In 2008, when everyone was hit hard by the recession, Drew and I were still going strong with our business of selling and licensing art.
But our revenues gradually started to decline, as many of our best clients and licensees, went out of business.
OUR INCOME DROPPED BY 40%. Then it continued to tank…
By 2011, we were bringing in 50% of the revenue we were earning before the recession. And we started to panic. You see, just like many small business owners, we thought the recession would be a temporary thing, and that we would go back to selling art in the way we always did.
But we were wrong. Things changed and never went back.
To put it into perspective, in 2008 our average painting sale was $5,000. Often we would sell two to three of these large paintings a month, no problem. On top of that, we had our licensing and design revenues.
Now, our average painting sale is under $1,000. The collectors that paid the $5,000 slowly disappeared. Licensing revenues went down as well, because they are dependent on retail sales, which declined significantly.
SO WHAT DID WE DO? When we realized things weren’t going to go back to the way they were, we had to learn a new game.
We hired a business coach to help. And he gave us the three best pieces of advice ever:
1 – RUN YOUR BUSINESS TO EARN A PROFIT TODAY, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. Stop running your business like it’s going to go back to “normal.” (This meant that we had to cut back on everything that was non-essential and ensure that we made a profit, never a loss, every day and every week and every month.)
2 – NEGOTIATE FOR LOWER STUDIO RENT (we did, and we got our studio landlord to drop our rent by $600 a month!)
3 – LEARN A NEW GAME – GENERATE NEW FORMS OF REVENUE – TRY NEW THINGS!
In case you haven’t noticed, everything has changed in business today from 2008.
While our old customers are no longer spending $5,000 on paintings, that doesn’t mean that there’s less money in the world today then there was in 2008. The money isn’t gone; it’s just “moved”. So we either needed to find new collectors that can afford what we sell, or we needed to create new ways of selling the art.
I’ve been learning a new game these past few years, and I’m seeing our business come back to life. Though our original painting sales have decreased, our canvas print sales have increased. We are connecting with software companies and cloud companies for design work, which is where a lot of the money went!
And, we are continuing to INVEST OUR TIME IN LEARNING NEW TRICKS.
So I have to ask: HOW ARE YOU INVESTING IN YOURSELF? ARE YOU LEARNING A NEW GAME?
Now, more then ever, I attend business workshops, retreats and have hired coaches to help me grow. I have never, ever regretted the time or money spent on these things. The programs I’ve signed up for have helped to propel me further, when I just couldn’t go further on my own.
I have found that often, we hit a plateau where we just can’t go further without the help of people who have already gone where we want to go.
And here’s where I introduce the THRIVING ARTIST SUMMIT – A (FREE) online, conference that will help get your Creative Business to the next level!
This summit will help you to create and grow a powerful business with your art, either full time or part time. It will help you to stay focused and motivated, and to take your business to the next level.
Bonnie has brought together 20+ highly successful artists, experts, and mentors to share their key insights for real success.
You’ll learn from the best of the best How To:
• Build Your Brand for Your Ideal Buyers
• Price for Real Profit and Growth
• Increase Your Sales with Marketing, PR, and Social Media
• Diversify into Licensing, Wholesale, and Direct-to-Consumer
• Get Into Galleries, Shows, and Raise Project Funds
The Thriving Artist Summit – Online Audio runs from December 02 through December 13, 2013
All the Best, Maria xxoo