At some point in your art career, you need to stop and evaluate the bottom line.
Sales might be good, but how are your expenses? How much is it costing you to make those sales?
Artist Liz Crain took a look at all of her venues, matched them against expenses, and posted the results on her blog.
What she found was that the venues where she had decent sales weren’t necessarily the ones that increased her income. There were additional hard and soft expenses that needed to be considered.
Why This Matters
It feels so good to make sales and see new money in our accounts that we often forget everything we had to do in order to earn that income.
If you are truly trying to earn a living as an artist and not just giving lip service to the effort, you care about both income and expenses.
You want to know your profit margin. How much did you really make? Or, if it comes to it, how much is the sale costing you?
There’s another reason this matters.
If you’re like most artists, you are stressed for time.
If you have a venue that is repeatedly losing you money, it’s an easy decision to stop messing around with that venue and start focusing on the ones that help you earn a living. At least it should be an easy decision.
Determine what your expenses are for each of your venues. These might include the following:
- Entry, booth, and rental fees
- Membership dues
- Reception costs
- Commissions paid
- Travel, transportation, hotel
- Paid assistants (for installation, booth sitting, etc.)
- Postage or shipping
- Time (e.g. gallery/booth sitting)
Then . . .
Crunch The Numbers
Income/Sales – Expenses = Profit or (Loss)
You probably already know this formula. If you are running numbers through it on a consistent basis, you won’t be spending time on costly ventures.
Liz ran the numbers for sales of $1000, $2000, $3000, $4000 and $5000 at her various venues with, surprisingly, no variation in results.
How did you do?
What is it costing you to show at your venues?