Increasing Your Profit Margin

As an artist, did you know that one of the best ways to increase your profitability is to cut your business spending? Here are some easy ways to decrease your business expenditures:

Buy in bulk when you can.
Office supplies, art supplies, marketing materials such as: business cards, brochures, postcards, etc., are always cheaper when you purchase them in large quantities. You can lower your costs even more by starting an Artist Co-op and dividing up supplies and costs with your artist friends.

Get art supplies online.
Most artists work with a preferred medium and buying online or from a catalog is much cheaper than going to an art supply store. This could save you 20-40%. PLUS, some online art supply stores offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount. This can also save you travel time and fuel expenses.

Consider your consumption of supplies.
Recycle old paintings, drawings, and supplies whenever you can.Old paintings & drawings can be cut up and used for collage.Old paintings can be taken off the stretcher and you can stretch a new canvas on the frame.

Stop your compulsive art supply spending – Don’t buy supplies just because they are cheap, but then you never get around to using them anyway. You just end up losing money if you throw them away.

Stop using cheap art tools that have to be constantly replaced due to their poor integrity. A good paintbrush may cost $35.00, but if you take care of it well, it may last you 10 years.

Store your art supplies well.
Use Ziploc freezer bags to keep oil pastels from drying out too quickly.Use Ziploc freezer bags to store chalk pastels and charcoal. This will keep them from getting other art materials messy and/or unusable.

Store paint that you’ve mixed in small air tight containers in the refrigerator; this will keep mixed paint fresh for a long time. OH…don’t forget to label your paints…nobody wants that super cool red you mixed for your masterpiece on their French fries…they want ketchup!

Keep your art supplies between 50-85 degrees and out of direct sunlight. This will promote a long shelf life.

Go GREEN
Watch your consumption of resources.

When you work, do you have a lot of unnecessary appliances or electronics on during your creative time? Do you have more lights on than what is really needed? Are you using long lasting light bulbs? Are you utilizing natural light?

Are you using too much water to wash brushes?

Do you use too many paper towels?

Be a good steward of the environment and think of ways that you can be a GREENer Artist.

A few more suggestions to save you some $$$

When purchasing business supplies and art supplies, go when there’s less traffic and plan your business errands/shopping so that everywhere you need to go is in close proximity. This will save you time and gas…and maybe some Advil.

Keep an eye and ear open for sales, but buy what you NEED. Before you get to the checkout counter, look in your basket and ask yourself: “Do I really need this, or do I just want it?” Remember to keep your impulse art supply spending in check. (I say this because I am THE WORST about buying cutesy art stuff and then it sits on a shelf for 5 years.)

Learn how to build your own painting supports, this will save you money, but will cost you some time.

When you want to experiment with mediums, check and see if one of your artist friends will let you try a little bit of theirs, or buy the smallest product available in 2-3 colors. After you have experimented with the new medium and have gotten a “feel” for it, you’ll know if you want to make a larger investment and purchase more.

More art business ideas next week!!

Michelle :)

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