The best business decision I made in 2012 was to invest in a high-level mastermind group.
I invested because I believe in working with mentors who have achieved a high degree success. I believe in investing in help for my business. I believe that having a mentor or coach is critical to one’s success.
I was too stingy to make this move for a few years and paid for it dearly with frustration and burnout.
I invested to help my clients play a bigger game in their art businesses. I'm already seeing better results from clients and intend to see much more with the Art Biz Incubator. (<click there for more info about the ABI)
What was your best business decision of 2012?
What made your business run more smoothly?
What made you sleep better?
What made you more money?
31 thoughts on “What Was Your Best Business Decision of 2012?”
My best business decision of 2012 was to use 2012 as a building year; building my art, working on my technique and identifying a style and medium that most rocked my world. While I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to show much in 2012 early on, life (a now-resolved health issue) forced me to cancel all but one show. Consequently, I was free to create and experiment without the pressure of creating saleable art. My art had time to mature and grow as a result.
When life gives you lemons, ….
My best art business decision of 2012 was to open my own studio/gallery in high-end retail space after the Artist Colony lost its lease. Scary but exciting.
My best decision this year was to move into the larger and more expensive front gallery space of where I’ve been renting. I did this in spite of the Waldo Canyon fire, the reduction in tourism that hit Manitou springs really hard this past summer and this awful election year. I did it because I knew that in order to be successful, I had to take the leap and sell not only my work buta couple of other artists whose work I believe in and the sales are paying off even though I am up little old Ruxton Ave away from the main drag.
The best decision I made this year was to have a solo show in a 15th century villa owned by the city instead of a gallery.
While it meant that I had to do everything (I mean everything!) it paid off not only in sales and connections, but it also created the opportunity for me to see my own capabilities. The show was a huge success and I felt more confident about my work and level of professionalism, realizing that with time, persistence and smart work I will eventually reach my personal goals.
Thank you for asking!
I decided to do fewer, bigger shows in 2013, and to concentrate on producing a cohesive body of work for those shows.
1. focus on completing an important series
2. allow some balance- not all or nothing:
~pick up non-art related work to relieve financial stress
~refrain from taking full time position to allow time to paint
In, 2012, I decided to follow my heart and vision for my work and not worry about having inventory or pusing sales. I only did a couple shows that I selected to test their results. Both were awesome.
I took more time for me and my family and followed my dream. It paid off in so many ways, I was amazed ;-D
I’ll put my decision on the ‘learning curve.’ I participated in 4 group shows in galleries where I had to fill walls with 10 or more paintings. Three of these shows were 2+ hours away and sales were slow. I found being in too many shows distracted me from spending time painting. My decision made this month – send individual pieces to shows as often as possible, but no more than 1 or 2 larger shows a year!
I hosted my first open studio but more importantly I followed up. Some people were interested in coming but could not make it on the day I scheduled so I arranged for several private studio tours which led to my biggest sales of the year.
I rented a 300 sq. ft private gallery in the new Artists of New Mexico Galleria (an 11,000 sq. ft building full of local art). The move has boosted my sales, added credibility to my business (by being able to say I have a gallery) and given me a chance to be around other creative artists 5-6 days a week. We work together to market our work on-line and locally.
Getting help building a website. Learning that just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should… Or would do it. Making that commitment to my own domain and website really pushed me to commit to building my dream. What a great year 2012 has been and 2013 will be!
These are great questions to ask- it shows just how far we have come and how much farther we can go in the future!
2012 Has been a year of great commitment and growth for Exclusive Collections Galleries. After having been a gallery with three locations in San Diego, we decided to move one of our galleries to The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, and open another gallery in Laguna Beach. With four retail locations in three cities, EC Galleries are learning to transition from a small business to a larger one while fostering the close relationships that we have with our collectors.
Getting a studio space outside of my apartment was a big step for me. Since I have to commute to work and I work at it M-F 10 am to 6 pm, it’s more like a regular job for me. I miss being able to work on nights and weekends, but it has created a more balanced life for me. I’m not as distracted since I can’t do the laundry, clean the house, etc.
