The Art of Living by Making Art

Jewellery inspired by nature and made by hand.
How I make it, why I make it, the challenges I face and the successes that come my way.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Business as usual

One of the decisions you will have to make as a self-employed artist (read small business owner) is how many of the day to day business tasks will you do yourself and how many of them you will pay someone else to do. The kind of tasks that I am thinking of are book-keeping for example or website design or photographing your work. Any of us who put work in a gallery on consignment have handed over the task of selling to another person, for which we pay commission. Probably if you look at your own business you will see some things that you do yourself and some that you farm out.

Some people are of the opinion that it is more time and therefore more cost efficient to get other professionals to do business tasks for you, while others will say that if you do as much as you can yourself you retain control and you keep costs down by not having to pay out.

Looking at my business I realise that I am definitely in the latter camp - I do my own book-keeping, so have a good idea of what is coming in and what is going out, which is essential. I do my own photography. I am also starting to design my own website, with the help of a one day course I'm taking this week. And I'm in the middle of re-designing all my promotional materials, ie business cards, postcard, earring cards. I actually enjoy doing this as I used to do graphic design in a former 'life' but there is no doubt that it takes time. I have done my own selling too, at craft fairs and trade shows but that is an area that I am really not so good at despite my efforts to improve, so that is one I'll leave to the pros.

I try to maintain a balance between creative work in my studio and business work at my desk, there is a kind of ebb and flow throughout the year as different things take priority but I've had my jewellery business for ten years now and so far so good.

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