It’s September, and summer vacation is over. Artists are getting serious about business again, looking forward to robust sales in the fourth quarter. Here’s how to plan early for your success:
Set goals. Know how much you plan to make by the end of year – choose a dollar figure. Without a specific number, your goals are vague, and can’t really be measured. Then, break down your sales goals by month and keep track of your progress. A month with “mission accomplished” is highly motivating, and keeps you focused. Anticipate retail sales, commission work, wholesale volume, everything. Then, get organized and create strategies to maximize your sales in every sector.
Call your best customers. Your wholesale buyers know the countdown is beginning. Fourth quarter is likely their strongest time of the year. Get in touch to remind them to order enough stock for a great start. Know your turnaround times, and provide this information so they can place orders with confidence, and are aware of the last date they can receive your merchandise before the clock runs out at Christmas.
Touch base with your hot prospects. Even though many retailers have ordered for fall and holiday, there is still time to get back to those buyers who have shown interest but haven’t yet pulled the trigger. Do you have an appealing package for an opening order, perhaps with an incentive, that can arrive in their store at the perfect time to make a splash? Orders and reorders will continue throughout fourth quarter as retailers restock and position themselves to max their sales.
Think “packages.” – Can you create a gift basket with your collection, or bundle work together to sell sets (necklace/earrings, groupings of giclees, handmade sushi board with chopsticks & recipe book, etc.) These bump up every ticket, and are wonderful for shoppers looking for just the right present.
Start. Now. Don’t wait until November to start soliciting wholesale accounts – that is far too late. Do it now. Hit the ground running this month by using your marketing budget to advertise, ramp up your email marketing program, send reminders to old accounts, connect with your retail customers and show your best work.
Don’t miss these exciting ABI business workshops for artists – coming up in Fall, 2014! Each workshop is perfect for artists and craftspeople who want to launch or grow small businesses. Learn How to Make Work That Sells, Start Wholesaling, Develop Gallery Relationships, Market and Sell Your Work Effectively, and much more Individual business consultations available at each event.
ART+BUSINESS NYC, New York, New York, September 27-28, 2014
No More Starving Artists, Edinboro, PA, October 10-11, 2014
Art Business Bootcamp, Naples, FL, October 17-18, 2014
Marketing Magic, Montclair, NJ, November 8, 2014