Starting a new business is amazing—it’s exciting to be independent and be your own boss! Of course, nothing in life that is worth your time is ever easy, so you need to have a game plan when it comes to starting a business. If you’re a creative person at heart and want to have an art store, you’re going to have to approach it like any other business: with the success of your company taking the center stage in your mind.
If you want to know how to open an art store, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll look at all the things that matter. Not only will we discuss how to open an art store, but we’ll also share advice on how to keep your store operating and making money. This process can be hard work, but it’s highly rewarding and you’ll thank yourself later for putting in the effort and following the tips we have for you.
Plan Everything Carefully
One of the fundamental elements of any business is proper planning. You need to plan everything ahead, and then give all your plans a little more thinking. If you want to know how to open an art store and keep it open, it all comes down to the planning you do even before opening its doors. You need a decent business plan, so give yourself a lot of time to work on this. Don’t move ahead with any other kind of planning until you have a business plan. You can use the advice we share here to come up with a killer business plan.
Consider All the Costs
Understanding how to open an art store comes down to understanding finances and running your business with financial savvy. You don’t need to be a genius when it comes to financial planning, but you do need to be thorough. It’s important that you sit down and consider all the costs involved with opening and running an art store.
You need to think about factors like salaries, rent, the cost of materials, business registration, equipment, commercial HVAC services, security, marketing, insurance, and so much more. Do research about all the costs and determine how you’ll pay for everything.
Choose a Name
The name of your business is super important. It’s something that people will forever be associated with your company and needs to make sense. It can be personal or a word you like, as long as it’s something you can build your brand around. Also, it shouldn’t be difficult to say. Your business name will also matter when it’s time to register your company and get a domain name for digital marketing. You should also make sure no one else is using the same name in the art industry and avoid trademark or copyright issues.
Register for Taxes
One of the most important tips we can provide on how to open an art store is to never neglect to do the right thing when it comes to taxes and legal matters. If you do anything that isn’t above board, you run the risk of losing your business. Paying your taxes is very important and should be handled as such. The business structure you choose will affect how you’re taxed, so keep that in mind. If you don’t know enough about taxes to handle it yourself, hire a professional to sort these things out for you legally and properly.
Open a Business Bank Account
You need to have a separate business bank account and opening one as soon as possible is important. Having mixed business and personal accounts can put your assets like your car and home at risk if something goes wrong and your business gets sued. You will also have better control of all your business transactions and track expenses and income with accuracy. A dedicated business bank account also looks better to future investors and lenders.
Get a Business Credit Card
While you’re sorting out a business bank account for your art store, get a business credit card as well. This is what you’ll use to build a credit history for your company, which can be useful when looking for extra income sources like loans. Another benefit is the opportunity to build business credit so your company gets a better reputation. This can help you get higher lines of credit and better interest rates.
Set up Business Accounting
By now, you probably realize that business finances can be quite complicated and need to be handled really carefully. That’s why you should set up official and professional business accounting to keep everything neatly organized and ensure it’s all handled legally and properly. You need to record every expense and every source of income to understand your business’ performance and have proof that you’re doing everything by the book.
Doing the accounting will also help you simplify your annual tax filing, something that can feel complicated if your finances are chaotic and messy. You may need to hire a business accountant to do this for you while you’re focused on running your store.
Get the Necessary Permits and Licenses Sorted
Another important element you need to keep in mind when learning more about how to open an art store is the importance of having all the necessary licenses and permits for your company. Not having them can lead to serious trouble and even result in the shutdown of your business. You also run the risk of being fined huge sums and going to court. All that rambling is to say that you should do your research and ensure you have any and all legal paperwork sorted out before you open your art store’s doors for business.
Research Your Target Market
Although you may feel that running an art store is all about living your creative dream and connecting with other creative folks, it’s still a business and you should treat it as one. It is essential that you have a good understanding of your target audience/market and that you build your marketing strategies around that understanding. Fail to know your target market and you risk failing to have a successful business. You should do intensive market research and use that data to make projections and understand your ideal customers.
