In February I shared with you that I had a meeting with Gallery 65 on William in downtown New Bedford, Massachusetts. I donated a business consultation to the New Bedford Beautiful committee for the winning business storefront in their “Deck the Door” holiday decorating contest…and they were the winner!
Gallery 65 on William is a cooperative of artists, who like many cooperatives and artists, struggle with some of the business challenges facing them. I was struck by the similarities that interior designers and retail businesses that I work with share….and I thought it might be of interest to you, the designer and small business owner, to see some of the structures and content of business development goals and actions that take place over time and the results they produce. So in the spirit of full disclosure, I am working pro bono with Gallery 65 on William for 2014 and in exchange I will share with you the goals and actions that we create to increase performance, revenues, and visibility this year and how we do it. I will share successes and misses with you so that you can see for yourself what might work or not work for you.
Background: There are currently 10 artists who share the responsibility of staffing the Gallery, display their work, create ways to attract new business, and participate in the revenues collected for sold artwork.
Format: For this initiative, I have a meeting with the artists on the first Monday of each month from 10-12. It follows their internal meeting from 9-10. I take notes (as does Laurie Bullard) and we compare and combine them and send them to the artists, as there are take away actions for the month.
At this recent meeting, we discussed how to manage the marketing actions so that they are shared and don’t fall to a few ….as well as possibly finding an art/marketing major at UMass Dartmouth as an intern to be responsible for some of the marketing and social media actions.
Goals: We have limited the goals to 5 that are most pressing for this year. I have encouraged them to aim higher than they have aimed in the past, as it will influence the strategies and actions that they take. For example, if the goal is to ‘break even’ the actions will be very different from the goal to ‘increase business by 50% over last year’.
1. Increase revenue to $X. We established a revenue goal that was greater than 25% increase over 2013.
a. Sell more high end product
b. Have monthly Gallery shows
c. Sell art to downtown and local professionals
2. Increase artist members to 15
a. 3-4 jewelry designers
b. Artists to consider their collective and individual contact list of artists and who to invite.
3. Attract designers and decorators to shop/source/recommend Gallery 65
a. Create database of local and regional designers (by May 1)
4. Set up Spring/Summer booth at Ferry Terminal
a. Determine rent/costs
b. Decide how the numbers and staffing work
c. Identify product for booth: small, higher end hostess gifts, big ticket items.
5. Increase traffic
a. In store
b. To website
c. To Facebook page
For social medial / marketing actions for March, each artist has agreed to:
1. Post on Gallery 65 FB page
2. ‘Like’ FB page
3. To ‘share’ FB page with their personal contacts
For next meeting: Put dates and additional actions on the above goals and strategies.
This is just the beginning. We have a lot to do over the next several months to grow traffic and visibility, to increase sales with every traffic opportunity, and to increase average sale with every sales transaction but, one thing at a time. We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated professionals who are seasoned artists and yet open to learning and doing new things that will have them attain their goals for the year. I hope you enjoy this and welcome your thoughts and input along the way.
Now go sell something!