Starting an art business is a great way to put your creativity and entrepreneurial skills to work. We’ll show you how to turn your dreams into reality with the right business conditions, marketing strategy and financial support.
The basics of starting an art business are simple. What you need is a combination of creativity, business sense and marketing savvy. You’ll also need the right conditions to be able to put these into practice. Here is a step-by-step guide in starting and growing your own art business:
Step #1: Determine what kind of art business you want to start
Start by figuring out where your strengths lie and which fields interest you most, if possible, on a long term basis. Determine what type of art you are to focus on.
Is it painting, photography, graphic arts or perhaps something else? And do you want to offer art classes and workshops like Creatif, or are you planning on selling products? The clearer you are about your goals, the better prepared you will be for the later phases.
It is crucial to study the market first before actually starting your own art business. Be specific about your target customers. Are they private individuals, are you planning to target stores or are your customers’ art businesses? The more specific the customer group you identify, the better it will be.
If you narrow down your focus initially, you will then have a better idea of how to promote yourself and which direction your art career should take. Think about what you find exciting or challenging on both a personal and professional level because that’s what you’ll be doing all day at work.
Step #2: Choose a suitable location
You must find the right location to put up a shop or build your art studio. Keep in mind what kind of image you want to convey when potential customers and clients search for your art business.
Depending on your area needs, you can start renting or leasing a space in shopping malls, office buildings, or near cafes and galleries. Ensure your location provides you with enough opportunities to sell your work and build relationships with new and old clients.
Also, look into whether the costs of the site will fit into your budget plans? Be sure not to rush into choosing a place and take enough time to think things through before signing any contracts.
Step #3: Making the right legal and financial decisions
Avoid common pitfalls when setting up your business. It is important to get professional advice from a lawyer, accountant or marketing advisor who has experience on the needed legal terms and policies to run a business. We recommend asking for references from colleagues and friends in similar businesses before you hire anyone.
The costs of starting your own art business can be high, and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you’re eager to start making money. Decide on how you are going to finance your business.
Do you have enough money of your own, or do you need to get a loan? Your investment in branding, brochures, advertisements and other promotional tools is vital but keep checking back with your budget plan often. And make sure you find out all about tax regulations, both for individuals and companies, before the end of the year.
Step #4: Develop a business plan
It’s a good idea to write down your goals and have them in hand whenever you need motivation. In addition, the business plan is a vital instrument that helps demonstrate that your business is viable and shows potential investors and lenders that you know what you’re doing.
Your business plan should include detailed information about your professional background and expertise, market research, and competition analysis. You should already have a plan in dealing with and mitigating possible threats facing your business, marketing plans for attracting potential customers and financial projections, as well as monitoring your brand, your competitors, and relevant keywords that are important to your business.
Step #5: Get the proper permits and licenses
Check what types of permits and licenses you need to start and legalize your art business. Different areas have different policies, so you have to know what permits and licenses your locality requires. You may have to get a business license or register your company with the tax office.
Be familiar with permits and licenses regulating signage, advertising and vending machines if you want to use those. In addition, figure out whether you need any special health certificates for yourself as an artist, such as a certificate confirming that you are fit to practice your profession.
Step #6: Acquire an online presence
A strong online presence is one of the keys to success when running an art business. Be sure to create a professional website and social media profiles that accurately represent your work.
If you want, you can also add information about yourself, such as your education and the size of your art collection, to give potential clients a better idea of what kind of person they’re dealing with. It’s important for both customers and other businesses in the industry to know who you are and what sets your company apart from others.
This will attract more visitors to your website or social media page, which, in turn, leads them straight into your sales funnel. Make use of keywords throughout all these channels so that you can be found more easily online.
Step #7: Promote your art business
Now that you have a social media page and a website up and running, it’s time to promote your new business venture! Here are a few tips on how to do so:
- Be active on your social media pages. Post updates about what you’re up to and share inspiring art quotes, images and stories with your followers. If you want, you can also use your social media pages as an extra outlet for promoting your work.
- Create quality content. Write about the history of art and the artists who’ve influenced it; give tips on buying art or information about local galleries; share interesting facts to inform your audience; write tutorials or interview local artists. You can also post exclusive discounts or giveaways for your followers only.
- Establish partnerships with other companies in the industry. As an emerging artist, you have to do everything you can to get yourself noticed by potential customers. Work with other businesses related to art, such as designers and printers, to provide customers with art-related goods or services. You can also explore collaborations with companies that sell other products but have a large number of clients interested in art, such as bookstores and stationery stores. By doing this, your brand gets exposure to potential buyers.
- Organize art competitions so that your fans feel more involved in the process of building up the business. When people feel like they are part of something, they are more likely to recommend it to people they know.
- Sponsor local art events
- Rent some ad space at a local gallery to get your name out there. You could even go door-to-door in the area around the gallery and hand out leaflets.
Your goal is to get people excited about your work so they’ll be ready when it’s time for you to open up!
Step #8: Keep track of sales and expenses
Sales and expense reports play an essential role in running a successful business. By using these reports, you can track your progress and spot important trends relatively easily.
Keep in mind that the information provided by these reports is essential to any company’s success which is why you should have it prepared regularly. You might also want to choose a suitable storage method for this data so that it’s easier for others within your company to access it.
Step #9: Build relationships with other art professionals
Once you’re up and running, building relationships with other business owners or art professionals is very important. Make sure that they know about your new company and what you can offer them.
If they are interested, they may promote your website or social media pages within their circles, which will increase traffic to your online channels significantly. Another benefit of having these relationships is that you can exchange ideas and expertise with them whenever necessary.
Step #10: Expand your business
When you’re just starting, it’s important to focus on one particular line of work. If you want to succeed in this field, try specializing in a specific area that you can become an expert at over time.
For instance, if your company specializes in creating and selling paintings, there’s no need to also sell pottery and sculptures as well – at least not yet! Once you’ve achieved some success with your art business, you can continually expand into other fields or start multiple lines of work altogether.
This is the best way to ensure that your business will evolve as time goes by and continue growing for many years to come.
Art Business Franchise
Another option for aspiring art business owners is getting an art franchise. An art franchise from Creatif is a small business that has already been set up for you by the franchisor, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t make any changes or customize it to your liking.
With several years of experience in the industry, an art franchise offers its customers guidance and support at all times, along with access to various materials, which are essential for running a professional art business.
Apart from saving time and effort, many franchisees benefit from reduced advertising expenses since their franchisors already have links with local newspapers or magazines.
Remember that art is a subjective matter and what appeals to one person might not appeal to another. Your goal as an art professional is to find out who your target market is and what they want from you. This way, you’ll be able to adjust your business accordingly, which will lead to more sales in the long run.
Finally, always remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. Just like any other new venture, growing your company from the ground up requires a lot of hard work and dedication on your part, but it’s definitely worth it in the end!