In the dark about your art business numbers? Shine a light on key insights to help you measure your success and improve your business strategy. Whether it’s knowing the value of your inventory versus your sales or understanding which galleries are pulling their weight, these numbers can only help. Once you know where you stand, you can make an informed plan for the future.
Here are 4 key numbers to watch to better your art business and a simple, painless way to analyze them.
1. Know the Size and Value of Your Inventory
Knowing the size and value of your inventory will help you know where you stand in your art business. And help you plan for the future. If you've emptied out your inventory by the end of the year, you can give yourself a pat on the back. If you’re left with too much inventory at the end of the year, you can use this information to plan your future sales strategy. You can also use the number of pieces to see how much art you produce each month and each year. This helps you decide if you need to change your production speed or work habits.
2. Track How Much Work is in the Studio Versus Sold
The value of your inventory versus your sales can shine a huge light on your art business strategy. If you have thousands of dollars worth of inventory, that means you have thousands of dollars worth of potential sales. Consider slowing down production and focusing more on sales and marketing. Inventory dwindling and sales soaring? Better get back in the studio and create more art to sell. The more aware you are of the value of your inventory versus what you’ve sold, the better you can plan your days.
3. Consider How Many Pieces Each Gallery Has Sold
Keep tabs on how your galleries are performing. If one gallery is selling all your pieces quickly, you know it’s a winner. Follow up with them and make sure they have everything they need. It’s also important to know if a gallery is very slow with sales. Or worse, if they don’t make any sales. You can use this information to reconsider the location of your art pieces. It will also help you see which cities or parts of the country are best for your art sales. Then you can seek new places to sell your art in those locations. Being informed directs your efforts in the best way.
4. Understand Your Expenses Versus Your Income
Understanding this aspect is especially important when looking at where to show your artwork. Ceramics artist Liz Crain wrote an excellent blog post on this titled A Frank Look at Money and Venues. She found that a cooperative gallery seems to produce more income than a traditional gallery or vanity gallery. But, when looking into studio hours lost to the required co-op gallery volunteer time, the traditional gallery came out on top. Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield has a great list of potential venue expenses to consider in her post What Is Your Art Business Costing You?
How Can You Easily Track and Analyze Your Numbers?
The Artwork Archive’s Insights Page makes art business insights simple. It shows you easy-to-read charts like piece count and piece value. You can track your inventory, work for sale, and work sold at a glance. You can also see the value of your work at different locations. And measure your production and sales over time. Learn more about this fantastic tool here.
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