Why Artists Need to Understand Business

I recently was teaching a class on “Roadmaping Your Career”. The class was all about how to write a business plan and getting funding for adverting. During the class one of the students said, “I’m confused, I thought this class was going to be about how to get work”. My response was, “Well, in order for you to get work, you have to understand a few basic business principles. So how do you plan to get work if you don’t even know how to market your services”???

There used to be a time when working as a Hair or Makeup Artist was one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. Today the 18 out of every 1000 people work in the entertainment industry. There are roughly 50,000 licensed cosmetologists in Los Angeles and half of them are all self employed. In the Los Angeles area, there are about seven makeup schools pumping out new artists into the work force every six weeks. Most of these schools don’t provide their students with any real business training. It’s absurd to think that schools are not teaching their students about business when more than half of them will be self employed! If you are responsible for generating your own work, creating your own marketing materials, invoicing your clients, hunting down payment, doing your taxes, and you have no business sense, how are you supposed to survive in a competitive market? There used to be a time when the union provided internship programs and work was easier to obtain. Now times are changing and we have to approach our freelance businesses differently. As artists we must stop surviving and start thriving! The only way to this is by approaching your freelance business like a real business. You are self employed, that means you are an entrepreneur. Here is my advice to you:

  • Create a simple business plan so that you understand what your career goals are, who your competition is, and who your will selling your services to.
  • Create a marketing plan – you will have to advertise your services.
  • Create a marketing budget and determine if you need to get a small business loan to jump start your freelance business (the SBA is a great resource for this).
  • Set up a DBA (a fictitious business name that you are doing business under).
  • Open a business checking account. Its important to separate your personal finances from your business finances.
  • Create a financial plan including all your expenses along with your income goals. If you do this, you can avoid unnecessary credit card debt.
  • Brand your services in the market place. You too can become the next Kevin Aucion or Paul Mitchell!

The key to any successful business is planning! For more information on these topics or assistance with these services visit http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com.

Makeup Maverick




September 25, 2008. Tags: . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist.

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