Decide What Art Services to Offer
As an art store owner, you may want to do more than sell products or art. You may also want to offer extra services that make sense in the art industry. Doing this can also increase your income, which is always a welcome extra, right? Consider offering services like picture cleaning and restoration, picture framing, canvas stretching, and so on. You may also offer to make custom art for your most loyal customers as a way of rewarding them for supporting you. If you don’t have the necessary skills to offer these services, feel free to outsource and hire professionals.
What to Sell?
Once you start thinking about how to open an art store, your head may run away with a million ideas on what to sell. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s best to stay realistic and not want to sell too many odd things. Make sure everything you sell is relevant to art, so your store can be the one-stop art shop in your area. There are so many art-related products you can sell that listing them all here would take up too much time. Just think about all the things you typically find in an art store and choose the ones you think will suit your store and brand best.
Renovate Your Space
Once you’ve decided what you want to sell in your art store, you can start thinking about how it should look. Will you have a shop with a cute garden on the outside? How does the business space look on the inside? If you’re not happy with what you have, you can always renovate your space and make it look exactly how you want. Your store can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you remember that it’s a business and you need professional touches such as proper heating and cooling, for example. You’ll have to invest in a reliable heating and air conditioning service to ensure everything runs smoothly all year round.
Fix Your Roof
Another important element to remember when it comes to knowing how to open an art store is that there’s more to your business than just the paint on the wall and the supplies on the shelf. Like your roof, for example. If you’re hiring a space in an older building, chances are the roof needs some attention and you had better give it that attention as soon as possible. If necessary, get a few roofing estimates and make sure the place won’t come crumbling down on your head one unfortunate day!
Get Business Insurance
Speaking of the place falling down, you need to contact your local insurance agency and get your business insured as soon as you can. While it’s good to plan for emergencies and accidents, there’s only so much you can do and if things go wrong, you need to have peace of mind that you’re covered. To ensure the financial well-being of your business, get business insurance that will protect you and your business in difficult situations.
Renovate Your Bathroom
You may ‘just’ be an art store, but your bathroom is an important space in your shop. If you, your employees, or your customers need to use the bathroom, it needs to be a lovely, fresh place and not something from a Japanese horror film. If your bathroom isn’t currently looking too good, get plumbing contractors and get it into shape. Make the bathroom as nice and welcoming as the rest of the shop.
Offer Your Employees Benefits
Your employees are essential to your business’ success and growth, so treat them right! Health insurance enrollment for all your employees should be at the top of your to-do list, and also make sure you pay them enough to love their jobs. Don’t overwork your staff and give them all the benefits you can afford. As your business grows, it’s only fair that your employees’ benefits increase as well.
Update Your Parking Lot
When discussing how to open an art store, the exterior and parking lot don’t get mentioned as much, but they’re really important too. If the current parking lot doesn’t look as good, you may have to hire parking lot striping services to improve it a bit. If there isn’t a parking lot, you’ll have to come up with a plan for good parking for your customers.
Offer Art Classes
Marketing your art store may prove to be a really expensive undertaking, but if you can plan some free promotions, you should absolutely go for it. One of the really good ways to promote your store is by offering art classes. You don’t have to offer these classes for free, but that’s a great idea. Digital homeschool lessons that benefit children of all ages are another awesome idea that you should consider.
Host an Opening Party
You should open your art store with a big bang and having an opening party is a fantastic idea and will help your community notice you. Hire local catering services to make the most delicious food you can think of and consider getting a local daiquiri bar (or something similar) to pitch in for interesting drinks. Go all out!
All the planning that goes into opening an art store can be hard work, so it’s important that you never lose your passion for art. You should have fun running your business so that you’re always putting in 110% when it comes to the effort needed. Have fun and your business will feel less like work and more like a life choice that makes you happy.
Knowing how to open an art store is just the star. The rest is in your hands. Now that you have more information to work with and some inspiration for your own business, you can start planning the art store of your dreams. Don’t let anything hold you back and build the business you know you deserve!