Photo Credit: Willy Somma
Artists In Business Facebook Group (join now if you’ve already taken the 14-Day Art Biz Challenge)
Today is a very special day for all of us, as artists and as business owners, and I want to take a moment to share with you exactly why I know this to be true.
Small Business Saturday was started by American Express Open, one of the greatest organizations to stand for the growth of small businesses, as a way to draw attention away from Black Friday, which has grown in magnanimous proportions to consumers feeding the support of big businesses, and draw attention toward small businesses, which were quickly getting lost during the Black Friday sales. Amex Open saw this as an opportunity to take what was has proven to be one of the most lucrative days of the year for big business and a day where consumers spend countless dollars, most of which they can’t necessarily afford, to divert our attention to the small businesses that could truly benefit from our dollars over this weekend.
The truth is that with 90% of small businesses failing every year in the U.S. because they don’t have a solid enough financial plan in place, the 10% that survive contribute greatly to strengthening the economy in ways you may not realize.
Here are just a few examples:
1. Small Businesses Create Stronger Communities
In the U.S., small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms! That’s right- only .3% of all employment in the U.S. is found in big businesses, yet big businesses currently have the largest say in our government and in the way in which we spend our money because of their enormous influence over our spending as a result of their huge advertising budgets. However, the small businesses are the ones that provide strength, power, and unity to our local communities. The communities that have the strongest small businesses are the ones that are able to come together to create change in ways that have a ripple effect both economically and politically.
2. Small Businesses Increase Equality In Employment
Since 1995, small businesses have generated 64% of new jobs in the U.S., and paid 44% of the total United States private payroll! That’s right- hard to believe, but actually true. According to the Small Business Association, if it weren’t for thriving small businesses, a national unemployment crisis would be inevitable. Not ironically, the communities that have the strongest small businesses are the ones with the lowest unemployment rates versus those communities that rely on big businesses to provide the majority of the jobs. Because of that, equality in employment grows when more small businesses emerge that support the arts, women’s rights and the support of those who live in underprivileged circumstances, who are nine times out of ten considered “unemployable” by bigger corporations. This contributes to economic growth on a national scale- and the smallest businesses that emerge with these opportunities in place, the more the economy tilts back into the hands of those responsible for its growth. This is why now is the time for artists to step into their power, declare their visions and build businesses that thrive.
3. Small Businesses Can Withstand Changing Economic Climates
Small businesses have an unparalleled ability to survive changing economic climates more so than big businesses for several core reasons, the main one being client loyalty. According to Chron, the accounting digest of small businesses, the 10% of small businesses that survive in the U.S. each year have three fundamental elements in common: an owner who is passionate about his or her vision and company mission, an intimate relationship with their most ideal clients and a solid, measurable financial plan in place that helps them weather every economic twist and turn that comes their way. Because of this, their client loyalty remains strongest during times of economic crisis, which historically has helped them weather a financial storm and come out unscathed on the other side. This is exactly why I know artists are hardwired to run the best businesses in the world- we already have two-thirds of the equation in place- knowing our visions and missions and being able to form intimate relationships with our ideal clients. Now is the time to get clear on the last third- creating a solid and measurable financial plan that brings inevitable profits- to make sure we find our businesses in the 10% group that thrive each and every year.
Now more than ever the U.S. is experiencing an economic issue that many people are not fully aware of because of the way the media and advertising by big businesses persuade us to believe. But Small Business Saturday serves as a reminder of the importance of spending wisely and consciously, making careful decisions about where we place our hard earned dollars and becoming the savers of our society- saving our own money so we can spend more, saving our small businesses that breathe life into the communities we love, and saving the voices of those we believe in so we as artists and those we support can be heard loud and clear in the face of broadly shifting times.
Now more than ever we can choose our communities, find our ideal clients and build thriving businesses with the help of the internet and global communication. We need to tap into this enormous pool of resources in order to lift up our visions and make sure they support us so we can let our art speak for everyone we believe in. This is why Small Business Saturday is such a crucial message to our society, and a vital act for us to take as artists to support one another and build businesses that we know will change the world.
My commitment is to help you put all three pieces of that puzzle together- with an emphasis on raising your business financial IQ- in the exact way you need to grow your business with your art, your way.
On Wednesday of this past week I posted a challenge in the Artists In Business group for everyone to create an offer for Small Business Saturday- you can find it HERE (if you are not yet a member of the Artists In Business Facebook group, and you have taken the 14-Day Challenge in the past, then request to join and you will be approved automatically. If you would like to enroll in the 14-Day Art Biz Challenge for the first time, CLICK HERE). I invited everyone to think about it over Thanksgiving and post that offer in the group by Saturday, regardless of whether you think it’s ready to share or not. Today is about sharing the fact that you are building your business as an artist, that you will not stop until you build one that absolutely thrives and that you value the feedback of those who resonate with your work more than anything else, because you know that is what will enable your vision to take on a life of its own. I will be doing my shopping for the holiday from the offers posted in that thread- and if you don’t have an item to buy, then post what offer you do have to share (voiceover talent, acting, freelance for hire) and I will make every effort to introduce you to someone in my network who best matches your ideal client- the one who can hire you- for that offer.
So be sure to post your offer there NOW, and to your entire community, making it perfectly imperfect to show that you are in this to build bridges with your art where you know they are needed the most.
You may have heard me talk about my first company, Love and Water Designs, a t-shirt company that had artists from around the world create t-shirt designs inspired by different charities, and 50% of the profits from the ones that got printed went directly to the charities and the artists. I had to close that company while I learned how to run a truly powerful small business, and one that helped other artists do the same. Well, I’m bringing back the signature ONE LOVE shirt from the Love and Water collection, which was also the logo of the company, created by artist Jonny Ronnblom from Sweden. The heart of the world in it represented the mission of that company, and the mission of my company today, Artists In Business. You can see it on my site in the header- I will forever carry that theme with me no matter how many adjustments my company goes through. Today, this shirt- which was the best seller of all- is on sale for a limited time in honor of Small Business Saturday. CLICK HERE to have a look, and to purchase one for yourself and the women you love in your life and learn more about the three causes your purchase will go toward- RAINN: The Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, She’s The First and Girls Who Code.
I look forward to seeing your Small Business Saturday post in the Artists In Business Group today, and to helping support your business with your art, your way.