The most important part of your business plan is the Executive Summary. This is your one-page summary of everything that you’re going to cover in the Business Plan. I like to think of it as the Who, What, When, Where, How and How Much Summary.
After you’ve completed the questions from the last blog post you now have some foundation to start the Executive Summary. Some business advisers recommend that this be the last thing you write. I agree that it will take many levels of refinement, but I’m one of those people who thinks it’s good to jump in and start hashing out the big picture and get to the details once you’ve established your goals and objectives.
Here is what an Executive Summary includes:
- The Mission Statement – Who are you as an artist? How has your practice evolved? Where do you want to go? What are your goals?
- Artist / Studio Information – Where are you located? What is the size of your studio? Who comprises your studio?
- Growth of the Practice – Where did you start your practice? Where are you now? Have you expanded the studio? Have you increased your sales? Have you procured exhibitions? Have you been included in biennials, group exhibitions and art fairs? Have you been awarded grants, prizes or residencies?
- Your Artwork – What is your artistic practice? Where does your philosophy come from? What is your educational background? What is your history? Why are you an artist? How do you describe your artwork to a gallery, collector, curator, or writer?
- Financial Information – What is your average gross profit? What is your average gross revenue? How do you plan to cut expenses? How do you plan to expand your market? How many people do you plan on hiring? How do you financially maintain your studio operations?
- Summarize future plans – Where do you want to take your practice? What are your immediate goals? What are your long-term goals?
I know, lots of questions. Don’t rush the process. This will not be perfect the first time, or the 10th time. But you will eventually refine this one page to fully encapsulate yourself as an artist, your art making, your studio practice and where you want to go with it.