It's 2020, and world events may have thrown you and your art business for a loop. Does that mean you can't still plan ahead? Nope! Let's go through 3 simple action steps you can take to start planning your 2021 and beyond.
This doesn't have to be an overwhelming process. Let's keep things as simple as possible. As you're going through each of the steps below, resist the urge to list the million little things you want to accomplish and instead focus on one aspect or goal. Ready to get started?
Step #1: Revisit what may not be working anymore.
Some of your revenue streams may have taken a backseat due to the pandemic (for example, in-person markets or workshops), but that doesn't mean they won't be back next year.
For this exercise, to help you take a look at what may not be working in your business anymore, ask yourself:
- Which part of your business uses up a lot of your energy, but has little financial return or profit?
- Which revenue stream or project seems to take from you more than it gives back?
- Is there anything you're doing now because you feel like you have to, and not because you want to?
Sometimes the projects that pay the bills may not be the ones you enjoy most. But your business shouldn't be entirely consumed by those projects! We have to leave room for joy in our art and business or else severe burnout could actually end up risking everything - most importantly, your energy and happiness!
Step #2: Grow what is coming easiest to you now.
Now that we're starting to weed out what may be a time or energy suck in our business, we can take a look at what does seem to be going really well.
A "successful" revenue stream ideally includes these two things: a solid profit margin and something that you actually enjoy creating.
- Which part of your art or business flows out of you easily?
- Which revenue stream or project has a higher profit margin compared to the rest?
- Is there anything you can do to make this successful part of your biz run even more efficiently?
Even if something is going really well, that doesn't mean you can't still improve it. How can you make that part of your biz even better? How can you make it grow? This can happen naturally by cutting out areas like we discussed in #1, so you have more time to work on growth. Or, maybe there are apps or even hiring help in some form that can make this project flourish even further.
Step #3: Listen to your gut for what's next.
After taking a deep dive into the current state of your biz through steps 1 and 2, it's time to start dreaming for what's to come.
- What has been in the back of your mind lately? Anything you're feeling passionate about pursuing?
- Is this idea aligned with what your current customers or audience may want to see from you, or will you have to seek out a new audience? (No right or wrong answer there, just something to consider).
- How will this new project or revenue stream affect your lifestyle? Will it fit in naturally, streamline it further, or will there be an adjustment period?
It's often really exciting to thing about what's ahead, but make sure to take some time and really consider how your new ideas will affect the other parts of your business, and your personal lifestyle.
I know we're likely all looking forward to a new year ahead, and I hope this was helpful for you. I'm always trying to reassess what is and isn't working in my business, because I want to make sure it is sustaining me both financially and emotionally. And I want that for you, too!
If you want to dive deeper into planning, starting, or growing your art business, learn about my new mini-course, Creative Clarity here!
Happy biz planning!