Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Business Tips for Artists and Craftspeople

Boston Handmade is brimming with successful artrepeneurs of many types, working in various media, and at differing levels of capacity, from home studios, off-site work spaces, and the occasional lap. Maintaining any business has its challenges, but establishing and sustaining an art business can pose very specific hurdles to vault and we'd like to share a few of our favorite business tips with you to help with the navigation along your path. 

Sending Photos
Tip from Jessica Burko
"When fulfilling a photo request from the press, sending photos as part of an application, or posting photos of your work to a blog, make sure the file name is your name or your business name. That way it's not misplaced and will be identifiable, and searchable. Sample file name: Burko_EncausticCollage.jpg."

A Year of Goals
Tip from Dana of The Patterned Peacock
"I start each new year by making a list of goals and priorities for the next 12 months. So when an unexpected opportunity arises, I can refer to my list and see if they mesh. My list helps keep my business goals clear and realistic. Otherwise I would constantly be distracted by all the shiny new possibilities and never have the time (or discipline) to follow through."

Making Multiples
Tip from Lynn of Prunella's Workshop
"As artists, we tend to prefer to make one of a kind very unique items. However, as a business, our time is money. It is good to have a few repeatable designs in our back pocket that can be recreated easily. It is even better, if the design plan is easily altered in such a way that it can be repeated timely for the artist and yet appear different to the customer."

Checklist for Shows
Tip from Karen of City by the Sea Ceramics
"I use a checklist for each show I apply to, to keep track of all the details from beginning to end. It begins with dates I applied and paid fees. The day of the event I run down the checklist to make sure I don't forget anything I need at home, and afterwards I write down my sales, tax collected, and any other notes I have about the day that I think will be handy later like the types of shoppers that were there, weather, organization, and so on. I staple the carbon copy of sales for the day to this page so I can look and see exactly what had sold."

Daily To Do List
Tip from Bev of Linkouture
"As a self-employed creative business owner running my own show, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending list of things to get done. In order keep on top of everything and not lose my sanity, I start by doing a brain dump and making a to-do list in Evernote of every little thing that I need to get done. I then like to lump things together by categories, such as social media, blogging, listing on Etsy, making jewelry, etc. and block off chunks of time in my Google calendar when I am going to work on these things (and try my hardest to actually stick to it). I also schedule in things like going to the gym and taking a lunch break since they are important but are easily overlooked. A girl's also gotta take a breather!"

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