Need a Physical Location for Your Art-Based Business?

But not sure where to start? Keep reading to get started in securing the right location for you.

Much of today’s business is done online, and while you can’t escape it, you may also be interested in opening a physical location for your art-based business. Here are 5 important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Think about how much space you’ll need

Based on your business model, what activities will take place in this location? Based on those activities and the number of workers and customers you might expect to be in the space at one time, how large will your location need to be? Be realistic and understand that more space means more money in rent.

2. Think about how much you should spend

Based on your business model and expected target market size, understand how much revenue you expect to make. Many experts advise that your rent cost should not exceed 20%. Of course, the lower your rent is, the more profit you’ll make. With that being said, there are factors other than rent that should be considered when looking for a location.

3. Think about what area would be best for your creative business

Who is your target customer? Where do they live and what other areas do they frequent? Think about what factors are important for your kind of business. For example: Depending on if you’ll need lots of foot traffic or a large industrial building, your ideal area will vary greatly. So ask yourself what you’re looking for in a perfect location. Do forget to ask: What other businesses would be best to have as neighbors?

NOTE: Develop a list of important criteria you can use to help select your final location. Prioritize those criteria and refer to them whenever making a decision about a potential location.

4. Research local commercial real estate agents

Finding a real estate agent whom you think is honest and benevolent is an ideal situation. While that won’t always happen, its important to try your best to find a knowledgable and connected real estate agent. Ask around for recommendations and scour the web for reviews. Once you start working with an agent, share your prioritized list of criteria with them.

5. Visit multiple locations, if possible

Its often helpful to have multiple locations to choose from, so that you don’t find yourself settling on an almost-perfect location. With that being said, there is almost never a 100% perfect location. So make sure to keep your list of prioritized criteria handy and refer to it often. Discuss your available options with your business partners. If you’re a “soloprenenur,” ask your friends and family, or your SBDC Business Advisor, what they think. Talking through your options can often help you understand which selection is best.


Looking for your ideal business location will take time, so plan ahead and try to be patient. If you’d like to read about securing a physical location in more depth, leave a comment below. There are many aspects to finding a great business location; these five tips are the best place to start. Good luck!

Peace, Kayla

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get straight-to-the-point information that will help make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Tips for Naming Your Art-Based Business

Naming your business is an important step in developing a recognizable art-based brand. Here are some tips to help you find the “perfect” name!

1. Be clear about the product or service you offer

Every see or hear a business name and have no idea what the company actually does? Be careful with creating a name that is hard to directly relate to your business. Many artrepreneurs choose a descriptor word that follows the core business name to help give customers a hint about what they do. For example: Creations Film or John Doe Design. Others select names that play on the product or service provided. For example: The Sound Station or Artist’s Cafe.

2. Reflect your brand

In this article, we talked about building a brand around your art that acts as the core to your business image. Keep your brand in mind when developing a business name. Does your proposed name fit with the messaging style that you’ve decided on?

Some artrepreneurs name their business first, and then build their brand around that name. This is a slippery slope that can cause you to lose sight of the value you’re trying to offer. Instead, think about the value you’re providing your customers and how your business name can help to enforce it.

3. Be original, but easy to remember (and even familiar)

Originality is often praised in artrepreneurship, but Derek Thompson, author of the book Hit Makers, makes the argument that originality on its own is not king. People are more drawn to things that feel original AND familiar. Familiarity makes a business name easier to remember and creates a positive feeling in the hearts of consumers. So when naming your business, think about names that are somewhat original, and somewhat familiar or recognizable. This meet-in-the-middle method will help you create a business name that is preferred by most consumers.

4. Do your research

So you’ve gone through tips #1-3 and think you’ve found the perfect name for your business. Before you get too attached, make sure you do your research to confirm that the name is not already in use. There are 4 main places you’ll want to visit:

Google

A simple Google search can tell you right away if your potential business name is already in use. Is there another business or blog that floods your search results? If so, you’re going to have a hard time getting to the front page of Google, and a harder time becoming the very first search result that people will see. Check out what already exists online so that you can get an idea of the plausibility of your new business name.

