Art Fair Photo Policies

Old Camera

Art Fair Photo Policies –

As an artist, what are your thoughts on people taking photos of your work?  Are you all for someone taking photos of your work?  Or are you firmly against having anyone take photos of your work.  Do you post signs in your booth not to take photos?  Do you ask potential customers to not take pictures?  If you do, what are your reasons for your no photo policy?

There is certainly an understanding that you want to protect your creative property.  That you don’t want someone to take a photo of your photography to keep them from purchasing the original photo from you.  You may even be concerned the person taking the photograph will copy your work and create if for themselves.

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The Creative’s Monday

Girl reaching for coffee cup

The Creative’s Monday –

When you are a creative selling on the weekend, your Monday is different from other people’s.  You didn’t have the weekend off. 

Monday morning may see you heading back to your full-time job after working all weekend!  Maybe Monday is a travel day for you.  Heading home or driving to your next show.  Maybe Monday is the day you get back into your studio to create again. 

Or is your Monday more like other people’s Saturday and you are running around doing errands, catching up on your laundry and checking things off your personal to-do list.

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Business Book Recommendations

Business Books Stacked

If you are in a creative business or thinking about starting one, here are two business book recommendations;The Business Boutique and Your Creative Career. 

These two books are aimed explicitly at starting your business. Although I think there is useful information, even for well-established artists.

The first book recommendation is Business Boutique by Christy Wright

Business Boutique is written specifically for women starting or already in business. She gets into the emotional baggage some women carry with them that most men don’t. She does this with humor and honesty. You are brought into her life as she leads you through her journey of entrepreneurship.  

The book can be used as a guide as you work on your business. 

Christy takes you chapter by chapter through the four tiers of building a business:

1. The Foundation

2. Making it Yours

3. Getting it Up and Running

4. Putting yourself Out There 

The author takes you from your “why” to setting up your company and making everything work in your life.

She does this step by step, with real-life examples and humor. The author will give you the pep talk you need to keep going while keeping it real. Running a business isn’t always fun or easy. 

I slowly read through it and worked through the steps. Rereading portions when I needed to do so.

I reached for it again and again when I needed a push to keep going.

The Second Book Recommendation is Your Creative Career by Anna Sabino

I have never loved the opening remarks more in a book, “In case no one has told you, you’ve got this.”  (This has been my mantra as I started building my own business.) 

Where the Business Boutique is specifically for women starting a business, Your Creative Career is for creatives beginning a business.

It pushes you, guides you, and coaches you through the process of going from creative to creative entrepreneur. The author doesn’t sugarcoat this or let you think this is easy. Instead, she gives steps and guidelines to get through the challenging parts. 

The book continues by providing guides for pricing art, growing your business, and how/when to market your creative business.

I have read and marked up both books. Highlights, stars, underlines are all over both books. I highly recommend both business books.

It doesn’t matter to me if you borrow them from the library or purchase them through your local bookstore. I am a big proponent of learning, but I am also frugal. Do what is best for you and your business.

Which of the two business book recommendations most interests you?  Do you have a different one which is a favorite?  Let us know in the comments what your favorites are.

Here is another article I wrote on free and inexpensive training if you are looking for other resources.

Training

books

Training or learning something new is probably not something you either have the time or money to do. I completely understand. As a woman bootstrapping a business, while working full-time, while raising children, while paying for kids in college, I completely understand the sentiment.

I also understand the need to invest in yourself and to expand your ability to run a successful business.

At a conference I attended one of the speakers stated we needed to invest 10% of our business revenue on training (or maybe it was income). Whichever one of these applies, use it. Continue reading “Training”

Free Training Available For Creatives

free training

Your business is important to you and you know how important it is keep up with your professional training as well as creating goals for your business.  You want to make this your best year ever. 

You may be like most people right now and not have a whole lot of money left after the holidays for training.  A great resource for free and/or inexpensive training for your creative business is Creative Live. Continue reading “Free Training Available For Creatives”

Setting Your Business Goals for the New Year

Reach Your Business Goals

Business Goals

We all know January is all about setting and breaking new year’s resolutions. (According to US News and World Report, 80% of people have stopped working on their resolutions by mid-February.) This article isn’t about resolutions; this is about setting and working on the goals you have for your business.

You do have goals, don’t you?

If not, let’s start with looking back at last year. Do you know what your gross revenue was?  This would be your gross sales from last year. If not, look at your bank account and see what your deposits are from your business. You did separate your business account from your personal bank account, didn’t you? If so, good for you. If not, do that right now. Really, stop reading and go online today or head to your local bank and set up another account for your business. You need to know how much your business brings in.

