Most artists I know have no idea what they’ve made so far this year. They go by their bank statement. What does that tell you?
It doesn’t tell you what you owe or what income you have coming in. It’s a snapshot of liquidity. They have no idea is they are making a profit or what the future holds for them in the coming months.
Businesses that are making a profit, are doing so by careful calculation and planning.
What holds you back from taking hand-to-pen-to-paper and writing down your dreams, desires and expectations for your art practice? Is it self-doubt, fear, lack of confidence, or you just aren’t sure how to do it?
What would it feel like to you if you could have a plan for how to reach your fiscal goal for the end of 2011?
3 Starter Questions to Ask Yourself About Forecasting Your 4th Quarter
1) How much do you want to make in your art practice fourth quarter sales?
A little math scenario…..
If you want to make $15,000 gross over the next 3 months, you’ll want to figure out what your average sale is first. Let’s say your average sale is $45. That’s 334 pieces you’ll need to sell (give or take 20 or so).
Don’t forget you need to also add in inventory overage so that customers have something to choose from. So you’ll want to make 20-35% more. That adds about 85 more pieces. So about 420 pieces needed.
420 divided by 3 months = 140 per month
140 divided by 20 working days = 7 per day
**if you start by August 15th because you don’t want to count the last two weeks of December**
Is this reasonable or do you need to re-evaluate how much you “can” make?
2) How can you best order materials to take advantage of lowering your costs of goods sold (COGS)?
If you can order in bulk, you can make deals with vendors for additional discounts, especially if you pay with cash or check.
You will save on shipping. Shipping a larger order is much more advantageous than shipping out several smaller orders. The first 3 pounds cost the most.
I can’t tell you how many artists order at the last minute and pay to rush shipping. This is a huge waste of profits!
Watch the metals market and take advantage of the fluctuations. If you have a good relationship with your vendor, that will help. At Whole Lotta Whimsy, I have regulars that contact me when they are ready to order 50+ packs of silver and I watch the market and try to get them the best possible deal. I always save them hundreds of dollars!
Figure out roughly how much material you will need to make for at least half of items you need to make. If you have enough credit or liquidity, invest in the materials now and save. Metals always go up during November and December!
Can you alter the design to use less materials or incorporate another material into the design that lowers the cost of goods sold?
3) What’s your marketing plan to create sales?
Who will you promote to and how?
Will you sell at shows, shops/galleries and which online venues?
Are you already signed up for shows? Deposits paid and arrangements made for travel?
How many of the show attendees are on your list? When will you market to them?
Do you have marketing materials to send them prior to the show?
When will you order these materials and who will do the art/graphics?
Do you have your show schedule on your site?
Have you written a press release (s)?
Do you have plans in place to build your list and take advantage of new customers for future sales?
In marketing there are 3 key things to remember:
- the fortune is in the follow up
- they must know, trust and like you in order to buy from you
Want to know more about forecasting your sales, marketing your art, pricing, and creating clarity in your art practice? Sign up for the Take Flight eZine and watch for details to join the next Artful Success Mentorship Program!
Don’t forget to leave a comment and get entered to win a FREE give-away from Whole Lotta Whimsy! Drawing is August 15th!