Twelve top tips for your Craft Business year plan
Start recording data – collecting information and data will help you plan and implement business decisions. Making a record of associated costs for your practice; time to produce a new design; information on your potential marketing opportunities and selling outlets; any information linked to running, developing and growing your business should be documented so you can plan short and long term.
Branding – when developing your brand remember two crucial things to focus on: your story (who you are and what you make) and your target audience. Your brand is what people say about you and your business when you are not in the room.
Pricing your work – so many artists and makers do not include profit when working out their artist (wholesale) price; without profit your business cannot sustain or grow. As a starting point - costs (overheads + materials + time) x 2 (your profit) = wholesale price x 2.5 = RRP (recommended retail price)
Photographing craft – good photographs are the most important thing for presenting your creative practice. Three basic rules: keep background plain and consistent; introduce scale such as props or models, and include image captions.
Choose the right promotional and selling outlets – who is your audience, what is their profile, and where do they shop? Are you targeting the right markets (e.g. galleries, retailers, and online) to reach your audience? Are you presenting your brand in line with the outlet you have chosen? And are your prices competitive?
Sign up to an event – having a deadline to work towards whether training event, selling opportunity or networking event can help keep you focused and motivated.
Plan backwards – good event project management is all about planning backwards. Set a date and plot what needs to be done and when.
Have an online presence – your online profile is your digital business card; do not overcrowd it with irrelevant information. Think simple and professional - it's a profile for selectors and journalists, and can be used for e-commerce if that's a requirement.
Keep a paper trail – whether considering IP (Intellectual Property) or contracts; date your images to record when designs were originally created; follow up face to face or phone conversations with an email and keep copies of correspondence.
Broaden your connections – follow; tweet; attend; chat! Get to know about those that talk and influence decisions in the marketplace that you are a part of. Don’t forget other makers; learn from their experiences and career pathway.
You don’t have to say yes to everything – it is hard to say no to opportunities when they come along, especially when starting out. If you are unsure, take time to think and look back at your goals, does this opportunity enable you to get there? Will it pull you into another direction? Will it benefit your business growth or your creative development? If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it often is!
Think outside the box – it is tough to stand out in a crowd; so what creative ways can you use to entice your target audience to choose you over another maker? A brain storm session with like-minded people or industry experts can help you overcome a creative or business block.
For further support for your business contact us via Talent Development Team