Ok.  We now have our gross revenue amount from last year.   Are you happy with it? It doesn’t matter if you made an additional $1,000 from your first show or are earning $100,000 annually. If you are satisfied with it, let’s figure out how to do this again. And if you aren’t happy, what can you do to increase it, so you are more satisfied with your revenue.

First, do you have the time and energy to do more shows?

If yes, which fairs fit with what you sell and your price point? Ensure the cost of traveling to the new shows makes sense with your goal of earning more money. If you spend more than you make going to an event, will it pay off in the future if you continue to go? Or will you make repeat customers from another location? Are there other great shows in your local area you can do? Maybe you only did one show during the summer, is there one during the holidays you could do?

Second, do you have an online presence?

If not, do you have the time and energy to deal with selling online? The order processing and monitoring of sales? If you can do so, decide where you want to sell. Do you want to set up an Etsy shop, apply to Amazon Handmade, set up your online store?

There are advantages and disadvantages to all. Kiff at The Artist’s JD wrote up some of the differences in your rights between having an Etsy Store and an Amazon Handmade Store. It’s worth a read to find out some of the differences.

Third if you do not have the time and energy to do more shows or create more inventory to sell, the next option for increasing revenue is to increase the price point of what you sell.

But before you do this, you need to do some research to see if this will lose your existing customers. If you sell on Etsy, how price sensitive are the shoppers? Will they buy from another vendor if you increase your price a $1 and item? If you are selling at an art fair, will it price you out of the market if you increase your sales price by $10 per item?

It is a bit of a tricky situation when pricing your products, which I am sure you went through when you initially priced them. But look at your costs and what you want to earn and make a decision if it would be in your interest to increase your price.

Or, conversely, is your price point too high to create sales? Do you need to decrease it to increase your sales? Would reducing the per-item cost of your home-made lotions by $.50 increase your overall sales and make you more net income?

Do not change your price without doing some research and look at your bottom line. Is it worth creating more sales if you are already stressed to make the inventory and fill the orders?

We go back to time and energy.

You are your business. You decided to create your own business for your reasons. To make additional side-income, to be your own boss, to spend your time creating. 

You may have also started your business to be able to have time with your family. Make sure your business goals still work with your personal goals. Make sure you didn’t create a business you no longer love doing. Of course, there will always be parts of a business you don’t love, but you should, overall, love what you are creating!

So, it is time to sit down with pen and paper, or hands-on a keyboard and write out your business goals. They need to be SMART goals, meaning they are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. Here are some you may want to look at:

    • The number of shows this year.
    • Amount of items I want to create and the inventory of each.
    • What am I making this year (new products)?
    • How much do I want to earn?
    • Do I want an online presence?
    • If I have an online presence, do I need to revamp how it looks?
    • How much time do I want to spend on my business?

Once you have the answers to these questions, it is time to sit down with your calendar and schedule your year. 

When are the shows you want to do? When do you need to apply to them? Include all of this in your calendar. Once accepted to an event, work backward to figure out when you will need to create the inventory you want to sell. How much time does each item take to make, how much time do you have each week to complete the show’s inventory?

Looking at earnings, how much do you need to sell at each show to meet your goals? Or, if you sell online, how much do you need to sell each day to meet your revenue goals? How many sales will you need to make to reach that amount? How much of your time will you need to invest for each sale?

As you work through fitting your tasks into your calendar, you will start to see if your goals are realistic.

Can you realistically create the inventory you need for a show a month from now? Will you have the time to keep up with your online store if you attend another craft fair? Will you still love your business and have time for your life with the goals you want to achieve?

If not, reassess your goals to make them fit in with your overall life.

There is no reason to kill yourself, making the inventory, and creating additional revenue if you will not have time to enjoy your life. Because although you are your business, your business is not all there is to you.

If you would like additional resources on goal setting, you can take a ton of classes. Amazon also has a ton of books on goal setting. I am currently reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits; I recommend it, but find one which speaks to what you are looking to learn.

Wishing you all the best as you create your goals for this year.

Cyber Monday

Going to Need Coffee

It has been a long weekend of family and shopping.  We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving with family/friends.

We also hope you survived Black Friday shopping and found just the right thing at a great bargain.  And maybe after you left the big stores you found your way to your local shops later in the day or on small business Saturday.

Continue reading “Cyber Monday”

Do these five things today for your business

Do these five things to get your business set up.

  • Decide what type of business you are going to be.  If you are a solo creative entrepreneur, you can choose between being a sole proprietor and filing your taxes on your personal tax return with a Schedule C.  If you have one or more partners, you can’t be a solo proprietor, but you can choose to be a partnership and file partnership returns.  The last option for either individuals or partnerships are to file paperwork with your state to become a LLC or corporation.  A quick google search will get you to the correct website for your state.  

Continue reading “Do these five things today for your business”