On Competence

    There are areas in your practice that you need to demonstrate competence. Even if you hire professionals,  you should have some things in your knowledge base in order  to run your business.
     Many of us as artists want little or nothing to do with sales, finances, websites, marketing, or shipping and receiving. I assert that even if you reach a status where these tasks can be largely delegated, you need to have full access to and understanding of these aspects of the trade.
     If you regularly post to a blog or make a newsletter, you should know how to do that without assistance. You should be able to post new work to your website and remove items that are outdated. It’s fine to have a  web designer to handle the technical stuff, but know details of your domain and web hosting and maintain control of those passwords, deadlines and payment methods.
     Details about your business such as sales numbers, cost of materials, and gross and net earnings should be up-to-date in your head. Tax laws, business licenses and insurance should at least be current and kept where you can refer to them easily. The professionals you hire to assist in these areas should be available when you need them to answer questions on the fly.

     Printers, framers, photographers and other service providers should be happy to explain the basics of what they are giving you, so that you can explain it to your customers and compare prices accurately. Take charge of every aspect of your art business — delegating responsibility does not mean abdicating it. Reserve time weekly to check that things are running smoothly, so that you can concentrate on the art– because no one can replace what you bring to that part of the practice.

Photography, inventory, merchandising, sales, pricing, copywriting-- it's all part of being an arts entrepreneur.

Photography, inventory, merchandising, sales, pricing, copywriting– it’s all part of being an arts entrepreneur. Here’s a shot of handmade books and prints for my etsy shop.

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