focus groups, studying industry trends, and connecting with other professionals in similar creative fields, such as storytelling or writing.
An illustrator may want to explore additional revenue streams outside the often saturated commercial illustration space. Through extensive market research, an illustrator can gain invaluable insight into what the best approach to building a successful art career may look like for them.
Step 3: Set Financial Goals
The third step in creating your business plan is setting a financial plan. As an illustrator, knowing how much money you need to make to sustain your career and reach success is essential. This involves looking at factors like pricing models, expenses, taxes, insurance costs, etc., so that you can create realistic budgets and projections for the future. Having a good understanding of these numbers will help inform decisions moving forward, such as how much time each project will take and how much money needs to be invested upfront in making a profit down the road.
How To Write A Profit And Loss Statement
Writing a profit and loss statement for your art business can be essential for understanding success and where you can improve. A profit and loss statement quantifies income, expenses, and profits to show the performance of your business over a period of time.
It is important to note what aspects of the art business are profiting or causing a loss so that meaningful changes to operations can be made when necessary. Calculating your income can include reviewing revenue from artwork sales, gallery commissions, grants, or investor contributions. Identifying expenses is also crucial; costs may consist of product inventory, marketing materials, studio rent, tax contributions, art supplies, website hosting fees, and internet costs. With an accurate record of all gains and losses during a given period, you will have a valuable tool to measure the state of your small business.
Additionally, having all this information in one document is extremely helpful if you ever decide to expand or pursue more significant ventures in the future.
Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan
The fourth step in creating your art business plan is developing a marketing strategy that will help promote your work and increase awareness of who you are as an artist. This could involve things like setting up social media accounts or having a website where people can view samples of illustrations or contact details if they want to hire you for projects. It would be best if you also considered attending events related to illustration, such as trade shows, art fairs, or festivals, so people can meet you face-to-face and learn more about what makes your work unique.
How To Write A Marketing Plan
To get started, try mapping out your objectives, developing a plan for reaching those objectives, creating enticing content to engage potential customers further, and monitoring your progress to ensure you’re making measurable forward movement. Focus on metrics that illustrate your impact and help you identify what works best so you can mark adjustments or make pivots as needed.
Once you have a good handle on all these elements, don’t forget the power of networking – reaching out to potential collaborators is integral to setting yourself up for success with any marketing plan.
Step 5: Make Connections & Develop Your Network
The last step in creating your business plan is connecting with other industry professionals and developing relationships with potential clients or employers that could provide opportunities down the road. This could be anything from reaching out via email or social media platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, attending networking events, joining professional associations related to illustration, etc., all of which can open up doors for collaborations or job offers further down the line when done correctly.
Leveraging a network of other illustrators is essential for any artist to grow and expand within their craft. One of the best ways to develop an illustrator’s network is through online communities. These groups with shared interests congregate virtually on various social media or deviantART accounts. Through these spaces, illustrators can connect with like-minded individuals, support one another’s work, comment on each other’s art, ask questions, and find mentors.
With these connections, illustrators will have access to skillset development opportunities or needful resources that help them gain experience in their field. In-person group events are also an excellent way for the growing number of digital artists to meet each other and exchange valuable information associated with their art careers. Interesting workshops and conferences related to illustration held around the city provide a fantastic platform where visitors can create meaningful relationships with peers and industry-leading professionals alike.
Creating a successful business plan as an illustrator requires research, dedication, and hard work, but it’s worth it if done right. By following these five essential steps—defining your brand identity; researching markets; setting financial goals; creating marketing plans; making connections & developing networks—you can ensure success within this creative field. With proper planning and implementation of these strategies into everyday life, anyone has the potential to become a successful illustrator.
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About Dave Nevue
Dave Nevue is a Professional Pastel Wildlife Artist and the founder and CEO of Nevue Fine Art Marketing. He also authored the eBook The Productive Artist How to Live Your Dreams, and provides courses on art marketing at Nevue Fine Art Marketing Courses.
Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
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Where To Start
Art Marketing - Complete Guide For Marketing Art Online
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Writing a self-employed artist business plan
Table of Contents
How to write a self-employed artist business plan from scratch
Your business, mission statement, your process, unique selling point, action plan, your marketing, market research, target audience, your finances, projections, draw on innovation and financial management with countingup.
Your creativity is more than a hobby as a self-employed artist. But to reach your ambition of a successful artist, you need to profit from your work.
This means you’ll need to invest in things like marketing, advertising, materials, and host events to show off your skills and build a name for yourself.
To do that successfully, you need to strategise, set goals and define how you’ll achieve them. Additionally, if you don’t have the capital to get your business off the ground on your own , you can seek investment to fund your ideas .
This guide discusses how to craft a self-employed artist business plan that helps you find investors and steer your artist career in the right direction.
You should include details about:
Explain to investors what you’d like to do with your career (after all it’s your name they’d fund). Set out what you’d like to achieve and convince them of the practical steps you are taking.
The purpose of the business could be to promote and sell your unique art –– put that together in a mission statement. Or maybe you could take it further and suggest what you hope your art will do for people , perhaps a social objective.
For example, you create pieces inspired by mental health and will donate a proportion of the proceeds to a related charity. Overall, your statement would be to increase awareness through your chosen medium.
You could look to become one of the biggest names in the UK art scene, with significant price tags on your work (that may excite potential investors). Look at other artists and think about what the purpose of their work is .
An overarching mission is excellent, but you also need to set out SMART goals , these will help you carry it out.
SMART stands for:
Goals should include each one of those points and they can either be short, medium or long-term. For example, to grow your reach by over two months through an increase of Twitter followers by 200.
The work you do is critical for your self-employed artist business plan (it’s your product). There aren’t any restraints on what art can be, but it should be original to build recognition. Consider a focus on a specific niche or technique .
Iconic artists have similarities between their work, meaning that each piece becomes sought-after. If you find a USP (unique selling point) in your work , it will be easier for an investor to understand your likelihood of success.
A USP also helps lay the groundwork for future marketing , since you have something special to draw on in your message.
For example, street artist Banksy is known worldwide for their signature graffiti style and political meaning behind their work. In addition, the mystery behind the artist adds to the value for art lovers .
To convince an investor to fund your work, use your plan to explain how you work and what you’d like to do . That could start with gathering supplies, how you create a piece and the method you’ll sell it.
For collections you’ll sell together, mention the process you go through and how that fits into a commercial timeline. Investors want it to be profitable, so consider time to build hype around a launch throughout the process.
“ How do you sell your work? ” is an important question that your self-employed artist business plan must answer. Think about who would be likely to buy your pieces and how to create interest for them.
Conduct market research to decide on relevant marketing. Find insights about your audience . Use surveys or interviews to speak to the public, ask what art they’d buy and find details about each participant.
Look at your competition , other artists who run a business from their work. Check their websites or social media platforms to see how they sell and who buys from them.
Your market research will likely find similarities between the people most likely to buy your art . That can help you identify a target audience for your business.
Think about their:
A target audience informs your choice of marketing . For example, London bankers in their mid-thirties may use Instagram and LinkedIn . They might also be likely to attend exhibitions close to their workplace.
If you tailor your strategy to your ideal customer’s lives , then you’re more likely to reach them and can convince investors of your marketing abilities.
For an investor, a self-employed artist’s business plan needs financial information. That can include what you plan to do with the money they give you and your projections for the future.
Suppose you ask for a figure from an investor. To back it up, research relevant costs you are likely to need .
Those could include materials, time, equipment and even marketing or events. A digital marketing agency could offer you a quote.
How much you spend doesn’t always go to plan. Luckily, tools like Countingup can help here. Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software that lets you manage your finances from the phone.
The app even has an expense categorisation feature to sort costs automatically.
Create a sales forecast to show how much you’ll make from your art . It can show the next month, quarter or year. Multiply the prices for your pieces by how many customers you expect to welcome.
Countingup can help you keep track of the money that comes in and out of your business. Its cash flow insights feature will allow you to compare your accounts with projections and help you make future decisions.
