Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Oh GoodnesS Me Plan; a Business Plan for Artists

A business plan is a fine thing. It is built of numbers and dreams, and it requires careful thought and a bit of research. Before I could create a business plan, I needed to:

Heron Scarf in process
a. figure out who my customers were likely to be (I made this up from the few customers I have had already)

b. think about where I might sell my wares (art fairs and boutiques)

c. figure out how much each piece cost to make, what I can sell it for, and what my profit margin would be

d. know how much money I need to live on

e. know how many I need to make and sell in a month to make that much money (and not go crazy!)

f. have a good idea what my monthly expenses are likely to be

Love these patterns, but I have not
 been able to do it again. Every piece
is one of a kind! 
It is very helpful, this business plan. It is made of numbers, though, many many numbers in neat little rows and columns--lots of rows and columns!  Numbers just don't quite satisfy me. I need more.

Then my Artist Magazine arrived, with an article on OGSM, a business plan for artists. YES! OGSM stands for Objectives, Goals, Strategy, and Measurement. My brain immediately put friendlier words to the letters;  Oh GoodnesS Me.

So.....Objectives.... To make money, right?
AH...if my objective is just to make money, I should go sell stocks or insurance. You and I know there is something deeper and broader. We need objectives that talk about our yearning to grow as artists and to reach a larger audience, as well as the business side of art.

I have objectives as a practicing artist painting on silk, and objectives as a teacher, as well as for the business side. Here is my beginning:

Area Objectives Goals
1.Professional Development as an artist--technique 1.Master using natural dyes 1.Create an inventory of at least 5 natural dyes, including tumeric, madrona, a good brown, a good green, and indigo by Strawberry Festival
2.Master using various methods pf applying dyes and fabric paints to silk 2.Try stamping, stenciling, block printing, and various Japanese techniques by Christmas

Strategies Measurements
1. Find partners to dye with, through the Fibernet group. Collect madrona bark and other local plants for dyeing.Try some dyes available at weaving works.1. I will have 20 scarves dyed in natural dyes by Strawberry Festival
2.Just do it! Commit to
a minimum of 3 hours
 a day in the studio trying new techniques
2. I will have 20 scarves displaying the various techniques by Studio Tour in December
Don't get me wrong. I need the numbers too. Numbers are how we keep score in this culture, and--more important-- numbers can tell me if what I am doing is working.

Check out Blue Sand Studio for some more ideas on goal setting. I really like Suzanne's way of setting up monthly goals for her jewelry making.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out to my blog, Blue Sand Studio. I think as long as you quantify your goals, you can see progress, and that will motivate you to keep going. Good blog post.