NameCheckr.com

If you don’t see any competing online presences that might threaten the success of your new business name, it’s time to check out NameCheckr.com. This site allows you to simultaneously check all top-level domains and social media sites for your preferred business name. For example: You might want to name your business: Artist’s Cafe. On NameCheckr.com, you can see if that name is available for a .com domain, and as a username on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Using this kind of resource helps you to think about name consistency across your many digital presences.

USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office should be your next stop. Here, you can search all trademarks to understand if your potential business name has already been trademarked. You can search all US trademarks here (search for “Basic Word Marks”).

NOTE: Trademarks rely much on the “Likelihood of Confusion.” If your trademark is too similar to another in your same goods or services category, you may get denied. However, let’s say there is another “Artist’s Cafe,” but the associated goods and services category is Clothing. Since you want to open a Coffee Shop, this other trademark will not be a problem, because it exists in a completely different industry.
But, if there is a trademark registered for “Artist Cafe” in the Coffee Shop industry, you might have a problem. “Artist’s Cafe” and “Artist Cafe” are too similar, and are considered to have a high likelihood of confusion for consumers–so you will most likely be denied a trademark under that name.

State Business Entity Search

The last place you’ll need to visit to confirm the eligibility for your potential business name is your state’s business entity search portal. This search engine will populate any competing business names in your state. If another business has already filed a business license under your potential name, you’ll need to choose another. To find your state’s business name entity search, go to Google and type in: ‘Your state’ business entity search.

Here are the Business Entity Search Portals for both Nevada and Oregon:
Nevada Business Entity Search Portal
Oregon Business Entity Search


Naming your business is one part heart and one (large) part strategy. Work through tips #1-4 as you develop the right business name for your art-based business! Remember: There is no formula for developing the perfect business name, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect one. Once you find a name that checks off tips #1-4, stick with it and get started on building your very own creative business!

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get more straight-to-the-point information that will make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Peace, Kayla

The Importance of Being Different

Being different makes all the difference.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi from Pexels


In both art and business, the importance of being different cannot be overlooked. In artrepreneurship, we call what makes our creative business unique, our differentiator. Understanding what your differentiator is affects how you market yourself, how you run your art-based business, and ultimately, the success you’ll find within your market. There are a few ways you can differentiate your creative business:

Differentiation in your product or service

This kind of differentiator is focused on the actual product or service you’re offering. In this case, your offering is so different that no other company is providing what you provide. Customers can’t get what you’re selling anywhere else. This means that if customers want what you’re offering, they must come to YOU.

For example: The Game Crafter is a super popular creative business that allows people to design and print their own high-quality board games. When the company entered the market, they had no real competitors. Now their trade-secret software and process allows them to maintain their competitive advantage by making it tough for other companies to duplicate their service offering.

Differentiation in the way you deliver your product or service

Maybe you provide a fairly common product or service, but the way you deliver your value is totally unique. This can become an important differentiator for your creative business. Delivery can include how customers order, receive, or even use your product.

For example: Before Netflix become the streaming giant that it is today, it was mailing DVDs to customers. The movies they sent were not unique, but the way those movies were delivered to customers was. People loved being able to order online and pick up their DVDs at their mailbox. During this time, Netflix found a way to differentiate themselves through their delivery.

Differentiation in your brand

Finding a differentiator within your brand is all about sharing your value in a way that stands out from your competitors. You might find that in your market, many business sell their products in the same way. Brainstorm ways to brand your creative business in a way that’s unique, eye-catching, and relatable to your target customers.

For example: Betsey Johnson is a fashion designer and fashioin brand that has been wildly successful in the fashion world. Betsey Johnson sells clothing and accessories like many of it’s competitors. But Betsey Johnson has a very unique brand that is known for its bright patterns, whimsical joy, and female empowerment. In the world of high-fashion, Betsey Johnson was able to stand out by being different.

How do you know if something is truly a differentiator?

Competitor analysis, aka research! You must know what’s happening around the market to understand if what you’re offering is unique or not. Start with Google. Find out who your competitors are and what they’re offering. Do not offer the same thing as those who are successful. Offer something different, or offer it in a different way.