You can’t let mismanagement get in the way of your craft. To be a successful self-employed artist you need to be in control of your money . Prepare a project budget and stick to it to avoid hurting your profits.
Countingup, the small business account with built-in accounting software can bring artistry to your finances . With its receipt capture feature, use your phone camera to capture and upload your paper billings straight to your accounts.
Get started for free.
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The Informed Illustrator
Information on Illustration Ideation, Execution, & Publication from an Illustrator's Perspective.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Illustration business planning, do you need a business plan, the strategic plan objective, the start-up plan objective, illustration business plan outline, 1. overview, 2. objectives, 3. mission statement, 4. key advantages, 5. company synopsis, 6. illustration pricing structure, 7. marketing strategy, 8. finances, 2 comments:.
Hi there.. Just wanted to tell you how important it wasfor me to stumble with this page reading. I dont know if this system posts the time, but its 4.24 am, and I'm having tunnel vision trying to do the planning for an illustrating life. but thanks for the info,
I appreciate you comment. Best, Don
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Business Plans for Artists: What Every Artist Should Know
Writing a business plan is a necessity for any creative..
If you are making and selling artwork, congratulations! You can officially call yourself a business person – and every business person needs a business plan.
Unfortunately, most arts programs don’t teach their students how to actually sell their work, let alone create an outline for how to make their skills marketable. A business plan makes it possible for a great artist to become a profitable one.
Why do you need a business plan?
If you’re new to considering your art practice a business, putting together a business plan might seem like trying to learn a foreign language.
The truth is, a business plan is your ticket to making your art career profitable. While it’s not something that’s typically taught in art school, learning how to write a business plan for artists takes the stress out of your creative pursuits. You’ll have a clear-cut pathway to profitability thanks to your business plan.
It’s especially helpful to have a business plan if you are planning to sell your work at art fairs. Instead of finding yourself scrambling to pull together all the odds and ends of the business side of your studio, you’ll have much more time to spend on preparing your artwork and calling in prosperity!
What is a business plan?
A business plan details the who , what , when , where , why and how of your art business. Luckily, a lot of this information can be pulled directly from your artist statement, making less work for you! However, much of your business plan will require some dreaming, asking you to write down what your ideal art career will look like.
Let’s get into the WWWWWH of things:
The “ Who ” of your art business is you . Artists who are part of a collective or group will include anyone else who may be creating artwork with them in this part of the business plan.
Set for the “ What ” of your art practice. What are you in the business of creating? What is your medium? What niche or audience does your artwork speak to? In what ways can your skills or particular style translate into different types of work – can you paint large-scale community murals, or design furniture, or work on clothing collaborations?
What is your production schedule like? This will be included in the “ When ” part of your business plan.
Where will you be selling your artwork? Will you create an online store as well as selling your work in person at art fairs and gallery events? Knowing where you’ll be selling your artwork will help you price and distribute it.
Why do you create art? What drives you in your pursuits?
Take stock of what is important to you about your art practice and what will be necessary for you to consider your art business successful. We’ll get more into these elements of your business plan below!
How do you make a self-employed artist business plan?
Creating a business plan takes the guessing and uncertainty out of working for yourself. Most likely, you already have the components of what needs to go into your business plan floating around in your brain. Like beginning a new work, the best way to create your business plan is to just get going !
We took our learnings from artists, gallerists and our time running the best art fair for independent artists and distilled it into this simple plan.
Superfine’s Artist Business Plan Example
Create your mission statement.
Creating a business plan can be fairly similar to crafting your artist statement. They include similar information, like who your target audience is and how does your work serve to reach those people.
If you’ve never written an artist statement before (or maybe it’s been a while since you crafted your last one), start by asking yourself these simple questions:
Why did I become an artist?
What themes or topics do I explore with my art?
What materials do I use when creating art?
What do I want people to feel, know or experience when they interact with my work?
After doing this exercise, you will most likely find yourself with enough information to write up to a 5 sentence mission statement that will help you focus your business plan and communicate effectively with your customer base, potential collaborators, art fairs and other art professionals.
2. Define Your Vision Statement
Once you’ve nailed down your mission statement, think about how you’d like to see your business evolve. This is called your Vision Statement, and details what you’d like to accomplish with your business over the next several years.
