Joan Website | Joan Bio | Joan Licensing Info | Joan Contact Info | Blog Main Page

Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
give me credit and link to my blog when using it on your site. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Art Licensing: The Importance in Having a Business Plan

You may have heard that when you have a business you should have a business plan. Many people think the purpose of a business plan is to entice investors to loan them money for their business. And since most artists do not plan to get a loan they question whether they need a business plan. However, that is not the only purpose in having one. It is also to put down on paper your business goals and objectives. It helps you think objectively, form strategies, focus and make the right decisions.

Each business plan is different depending on the type of business and the goals. Some of same information should be included in every business plan as pointed out in "Writing a Business Plan" by the U.S. Small Business Administration and in "Business plan" by They are:

• cover page and table of contents
• executive summary
• business description
• business environment analysis
• industry background
• competitor analysis
• market analysis
• marketing plan
• operations plan
• management summary
• financial plan
• attachments and milestones

Gulp, the above list is overwhelming! Filling out all that information is time consuming and how do you start? Information about business plans can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration and on websites (links are above). And also read "Business Plan Elements" by Maire Loughran of Arts / Crafts Business Guide and "Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!" by THEABUNDANTARTIST for information on business plans for the artist.

What may be the most helpful in creating your own business plan is to look at ones already written for businesses'. Below are links to some examples of business plans for craft and art businesses'. By reading them, you can get some great ideas on how to write your own business plan.

Business Plan Examples
• "Art Sales Custom Framing Business Plan" for Hart Fraeme Gallery
• "Bicycle Art Business Plan" for BikeArt
• "Custom Pottery Business Plan" for Kaolin Calefactors
• "Custom Quilt Artist Business Plan" for Sew District
• "Custom T-Shirts Business Plan" for Your T-Shirt!
• "Decorative Pottery Business Plan" for Fat Cat Creations
• "Pottery Studio Business Plan" for The Pottery Table
• "Scrapbooking Store Business Plan" for It's Scrappy!

A business plan is not static but changes as your business evolves. For example, you may start your licensing career by designing for one demographic such as whimsical art for adults but find manufacturers are more receptive to licensing the images for the tween market. Or, you find that some of your images are in great demand for the jig-saw puzzle industry. Thus, it would be beneficial to concentrate on creating more art for puzzles and get established in that industry before moving on to other product categories.

Your business plan needs to be referred to, analyzed, and update regularly to improve your business. Read "Easy Two-Step Business Plan for 2012" by art licensing coach J'net Smith for an interesting and thought provocative article on business goals and the questions you should ask yourself to improve your art licensing business. And if you need help in focusing on your goals, purchase artist Tara Reed's e-book "The Goal Wheel for Artists." I know artists that found it very helpful.

Comments are welcome. Post yours in the comment section (below).


  1. Hi Joan,
    Thanks for the great info/resources. I am new to contracts, licensing and royalties so welcome great resources. I have found some great info in The Graphic Arts Guild Guidebook, but will check out your suggestions!! Thanks!

  2. Joan,
    Awesome resources! Thank you for keeping us all informed. I am grateful for you!

  3. Joan, you share such wonderful, useful information for artists. The Abundant Artist's post on Right Brain Business Plans is amazing! Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the link to The Abundant Artist! Great list of info you've compiled here!

  5. YES,so very grateful for all info!