For artists trying to turn their craft into a profitable business, the beginning steps can seem daunting. Whether you’re just looking to share your work, or actually trying to make a living off of it, there are a few things that are universal. In celebration of National Small Business Week, May 12-16, we’ve come up with five baby steps to get your arts business off the ground.
1. Name your business
First, if you’re really new at this, you need to name your business. While funny or interesting names might be unique, naming your business something offbeat might send you into murky waters with trademark and copyright issues.To avoid the mess, find a way to incorporate your own name into the business name. This will ensure the name’s not already taken, and will help people easily recognize you as the face or artist behind the project.
2. Establish a business email
Creating a separate business email ensures that one, people will be able to contact your business, and two, their emails won’t be lost in your general junk folders. The email domain should include your business name and should be used for business communications only. The last thing you want is to lose customers because you didn’t see their email among the 50 others in your inbox.
3. Build a Facebook page
Creating a second Facebook page to use specifically for your business will help give credibility to your work. Much like your new email, a new Facebook page will give customers and friends a direct way to connect with you about your work without having to fight through other personal posts or family pictures. This separate page will also help you establish a professional identity for your brand. Fill your new page with examples, pricing and information about your upcoming events and exhibits.
4. Open a checking account
Trust us on this one. Opening a business checking account will save you from an enormous headache come tax season. Distancing your personal money from your business account will also help you keep a clearer picture of the expenses and income for your new business.
5. Start a website
Starting a website sounds scarier than it is. With services like WordPress or Blogger, designing and managing a website is actually fairly simple these days. By creating your own page, you can make it easier for people to find your work and, more importantly, share your work. The site can also serve as a central hub for information regarding your business. Here, you can list your new business email, links to your social media accounts and a little more of your background and story as an artist.
With small steps, creating an arts business becomes less daunting and more fun. Keep an eye out for posts throughout the summer for more artist tips and ways to build your blooming business.
Alex Newby, Communications Assistant