Your Unsexy But Mandatory Business Foundation

A house in our neighborhood was recently rebuilt so that it looks nothing like before. It began as a bird’s-nest house – sitting on top of stilts nestled against the hillside.

The owners decided to build around the stilts and (wisely) gain a ground-floor entry.

What struck me was the metal and concrete foundation they put in the center of what would become the new house, which sat there for months without any construction action.

Presumably it was settling. It was growing stronger each day in preparation for what was to be built around and on top of it.

peery house

Your Business Foundation

Foundations aren’t sexy.

Foundations aren’t what you see when you admire a structure, yet they are essential to its long-term survival. A solid business foundation isn’t always visible, but you can’t run a sustainable and profitable business without it.

This is what my No-Excuse Art Biz Bootcamp addresses: the unsexy but mandatory foundation you should implement for your business.

Too many people hang out a shingle and start selling their art before their foundation is in place.

This is fine as long as you are simultaneously working on building that foundation. It’s not fine if it leads to more slapdash attempts at making money.

Someone tells you that you have to be on Twitter for marketing your art. So you drop everything and try to figure out Twitter.

Why? To what purpose?

To you, Twitter seems like a lot of noise because you don’t have a website to send people to. You don’t understand the benefit.

You’re told that there’s a great opportunity to show your work at a new venue, so you throw something together and are rewarded with exhibition dates.

Then what do you do? What do you do when people come and buy something? How do you process a sale? What do you give buyers in return?

These scenarios are common and frustrating for artists who think they’re doing the right thing by taking advantage of opportunities that arise.

But they’re just a waste of time if the foundation isn’t in place. Without the website, contact list, and strong systems in place, your marketing efforts will be for naught. It would be like building a house without that concrete-and-metal structure.

If you need this foundation – or need to repair one that might have a few leaks in it – please join us for the next Art Biz Bootcamp.

I would love to help your business grow stronger every day as you prepare to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.

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7 comments to Your Unsexy But Mandatory Business Foundation

  • Alyson, thanks for linking to my blog post in this article!

    I agree, a strong foundation is what keeps artists, new and established, from floundering.

    There are too many things to waste time on; without a foundation, you won’t know where to put your focus so that you see RESULTS.

  • I just started to get serious about my art and turn it into a business. I’m very new to this (like two weeks new) and there is so much information out there and it is sooo easy to get side-tracked. I guess I really do need to focus on a strong foundation.

  • Loved this post. You’re right. Foundations are part of the most critical piece of structure of any business.

  • Lack of confidence and impatience were the two things that impeded my art career. It took me ten years to find my style and my voice. It would have all come together sooner if I had not flitted from one opportunity to the next. I was so thrilled that someone wanted to exhibit my art that I was running my work all over the place. This all helped my confidence in the short term, but I never got any where and soon became frustrated. I was waisting my time and precious energy because I never had a business plan. Today I have set goals and higher expectations of where my art will be exhibited. My energy is spent in the studios creating fabulous work. I love my studio days. It took me years to figure out that I can’t work in a void, I need feedback, help with certain tasks and most of all encouragement. I’m very lucky that my husband stepped up and became my business partner/coach, he keeps me accountable and on track with my goals. I’d say that my husband helped me to build the foundation that my business was lacking. It took a lot of courage to ask for his help, because asking for help felt like I was failing, when really I just needed one other person on my team.