Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A business is a business is a...

A week ago, I picked up a copy of Craft, Inc. I'd read so many shining reviews that I decided I should look into it and see what I can glean from it.

At its most basic, Craft, Inc. is about turning your craft into a business and all of the stuff you need to think about along the way. A lot of the information is not new to me and some of it doesn't really pertain to what my business is right now. But, I'm definitely glad that I've taken the time to read it – if for no other reason than it has made me start thinking more seriously about my jewelry-making truly being a business.

In 2003, I officially became a small business owner. I got the DBA, the seller's permit, the business license, the checking account. I started filing my Schedule C when I did my taxes. But because I hadn't made a profit until just recently, it always felt like I was just playing business owner. Kind of like a kid playing dress-up.

Reading this book has made me realize that, if I want to be successful as an artist and get to that point where I'm making my living from my jewelry, I need to get more serious about running my business like an actual business.

How does this translate? Well, for starters, I wrote out a business plan. This is something that I've heard many times that all business owners should do. But, as an artist, the thought of writing out a dull, report-like, 100-page document makes me cringe. The book advocates something else entirely – if you're not going to be approaching a bank for a loan, then the plan is really for your own eyes as a business owner, as a sort of road map to help you get to where you want to go. Hmmm, I thought, that makes sense. My business plan is a whopping page and a half. The first page has a description of the business, my mission statement, my sustainability statement and some big mile-marker goals. The second page has a brief overview of what my products are and where I'm going to focus my marketing energy. And that's it, folks. My next step is to turn it into a big poster that I can hang in my studio, so that the plan will continue to guide me.

No comments: