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Monday, December 17, 2018

From Artist to Entrepreneur: How to Start a Home-Based Business - By Brittany Fisher (Guest Writer)

Photo by Pixabay

We all have something we are particularly good at or passionate about, and for you, it’s art. No matter what medium you use, you have a knack for it. With this particular artistic skill also comes the opportunity to start your own home-based business.

As an artist, you’ve already got the skills necessary to run your own business – tenacity, adaptability, problem-solver, self-critique. You have the framework, so here’s how to launch it.

Start with a Business Plan 

The idea of writing a business plan may sound a little daunting, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Start by focusing on your business goals and the direction you want to go, including what you will be selling, the channel you’ll use to sell it, and who your target audience is. Determine how you’ll reach your goals via marketing, social media, displays, etc., and don’t forget to estimate your expenses and cash flow. Think of your business plan as a sketch or initial design that can and will change as your business grows.

Identify Your Target Market

There isn’t a certain type of person who appreciates art more than another, but as for selling it and creating a customer base, you’ll want to identify your target market to take your work from a hobby to a business. Chances are, your art already has a small following, so take a look at who is interested in your work and engages with you. Your target audience probably won’t be a certain age demographic, but rather a niche of people interested in a specific type or style of art. According to artist and mentor Ann Rea, the easiest way to quickly define your target is to determine your creative purpose, the problem you are solving, and how you will solve the problem. “Successful artists are also abundantly clear about who has the problem that they are solving, and who doesn’t,” Ann Rea says.

Make Sure the Price Is Right

While it can be easy to get emotionally attached to a particular piece or design, you shouldn’t let this factor into the cost. Instead, focus on the concrete numbers. To come out on top, you need to make more than you spent on material to create the piece. However, don’t forget to factor time into this equation. Consider using this equation: price is equivalent to the hourly wage for your time spent creating the piece plus the cost of supplies. Keep in mind that you may still need to adjust the price, especially if you aren’t established. As you make a name for yourself and garner a following, you can certainly raise the price.

Build an Online Presence

According to the Art Career Project, “As an artist going into business for yourself, your biggest asset isn’t necessarily your art work; it is your name recognition.” This isn’t to say your art isn’t the center of your business, but in order to gain clients and followers, you need to have an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as a website. Social media can serve as a virtual portfolio, giving you a chance to show off your skills and attract that target market. You’ll likely be taking orders online, and there are plenty of websites dedicated to artists of all mediums, enabling you to sell your work and start leaving your footprint.

Spend Your Time Wisely

You’re in charge of creating the art, but there are other areas of business you need to spend your time on as well. According to the Guardian, “creative entrepreneurs should spend around 40% of their time creating, 40% on marketing, 10% on administration and 10% on professional development.” Don’t get so consumed with creating that you forgo lunch meetings with clients, neglect to update your social media, and let the expense report fall to the wayside. Spread yourself out into other areas, or consider hiring someone to help out.

Launching a business is an exciting endeavor. The fact that you’re an artist gives you a head start, laying the groundwork for your business venture. The tips above will point you in the right direction, leaving you to your creative pursuits.

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