Remember: You must be honest with yourself.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when looking at your own differentiation is honesty. It’s really easy to think that we’re providing something super unique because of a small detail that might not really matter much to customers. Try to view your creative business from an outside perspective so that you can truly understand whether or not you have achieved the differentiation you’re looking for.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When thinking about differentiation, it’s important to consider how duplicatable your differentiation is. When another artrepreneur sees your creative business, how easy will it be for them to copy your strategy? The goal in any creative business is to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. A competitive advantage is only sustainable if it’s hard or near impossible for others to mimic.

Thinking about differentiation can be a long-term process. One of my favorite quotes reads: “Direction is more important than speed.” If you can build a creative business that has differentiation in one or all of these categories, you will be one (huge) step closer to becoming a successful artrepreneur.

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest information about how to make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

One-page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur

We’re going to go through an easy-to-complete one page plan that will help you strategize for your future creative endeavor!

By now, you’ve already decided that it’s time to start your own creative business. If you have a good understanding of your value, message, brand, and available resources, it’s time to get into your first business plan. Don’t worry! We’re going to go through an easy-to-complete one page plan that will help you strategize for your future creative endeavor!

Remember: This one page “plan” is meant to help you develop a business model around your art. A business model is a strategic plan for how your business will operate, and is based around what we discussed in the last blog. (Make sure to revisit this page if you’re not totally clear on your value, message, brand, and available resources.)

I’m going to present you with 8 questions on which your business model relies. Try to answer confidently and succinctly. Your compiled answers will create your first strategic business plan!

Based on your value, message, and brand:

Who is your ideal customer? Mention demographics (age, gender, location, etc.) and psychographics (their interests, their career choice, etc.). Is your target customer a person or a business? Be as descriptive as you can. If you think you might have multiple target markets, write down each one so that you can test out your expectations in the first few months of operating your business. Learn as much about your potential customers as you possibly can!

How are you going to communicate with your ideal customer? Think about what channels you’ll use to make them aware of your services. Channels can be: social media, website, traditional marketing like billboards, word-of-mouth through referrals, etc. Also think about how you are going to communicate with your customers once they are already your customers. How will you work with them? Maybe it’s online, over the phone, in-person, or something else. Don’t forget to think about which methods will help you share your value and brand most clearly.

How are you going to deliver your value to your customers? If you’re selling a product, how are you going to deliver that product? If you’re selling a service, how will the customer receive that service from you? What does the process look like? Customers will want to know what working with you looks like, so plan out your process strategically.

What skills do you need in order to create and deliver your value? Most likely, you already have the skills you need to create your art-based product or service. Try describing them. Also think about skills you will need in order to promote and deliver your value to others. You might need website-building skills, networking skills, etc. Try to think outside of the box here.

What resources will you need in order to create and deliver your value? You’ve already evaluated the resources you currently have. Are there any others that will help you to build the art-based business you envision? Think software, partners, space, etc.

What is it going to cost to create and deliver your value? You’ll need to consider materials, travel, your own labor, and more. Write down all of your expenses, so that you can decide on how much to charge your customers. Your prices should be higher than your expenses, so that your business can make a profit. (If you’re pursuing a growth company, you may need a large amount of money in order to start-up. We’ll talk about potential funding sources in future posts. If you’re pursuing a lifestyle company, costs generally come about for every new project you work on.) Understand when your expenses will appear and how you will pay them.

How are you going to make money? Will you have multiple product or service offerings? How much will you charge for each? How will you collect the money you’ve earned?

What does the competition look like? It’s crucial to understand what the competitive landscape looks like so that you can know if: your prices are attractive, your value and branding are truly unique, how others communicate with your potential customers, and so much more. Start with a Google search, ask around your creative community, and learn as much about your competitors as you possibly can.

So… that was a lot, huh? Don’t worry. Creating a strategic business model takes lots of time and thought, but these questions will help put you on the right path. Look at your written answers and see where gaps exist. This is where you will want to focus your attention before officially starting your business. You might want to get going right away, but these gaps can cause you to be unsuccessful in the future. If you want your business to succeed, building a solid strategic business model is key. It’s like they say: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

This blog is going to cover each of these questions in more depth, so that you can do your best to prepare your art-based business. Follow below and continue building the creative business of your dreams!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. You’re building a brand that’s going to last. Be patient.

P.P.S. Strategyzer.com’s Business Model Canvas is the method from which this one-page plan was derived.