“Business? Yuck! I just want to paint”
This is part 1 of 4 in a series on Faux Finishing Business Success. Part two is here.
This is often the song of the artisan when faced with business tasks. It’s rare for people who love working with their hands to also be excited about business.
This issue is so powerful that some artists make the conscious decision to not engage in business at all; working a separate, “steady” job and only making art on the side. Thus avoiding all business related stresses and concerns. I’ve been there, maybe you have, too.
But for those of us who rely on faux finishing business success, avoidance is not an option.
This Art Gets Used!
If you’re reading this, you’re likely practicing “applied arts” of some sort. This includes faux finishers, car painters, furniture finishers, set painters or the myriad of others who focus on applying decoration to objects used in every day life.
Fine artists can stockpile their canvases, showing them when they wish, or not at all. But applied artists need victims (or… uh… customers) to fulfill our need to decorate walls, cars, doors, tables, floors…
Knowing how, and how much, to charge for our services is as much a part of our craft as the painting techniques we practice.
Can you afford to be a faux finisher?
Tools, materials, license, insurance, bond, clothing and shoes, education (skill development), advertising and marketing, studio/shop rent or payment, office equipment and supplies, accounting services or software, vehicle payment, maintenance and repair…
And that’s only a partial list of the cost of doing business! It’s crucial that these costs be calculated and used as a base rate for billing new customers.
Here’s a great article on Lifehacker that walks you through how to establish a cost of business base line, and then how to add in profit margin.
Here’s another article that goes a bit deeper. It’s directed at digital freelancers, but applies to you and I, too.
This process is a great first step, but it’s important to recognize that “cost of business” is only one aspect of growing and sustaining your art business.
“I love what you do!”
When a potential customer says those words, they tend to be well on their way to making an emotional commitment to hiring you.
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