Planning and researching might not be the most exciting part about setting up your arts practice or project, but if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of success then this is where you need to start!
A good idea is only worth what you what you put into it. Before you launch into a project or new business make sure you do your research. During this phase, try to keep an open mind. You might find that your original idea is not feasible or that another idea would have a greater chance of success. Part of being a good businessperson is the ability to recognise opportunities when they arise.
Most art projects start with some kind of deadline when a work needs to be delivered to a client or to meet a show opening date. Project management will help you identify and schedule all of the steps or activities that need to be accomplished for a project to meet its deadlines. Meeting your deadlines is a key ingredient in your art business brand, so don’t take your commitments lightly. Remember: It is better to under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver!
Research your industry
Who are the key organisations and industry leaders?
What is already being done in this field and where will your practice fit in?
Are there any gaps in this industry? What do people want or need that isn’t already being done?
Has your idea been accomplished successfully elsewhere?
Google is your friend here. It’s easier than ever to research and find examples of others who may be implementing ideas similar to - if not the same as - your own in Australia and internationally. If you’re a visual artist looking to collaborate with musicians, a simple search will reveal what’s been done before and may provide inspiration for collaborations that you may not have yet considered. Study the best, research the rest, and the best part is that you can take or leave any of the many case studies available at your fingertips!
Discuss your idea with others
A fresh perspective can help you to highlight any problems with your project and recognise the potential for it to expand into different areas.
Start with your own friends and peers, and bounce your ideas around so that you can refine a concept. From there, of course, you’re always welcome to talk to us at Propel - just email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting a staff member about your idea. We’re very happy to provide advice and refer you to other artists and arts organisations who may be interested in jumping on board.
How much will it cost?
What resources will you need?
Consider costs such as your phone, computer, materials, printing, etc.
Money doesn’t grow on trees and it’s a huge challenge to grow your own idea and make it a reality, especially when life and bills get in the way! It’s important to be realistic with yourself about what you’ll need for your arts project. Remember, your own time is valuable too and should be factored into your cost estimates, along with the tangible elements mentioned above.
Australian Business Number (ABN)
Before you start making any money you may need to register a business name and obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN). Thankfully, it’s very easy to apply for an ABN and it’s free to do so! You can apply for an ABN as a “sole trader” (individual) or use it as a launch pad to start a new business. Click here for official Australian Taxation Office information on what’s required to start your own business. Ensuring that you have all of the legal issues sorted out first will hopefully prevent any future headaches.
Once you have researched your idea, decide whether it is feasible to proceed with it. Make sure you are realistic about what you can achieve, but keep in mind that some of the most successful businesses started out as strange or inconceivable ideas!