Before Starting An Art Business
What you need to know to begin
What do you need to know before starting a business?
One of the very first steps to make a living from your art is to build a business. I know that most artisans only need to hear the word business, let alone the sound of a plan, to feel an urge to withdraw.
Building a successful business is one of the very first things you need to do to make a livelihood from your art. I am well aware of the fact that the mere mention of the word "business," much alone the suggestion of a strategy, is enough to send the vast majority of craftspeople running for the hills.
It is hard for me to believe that I am about to say this, but what produced the greatest success in my art career was to create a business plan. Although, passionately disliking it at first, this most of uncomfortable move turned into the most satisfying, clarifying and important step I ever took. I lacked any entrepreneurial spirit and had to rely on others for guidance at every turn. But once I took things into my own hands, I never looked back. What I once found intolerable is now second nature to me. Knowing your stuff creates confidence, independence, and focus.
You will be going on a journey that will require some time, the best business plans take about half a year, if not longer.
Time over time have I heard the usual argument that floats around: I would love to use my passionate desire for the arts and make a living from it. Yet, they feel not the slightest desire nor have the time to actually learn about running a business, and that is heart-wrenching to me.
To put mildly, this is backward thinking. Without proper business knowledge, most remain stuck in the same place, after years of fantasising about a successful art career. They make an income with a job they don't like, while never getting any closer to their dream, to create income. Therefore, investing even a minimal amount of time into business planning is preferable to doing nothing at all.
These are the steps you need to take before even thinking of launching into business. The idea is to work on a plan for a few months to allow for reflection. To give you time to think and the accumulation of relevant data and ideas.
When going through the steps below, you likely will find aspects of it where you are at a total loss. See each step as gain when you make progress, remember that the information you gather will last. Consider devoting six months figuring out your market and customers.
It will be all worth it!