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Monday, April 20, 2015

Art Biz Mondays: 5 Things I've Learned About Being In Control Of My Activities

Art Biz Mondays

It's become a habit for me over the last 6 months or so to sit down on Monday's and gather my business shizzle together.   Actually,I've been doing Art Biz Monday's for longer than that, 'electronically' it's been about 6 months. What I mean by that, is  previously all my planning and business numbers were done on paper, then 'sometimes' or at 'some point' , I would  transfer that information electronically to my computer.

The problem with that method is that I lost my planner once.  Total freak out.  Luckily my planner was returned in tact by a good Samaritan.  I also spilled a drink on my planner and had several pages  stuck together.  Bad, girl, I know.

Fast forward to last November and I decided to take charge and change the way I organized my business information,  moving from a paper system to an electronic system that encapsulated a monthly sales sheet,  weekly task list,  yearly goals and events, customer order sheet,  social media stats,  and a gallery spreadsheet that lists addresses, notes about the gallery, payments and shipping dates.  

The problem with this system is that you can also spill coffee on your computer and loose all the information.  yes. That happened to me last week.    LUCKILY  all was only temporarily lost.  The brilliant techie guy I found helped recover lost data with relative ease.  phew. PHEW!!!!!  So...lesson learned, I backed up everything on Drop box from my documents that should have been backed up  long ago.     I'm still working on my pictures, but that's another story.

Here are some things I've learned about myself and my art biz by being more focussed on my financials and activities.

1.  Overall,  I feel more in control of my business and activities.  I sat down before the end of the year and planned out what I was going to be doing (the bigger events and things I knew were coming up) each month. Overbooking and jamming up my schedule has been a constant hurdle that I have had to figure out a way to manage.  When I say this, it's not like I have events every week, but being a single parent and not having all the flexibility in the world to travel all the time, I have to really be realistic about what I can do and the time inbetween projects I need to do things well both personally and professionally. 

2.  My sales online have gone up dramatically over the last few months.   Perhaps part of the reason is that the work that has been put in place over the last few years is really starting to flow even more so than in the past, but I also think the reason my sales have increased is that I'm more aware of what's working and what's not working.   What's working is focusing on my online sales..haha.   I'm giggling because..ya...what a  brillian idea, if you focus on something, and give it some attention that it deserves, well what do you know, you see an uptick in activity generally!  I definitely want to delve into this more in another post, but for now...let's leave it at the fact that I've gone from having 40 or so items in my shop around Christmas time to steadily increasing that number to around 100 items currently, has helped sales tremendously.  

3.  Starting the week with a more specific plan outside of what my monthly plan has been extremely helpful in keeping myself accountable.  I like to check things off a list, and I get frustrated with myself if they aren't checked off.   Instead of 'physically' checking off that list, I highlight tasks that are completed. Those that are not completed get moved to the following week..and honestly, just like any list, sometimes certain things get moved up or down in priority, depending on what is going on.

4.   By tracking not just my sales, but my productivity, I can ensure that I'm putting the effort into producing enough inventory and the right inventory that will help me achieve my goals.   Now some of you may be saying, ya...but what about your inspiration, how can you track or force that to reach a particular number?  The answer is you can't force anything but at the same time, you simply must have either things into the pipeline later that will net a positive result, or create work that will eventually net what you need to make a living...scratch that...not just make a living, but be able to thrive like any business would want to. As an artist, you are no different.  You just have to change your mindset and merget the creativity with your business sense. 

5.   I've also learned, I'm far from perfect. I need help in certain areas.  I can't do it all myself.  I overcommit still despite my best efforts not to overcommit.  I get tired.  I get cranky. I procrastinate.  I get burned out.  I am messy and disorganized in my studio.  I am not as proactive as I want to be.  I am not where I want to be in my version of success.   And you know what, all of these things I've learned are totally okie-dokie. There is always something to learn and grow from.   The part of being more aware  and having a system in place is that you can keep yourself in check and keep re-evaluating the plan. The more I learn, the more I realize there is MORE to learn.   Does that make sense?  For point number 5 my key learning is that things are not always going to be perfect, I'm not going to always live up to my own expectations, and that even when I think I have a handle on it all, things change.   My reaction to those changes and those 'faults' of mine is what has changed (and still changing in a more positive way).  I'm still more in control than I used to be and that has made all the difference to my state of mind and my art biz.

How in control of your creative business are you?

What do you have in place that works for you?

What do you NEED to put in place to thrive in what you do?

Join in the conversation.  I'd love to hear from you through the comments here or via email:

Artfully yours,

Jodi Ohl


Be sure to stop by my shop today for a GREAT special on this featured Giclee print,  limited to 50 prints with only 5 offered at this great price of 1/2 off the regular retail price.

Size:  24 x 36
Medium: Giclee print on Somerset Velvet Paper  (similar to water color paper)
Edition:  Limited Edition of 50 prints
*all prints are made to order at a professional photo lab.  Shipment arrives normally around 10-14 days after you order.   It will come signed, dated and numbered.

Down By The River   24 x 36  Giclee

To see this item or more new work and 'articrafts', please visit my shop by clicking HERE.

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