~ by Maria Benner
As the Business & Marketing Manager, I’m the one responsible for keeping our art business alive, and an important part of that is setting goals. I recently reviewed our goals for 2017, and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that we accomplished all of them. I also made a mental note to check in on our goals more often. So, for the new year we have new goals.
- Create a new website to sell art directly to customers. Currently all of our online sales are through our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter. Etsy has great SEO, and brings customers to us from all over the world, however, we have to pay a percentage fee for each sale, and potential customers can easily be distracted by other Etsy sellers while shopping for similar items. Selling from our own website will hopefully generate more brand awareness, and we’ll pay a lower monthly flat fee. We’ll also keep selling art through Etsy, just to keep reaching a broader audience.
- Design an autonomous order fulfillment system. Right now we are fulfilling all orders. We make prints on demand, and package all prints and originals ourselves, print the shipping labels, and drop everything off at the post office. The drawback is that while we’re traveling, or spending time at our cabin in McCarthy, our business is on hold, because we’re not around to mail orders. The goal is to find a company online that will print and mail our prints for us. We will still have to mail originals ourselves, but prints make up the majority of our sales.
- Publish our first book How to Draw Alaska Baby Animals. We have been working on this project for a couple years, but it always seems to take a back seat to more pressing tasks. Scott designed how-to-draw pages for 49 different Alaska baby animals, and is in the finishing stages of designing the book cover. He also painted several colorful oil paintings to include in the book. I drew every single one to make sure there were no errors. Now we just need a table of contents, a foreward, and to finish the final layout. Then we’ll have to figure out how to publish a book, and to find buyers for it. This task seems a bit challenging, but people publish books all the time, so I know it’s doable.
Those are our main three goals, and they will be enough for this year. Most of the work gets accomplished in the winter time, which is already half way over! In the summer we’re fishing, traveling, and just generally flying by the seat of our pants. So wish us luck!