Are you a micro business owner?
Among all the challenges Covid threw in front of us, job security was right up there with health concerns. Not surprisingly, considering how many people were furloughed or laid off from their day jobs when Covid hit, there was a big surge in small business start-ups during 2020-2021 according to the SBA. The largest increases were reported in two sectors where many artists live - online retail and personal services.
Of the 32+ million small businesses currently operating in the US, about 90% are micro businesses (1-9 people), the vast majority of which are parties of one - the self-employed entrepreneur, aka the solopreneur.
If you are (or you're trying to be) a working artist, you are also a micro business owner. Whether you're selling original art, reproductions, licensed products, DIY kits, handmade crafts, project designs, classes...if you plan to make, you need to make a plan.
What I think is most important is that you treat yourself and your creative endeavors like a real business. It might require a mind shift, but you can do it. Write a mission statement. Set a sales goal. Make an operations budget. Create a profile for who your ideal customer is. Think seriously about your competition. Design some visual standards for your messaging. Develop a marketing plan and work it. Constantly analyze and improve your efforts. These can feel like giant tasks, you might even think they're reserved for much larger businesses than yours. But they're really just a map for whatever path you're on. These tasks are core to any micro business owner's success, whether you want to sell a piece of art or a warehouse filled with products.
There are loads of resources out there for micro business owners - just get to googlin' or ping me for a little help.