What do you want to be known for? Where or in what publications, institutions, or stores would you like to see your art featured? Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
3. Set Realistic Goals
Many people like to have long-term and short-term goals to help keep growth of their business in perspective. The most important part of goal-setting is keeping your desires realistic .
How many works a month would you ideally like to create?
How many collectors would you like to have in 1 year from now?
What is an achievable goal for how many people you would like to have signed up for your email subscriber list?
How much money would you like to make in a month? How much in one year?
By keeping your goals realistic, you are taking the first step in setting yourself up for success.
Take your goal-setting to the next level by breaking down your larger vision into steps. One method that works particularly well is to break down your larger goals into smaller actions. What can you accomplish in:
Try it out with your art business goals and let us know!
3. Research Your Competitors
Knowing who your competitors are is standard practice for any business – including art business owners! Research what your competitors are doing as part of their art practice, how they present themselves, their social media and email marketing strategies, and more.
Understanding your competition gives you a greater knowledge of some of the business strategies and hurdles you may be up against. Ultimately, this knowledge will help you stand out from the crowd.
When assessing your competitors, keep the following things in mind:
How is your practice similar to theirs?
How are they succeeding in areas that you are not?
What can you do to improve what you are doing?
Where are you succeeding in areas where they are not?
How can you continue to stand out as a front runner that collectors will be drawn to?
Having a handle on the financial part of your art business is crucial to seeing success. How will you pay for supplies? How much will you charge for your work? Knowing these details will help you stay on top of not only your bills, but your art business as well. When you know exactly when and how your studio rent is due, you can spend more time working on your next conceptual piece.
Create a simple list or, if you’re up to it, a spreadsheet of the financial ins and outs of your business. These are the basic expenses you should list on your spread sheet:
Expenses – do you rent a studio space? How often do you purchase supplies, like canvases or paint tubes, and how much do they cost?
Funding – many artists have side-hustles (and even full-time jobs!) in addition to their art practice. How will you fund your creative endeavors? Is there a set percentage of your monthly income that goes to your art practice to purchase supplies, run advertisements on social media, or apply for art fairs? You may also want to consider applying for grants, or even crowd-funding some projects.
Pricing – how will you price your artwork? What kind of monthly income will you need to see in order to turn a profit? If you’re not sure, check out our helpful pricing matrix.
Anyone who is in the business of selling something has a payment processing plan. Set up a program, like Square, QuickBooks or through your website host (like SquareSpace or Wordpress) to generate invoices and process payment.
Another perk of taking payments through a processing plan (instead of only taking cash or check) is that it will make your end-of-year accounting so. much. easier.
5. Create A Marketing Plan
You could have the best business plan for artists in New York City, but if no one knows about you and your artwork it’s not serving you! Draw out a marketing plan so you can spread the word about your work and put yourself out there.
Create a website. This is a perfect place to host your online portfolio!
Create your social media profiles . You’ll be able to start interacting with members of your community right away. For tips on how to get the most out of your social media practice, check out this AMA we recently did with Kat from Create! Magazine.
Map out your social media marketing strategy. This is especially helpful to review anytime you are gearing up for an art show!
Set up you email list. We recommend MailChimp !
6. Streamline Your Art-Making Process
As an artist business owner, you know that the process of creating and selling art doesn’t stop with varnishing a canvas.
It’s helpful to know in advance what will happen with your artwork once the creation process is complete so that it can spend less time in storage and more time in the possession of your collectors.
Here are a few simple steps for optimizing your creation-to-marketing process:
Catalogue the work. Not a fan of spreadsheets? There’s no time like the present to get organized. Make a running list of the works you’re finishing, including the title , materials , date started and finished , dimensions and price . This will serve as an easy-reference for doing things like promoting your artwork, listing it online and more.
Photograph the work. You can’t sell your work online without a reference photo for people to look at! Plus, photographing your work also serves as an archive of what you’ve accomplished. Add the images to your website portfolio to show off what you’ve done and what is currently available to purchase. You’ll want to have great photos of your work, so we recommend supporting a fellow creative and hiring a professional photographer who specializes in capturing your particular type of art.
