Mistakes That New Business Owners in the Arts Must Avoid

You can find numerous examples of brilliant creatives whose businesses faltered because of avoidable mistakes. While you have no guarantee that every idea will be a winner, you can learn common rookie errors, how to evade them, and improve your chances of success.

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Staying Disorganized

The French visual master Henri Matisse said, "Don't wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working." Consistency, a strict schedule, and monitoring of your progress make for a productive artist and business. Other world-renowned creators maintained a routine to help them produce stellar work. Staying organized leaves time to put into your craft and budding company.


One aspect of disorganization is not maintaining an invoicing process. Reports show that most small businesses collapse because of poor cash flow management. Get paid on time or even more quickly by using an invoice generator to create branded invoices from ready-made templates. Insert your text, photos, and logo for a unique look. Then save copies in your preferred format for bookkeeping.

Not Putting Things in Writing

Handshake deals are bad for business, especially with friends and family. Create clear expectations by creating contracts agreed upon in advance by you and your clients. Insert costs for additional contingencies and set reasonable deadlines.


Expanding Too Soon

Reinvest in your company to improve your offerings, but focus on providing quality over quantity. Too many locations or hires can drain your budget and make management challenging. Become comfortable with each aspect of running a business and study your progress to understand why you experienced a growth spurt so you can repeat the correct strategies.

Undervaluing Yourself

If you think you need to offer rock-bottom prices to secure customers, you'll likely only attract the wrong kind of clients who want something for nothing. The routine will burn you out and won't connect you with loyal buyers since people looking for the lowest price will drop you for a cheaper deal as soon as they find one.


Make an honest estimation of the value of your work. Determine how much your time is worth per hour based on your skill level and experience. If you suffer from self-doubt, take steps to build your confidence. Acknowledge your successes to date and maintain your health to boost your sense of well-being and self-esteem.


Underestimating the Work Required

The planning fallacy is the common human tendency to underestimate the amount of time a task can take. Never bid on projects based on a best-case scenario. Always under promise and overdeliver on your offers. Create a realistic project schedule and record the accuracy of your estimates compared to the work.

Consider pursuing an advanced business degree to gain superior time management and leadership skills. Online programs give you the ability to take classes during your downtime. Search for other corporate skills you can improve while earning your degree.

Working With the Wrong People

A friend or family member may have a few bright ideas and good intentions, but that fact doesn't make them the ideal business partner. Specific questions help you dig deep into whether your potential partner has staying power. Find someone who can balance out your weak spots and bring tangible value to the company.


Give yourself every advantage to succeed in your business by steering clear of common blunders. By plotting your course and navigating away from dangers, you can create an outstanding and profitable company in the arts.

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