Step-by-Step Procedures Save You Time and Money

Procedures save you time because you don’t have to think about what to do when the steps are in place.

Procedures save you energy because you don’t use brainpower or become frustrated over your next moves.

Procedures save you money because Time + Energy = Money.

Stone Steps

Artists need procedures for the following:

  • Shipping your art
  • Handling requests to teach, exhibit, or be interviewed
  • Updating records after you’ve made a sale
  • Adding a new product or finished work to your website
  • Approaching galleries
  • Following up with new contacts

You might also benefit from procedures for:

  • Publishing a blog post, guest post, or newsletter
  • Announcing a newly completed work
  • Promoting an exhibition or event
  • Training a new assistant

If you’re in need of any of these procedures, I suggest you

1. Write down each step in detail (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 . . . ). The directions should be so clear that anyone off the street could follow them.

2. Save it to a dedicated file on your computer. I keep all Art Biz Coach procedures in a team Operations Manual on Evernote.

3. Print what you need and keep it in an easy-to-grab notebook, if that works better for you than the computer.

What procedures do you have in place for your art business?

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15 comments to Step-by-Step Procedures Save You Time and Money

  • I like the new look Alyson! Calm and welcoming. Do you have a “shipping artwork” resource you could point us too? for 3-d work? I am considering opening an etsy shop and I want to be in ship-shape!

  • Thank you, Susan!
    Since you’re a member of my Silver program, I suggest you post your shipping question on our Facebook group. Members will have much more experience with this than I.

    I will tell you, though, that I love USPS flat-rate shipping. I can fit 7 books into one of their medium-sized boxes for about $11. Not sure I’d recommend it for breakable and valuable art, but for less expensive stuff it’s great.

  • Thanks Alyson! I’ll post the question. I do use the flat rate boxes some, but their shape is not my friend for pottery. Too much rectangle, not enough square…

  • I agree with Susan Wells about the new look of the blog…very reader friendly and attractive. Creating a worksheet with categories for all of the information needed(size, date, medium, photographed,framing costs, price, where signed, etc.) for each new artwork upon completion before adding to my inventory is a very helpful procedural steps that I learned on your blog! I use it all of the time and it has saved me many headaches. I keep paper copies to use around my studio so they are easy to access. Then I add the info to my computer database and website.

  • I have a system once something is sold from my Etsy shop. It works wonderfully when I sell two or three things but if I sell ten in one day it is a bit harder.
    I first print out the order receipt and a shipping label. Then I find the piece and gather shipping materials, pack it and mark the receipt as packed. This all goes into a folder with pockets that are labelled. Having uniform sized boxes has helped me in terms of a more professional look and saved time of looking through what I have or buying one box.

  • Amy T.

    Alyson:
    Lovely new look! Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off, it is easy to read. I bought your book several years ago when I thought I was ready to start “being an artist.” I got scared and put it off until now.

    As an artist starting from scratch, I’d love a procedures list on what to do from the ground up. My main question is, how many pieces should I have in my body of work before I set up a website, FB account and begin marketing efforts.

    Right now I’m still kind of experimenting around to find my style, practicing every day. I tweet and use my personal FB account to show off my paintings, and I’m feeling more confident, I just need a road map. Most advice I see is for artists who already have lots of work made already.

    In your book you mention joining an artist association, so that would certainly be on the top of my procedures list. Thanks for your time, sorry I went on so long!

  • Hello Alyson. I’m on board with Susan and Christine… I also like the new look of your site.

    This is a great post, and I completely agree with the concept of procedures. I have procedures for website updates, posting new work to various social media sites, client follow up, photographing new works, and preparing for exhibits. You gave me a few others to consider in your list above. Thank you.

  • Thanks for a useful post. I’ve have some procedures written but organisation does not come naturally to me. This sort of checklist I find invaluable in ensuring I cover all the bases without struggling to reinvent the wheel.