Let your fans and followers know. Send out an email blast to your list, post on social media, and otherwise get the word out! Your work deserves to be seen, especially if you plan on exhibiting your newest creations at an art fair like Superfine Los Angeles.
7. Make a Sales Plan
How do you plan on selling your artwork? Established salespeople in most industries will tell you that the key to maximizing profits is to diversify your approach .
A good practice to follow entails publishing your newest work on all of your online platforms immediately after you’ve finished, archived and photographed it.
Try listing your artwork on the following platforms to gain exposure and reach new collectors:
Facebook & Facebook Marketplace
Superfine Art Fair (we look forward to your application!)
Any other online sales platform that you think is right for you!
Ready to put your art business plan to work?
Now that you have this artist business plan outline for reference, practice making your own. You’ll find that ideas come easier and you will be less stressed with the technical details once you have your art business plan in place!
We’re currently accepting applications for our 2021 art fairs in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, DC. Apply now!
The 17 Best Art Fairs in the US | The Only Guide to 2021 Art Fairs You Need
Creative marketing & social media for artists with kat from create magazine.
Artist Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Artist Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their artist businesses and art galleries . We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.
In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write an artist business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your artist business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start an artist business or grow your existing artist company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your artist business to improve your chances of success. Your artist business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Artist Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an artist business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for artist companies.
Finish Your Business Plan Today!
How to write a business plan for an artist business.
If you want to start an artist business or expand your current one, you need a business plan in the proper business plan format . The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your artist business plan.
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of artist business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an artist business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of artist businesses?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.
- Give a brief overview of the artist industry.
- Discuss the type of artist business you are operating.
- Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
- Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
- Offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company overview, you will detail the type of artist business you are operating.
For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of artist businesses:
- Antiques: This type of artist business may include the restoration, curation, and auction of antique furniture and other items.
- Art Consultant: This type of artist business involves helping clients find and select art pieces for their own collections.
- Tattoo Artist: Tattoos are a popular way for artists to earn money by tattooing permanent ink art onto their customers.
- Photography: Photographers may specialize in certain categories like wedding photography or nature photography.
- Graphic design: This type of business encompasses all kinds of design from creating logos and marketing materials for businesses to creating websites and designing products.
- Art teacher: This type of artist business involves art instruction and can include anything from teaching an elementary school art class to a recreational painting class, or an online art course.
In addition to explaining the type of artist business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, the number of art pieces sold, reaching $X amount in revenue, etc.
- Your legal business Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the artist industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes. First, researching the artist industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends. The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your artist business plan:
- How big is the artist industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your artist business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your artist business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, schools, families, and corporations.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of artist business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other art businesses. Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This may include other sources of art pieces, auctions, or resellers. You need to mention such competition as well.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What type of artist business are they?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you make it easier for your customers to engage with your product or service?
- Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a artist business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of artist company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you sell paintings or sculptures, consult on various art pieces, instruct a painting class, etc?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your plan, you are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the site of your artist company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your artist business located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, or purely online? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your artist marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
- Reach out to websites
- Distribute flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Advertise on social media platforms
- Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your artist business, including answering calls, meeting with clients, billing and collecting payments, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your artist business to a new city.
To demonstrate your artist business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing artist businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing an artist business or successfully running a small curation business.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you meet with 5 clients per day, and will you charge by the hour for art consultation services? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your artist business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement
Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a artist business:
- Cost of equipment and office supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a sample of your artist portfolio.
Writing a business plan for your artist business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the sample template above, by the time you are done, you will have an expert artist business plan; download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will understand the artist industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful artist business.
Artist Business Plan Template FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my artist business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your artist business plan.
How Do You Start an Artist Business?
Starting an artist business is easy with these 14 steps:
- Choose the Name for Your Artist Business
- Create Your Artist Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Artist Business
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Artist Business (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Artist Business with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Artist Business
- Buy or Lease the Right Artist Business Equipment
- Develop Your Artist Business Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Artist Business
- Open for Business
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