Take time to think through and write down what you really want in your creative business. Once you know your destination, you can make a road map.
A frequent problem artists have is that they want to “sell more work” or “find more opportunities” but they don’t have much more detail than that. They end up frustrated, because they didn’t have a main idea in place to begin with. They never actually end up accomplishing any goals, or even know what they really want. More often than not, they wonder what happened along the way that kept them treading water. What they lack is a vision for their business.
What is a vision statement? In bigger businesses, a vision statement is a clear definition of values and purpose, which can help pull a team of employees together in the same direction. It defines what the business wants to build and create with their efforts.
In your small business as an artist, your vision may be about the place you want to live, the amount of time you want to spend in the studio, the type of artwork you want to make, and how you want to share it with the world. Your vision might include the people you want to associate with, the experiences you want to have, and the way you want to sell your work. Above all, consider what makes you happy. It’s a very personal thing because only you can know what really fulfills you, and what you really love.
Without a specific vision of where you want to go with your business, you may end up taking whatever comes along. That can mean you stop controlling your art business – and it starts controlling you.
Create a vision for the way you want to live, running the business you are passionate about, because:
- It helps you stay the course. With a true understanding of the end game, you won’t get waylaid as often. This also helps you to say “No” to those things that don’t fit your vision (even if they are in the form of sales or opportunities), and “Yes!” to those things that do.
- It allows you to create strategies. Once your path is clearly defined, you can set SMART goals to move towards the vision you have for your business. These are measurable, and let you “check off the boxes” as you move forward.
- It keeps you focused. There is nothing like have a clear understanding of what you are working towards to keep you motivated every day. Once your vision statement is written, it can be tweaked a bit as time goes by, but it will stand as a beacon, guiding your efforts as you grow your business.
One great tool to use while defining your vision is a Vision Board, and you can learn more about creating one here.
Are you feeling out of focus in your own small business? The Arts Business Institute offers consulting services to help artists define their vision and their goals, and steps to reach them. Learn more here.