Goals Have Implied Rewards for Your Art Business

MomwaltersmI’m in Crested Butte in a very old house with lots of family. Mom (that’s her with Walter) and I came to this house last summer. I thought we were doing a cool mother-daughter vacation thing. Little did I know how hard she was going to work me.

We worked nearly three days straight on a proposal for her quilt store to be featured in a very important magazine. It was an ordeal. Mom’s not one for patience when it comes to writing or sitting still, so I had to drag the text out of her.

Let me interrupt here by saying that her quilt store has been in business more than seventeen years. It is very successful! She hasn’t had to think much about marketing or business goals because the business has been non-stop.

One of the questions that I remember most vividly from the proposal questionnaire was “What is your goal for each customer?” When I asked her this question,
Mom said, “Our goal has always been to greet every customer that walks in the door.”

“Mom," I said, "that’s not a goal. That’s an action for your goal. Would you like me to tell you what your goal is?” (She’s used to me being bossy. I inherited it from her!)

“Of course,” she said.

“Your goal,” I said, “is to have every customer leave your shop and tell someone else how wonderful it is.”

She got it right away. Well, maybe after talking about it a bit further.

Do you see the difference? A goal implies that there is some reward for you in the end–something that will propel your business into the stratosphere. Greeting people isn’t a goal. Having them tell other people about you? Imagine what that could do!

What are your goals for your next exhibition? Your Web site? Your teaching?

(Incidentally, the proposal was a success! The quilt store will be featured in Quilt Sampler this spring.)

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2 comments to Goals Have Implied Rewards for Your Art Business

  • Inspired by this post, I just made a database of all my upcoming art exhibits, events, my website, marketing materials, etc. I then listed my goals for each item and the action steps needed to get there. I feel so organized and came up with some great new ideas. Thanks!

  • As a gallery owner, my goal is to lock the door after they enter, and not let them out until they write a check. Afterward I usually go Rollerblading. Good luck with your mom’s business. It sounds like you two have given each other much. PD