Ok – almost forgot a good decision. Finally created a blog in addition to my site which I’ve had for years. I post once a month and as a result I sold enough of my art cards to subscribers to make a small profit.
My best decision was to spend a lot of money up front to have my pieces professionally framed in matching frames for my first solo show. (I shopped around and located a fabulous framer who gave me “artists’ prices” but it was still a significant outlay.) It made for a very cohesive, very professional looking show. I’m confident it was a significant factor in the show being such a success. (I sold 24 paintings!!)
I guess the old saying is often true — you need to spend money to make money!
Best wishes to all for many artistic successes in 2013!
Best business decision: getting on a plane and going to where people interested in my art niche would be. In-person contact sped up process of growing network, getting media mentions, establishing credibility, plus just more fun on a personal level to engage this way vs. email, etc.
Happy New Year!
Mine is kinda the same as yours Alyson – hiring a coach. Working with someone to help me move forward is HUGE!
I KNOW! Very happy you found a good fit, Lisa.
I don’t know if it’s also true elsewhere, but here in the Northwest, election years can be really dodgy for sales and it really holds true in art shows. The best decision I made for 2012 was to pull WAY back from doing shows and just focus on commissioned work coming in via internet and teaching feather-painting workshops. The summer sales were sluggish but the last quarter more than made up for it. Developing my teaching skills through workshops has been such a joy, I’ve had some students who have never painted ANYTHING before, let alone on a feather, but all were happy with their work at the end of the classes. Now I may be teaching a workshop or two overseas in 2014.
Julie: Sounds like a very smart move. Best to you in 2013!
My best business decision this year was to set down my definite long term goal for my art work. That got me going with a plan of action to work towards that goal.
Instead of doggedly pushing harder at things that were not working, I let them go even though I did not yet have something to replace them. I feel that even though this was crazy scary, it left me feeling amazingly free. I believe I now have more energy to pursue the next thing.
Now I’m terribly curious as to what things you let go. 😉
Even though it didn’t make sense on paper financially, in March I took the leap and moved my studio out of my basement and into a storefront space in a dodgy (yet up-and-coming) part of town. Not only has my work gotten larger (which is selling well and suits my aesthetic better), but I’m much more accessible now to art consultants and other buyers. This year I’m going to reach out to collector’s groups and see if I can get on the studio visit tour circuit. I’m also going to see if I can exchange studio visits with artists whose work inspires me for some serious discussions and critiques.
Wow! Congratulations, Lynn! Please keep me posted – let me know how the space works.
Mine was to approach my art as a business and not just wait for things to happen. I’m 100% into my artwork now and not just doing it here and there. Everyday I am making an effort to learn, grow, produce, and do all I can to succeed. I’m more than just committed, I’m obsessed! It’s great to be starting this new year with this mindset!
Thank you Alyson for everything that you teach us!
Monica: I love it! Sounds like it’s feeling really good and authentic. Happy New Year!
After much deliberation, I have decided that my best business decision for 2012, was probably the same as the one in 2011, namely, continuing my membership in the Artist Conspiracy, which to those who are not members as of yet, is being renamed the Art Biz Incubator & is rumoured to have 3 tiers now, gold, silver & emerald(I hope this is ok to leak?)…I encourage those on the fence to join for 2013, because, for those who watch tennis, coaching can make the difference between good & great…Especially with a great coach!
Sari: Thank you so much for sharing that. We’re very lucky to have you as a member. And, yes, it’s perfectly lovely to share that. It’s all at http://artbizincubator.com
Happy New Year!
How interesting that so many of the comments so far, indicate alot of artists’s best decision was to get out “there”, either in a gallery, exhibition or show. As someone not comfy with social media (but understands the importance) I am incredibly encouraged :))
My best business decision this year so far is to be constructing a new website, to become one that will soon be very plain, but will showcase my art more than anything, and one that I can change and understand, in order to do it myself.