Control Your Expenses
Keep your expenses and overhead low.
Don’t step in over your head. Don’t purchase every cool tool you see. Will you really use it enough to justify the investment? Can you wait a while longer? I bought so many tools and supplies in the beginning. Most of them ended up in a drawer for years, until I just happened to run across them later. (Nice surprise!). And I still have stones and supplies stashed away that I may never get around to using. You’re going to grow and evolve as an artist, and you may decide to follow a very different path than you thought.
Don’t give into temptation. Think about your investments. You don’t need a studio and can’t afford. Maybe you can setup a small studio in a spare room, or the garage until you are sure you want to add the expense of a studio. Also, don’t forget to count all the extras, such as moving expenses, electricity, and insurances, etc.
DO NOT buy your supplies at Michael’s!
Build your inventory of materials and supplies wisely. Why on earth would you pay full price?
Search for wholesale companies and setup accounts with them. You’ll get your supplies for about half the price. That makes a big difference in the final cost of your jewelry, which means you can charge less and probably make more! If you can’t setup wholesale accounts, then at least buy from companies that offer discounts for purchasing in quantities. You may think about partnering with other artists in your area and order together for bulk discounts.
Keep your jewelry inventory & supply inventory as low as possible.
Keeping an inventory is expensive. You’ve invested time and money in making all that jewelry. You’ve bought all the tools, all the materials, and you maybe paying for overhead such as studio space, electricity, etc.
Be realistic. Is it going to sit in a box on the shelf until you finally get around to participating in that ‘big show’? Or you finally get into a shop or gallery?
Realistically, you will need inventory for shows, consignment, etc. But be practical. Inventory sitting on the shelf is like sitting up your money on the shelf. And now you can’t touch it till the inventory is sold.
That inventory needs to be there for a reason. Have a plan.
Don’t overstock someone else’s store.
It’s so exciting when you get into your first shop or gallery! Oh, it really ‘feeds an artist soul’ when a gallery owner believes in your talent enough to place your art in their gallery. It’s like a validation that you’re a true ‘artist’.
Congratulations! It truly is a compliment and validation, and you should be proud of yourself and all your hard work.
But again, step back and be realistic. Again, that inventory cost you money. Now your money is sitting on their shelves, making their gallery look great. It didn’t cost the gallery owner one penny. (Again, imagine that’s your money laying there!). Some gallery owners will take everything you have. (That may seem like a compliment at first… but think about it).
If your work doesn’t sell consistently … pull it out of that gallery. Yes, it may hurt, but wouldn’t you rather have your work selling in a gallery, rather than making their shelves look full? Research and reevaluate. Polish it up and take it to another gallery.
Set Goals and Priorities
Most days I work an average of 12-14 hours. I’m fine as long as I keep going. But once I stop, I realize that I’m totally exhausted. Many days I work very hard, yet as I go back over my day, I realize that I didn’t get that much done.
Now the things that I didn’t get done today are added to tomorrow’s to-do list. Which is getting longer, and longer, and longer … And I feel guilty, beat myself up and promise to get it all done tomorrow. And I go to bed with all that stuff bouncing around in my head… can’t sleep … ughhhh!
It’s hard, but I’m finding that if I set up goals and priorities for my day, my week and my month that I will get much more done. When I first decided to do this, I just ended up creating another endless to-do list. Then I learned to take that list and prioritize into what must be done and when.
Then I add those priorities to my calendar. Now it’s a plan. A task with a deadline. I still have to really, really examine my calendar weekly and make sure I’m being realistic.
Now I’m more relaxed. I have a plan. It’s all written down. I sleep ~ I’m guilt free! (Well, close…)
And goals are important, and you must have them. Your goals should be two-fold. Some goals are for tasks that need to be done, perhaps with before a deadline. And some goals are for things you want to accomplish. Think about them carefully. You should always have direction or path to reach your goals. Have daily, weekly and monthly goals. I also have short-term and long term goals for things that I have in my heart to accomplish. Something you’re dreaming about. Maybe you want a new studio/location? Do you want super expensive tool? Or you want to be known and recognized as a premier artist in your area.
Daily goals could be simple tasks such as answering emails and voice mails for 15 minutes each morning. Or perhaps adding 1 post to your blog each day. Weekly goals could be a little more complex, such as getting into a new gallery this week, or completing and submitting applications for shows this coming fall.
TIP: Everyday should include marketing!
Thanks for taking time to read, and I hope you found something helpful. And I’d love to hear what’s helped you ~ Fran
FRANCESCA LYNN: www.francescalynn.com
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