Art Business Checklist & Cheat Sheet

Building an art business? You will need knowledge plus planning, organization and presentation skills. Here’s our checklist with links to articles on many topics.


Art Business Checklist & Cheat Sheet


Business Planning

  Do you have an overall vision for your business?

  Have you set long and short-term goals and created a roadmap to reach them?

  Are you focused on the appropriate markets for your work?

  Have you considered ways that you can leverage and scale your business?

❏  Are you clear about business models that are appropriate for your work? Have you learned about:

❏  Do you belong to an art community or another network that provides support and resources to you?

❏  Do you have a mentor or accountability partner? 

Your Portfolio

  Is your portfolio ready to give a professional presentation?

  Does  your portfolio contain the right number of options, without overwhelming collectors?

  Does it contain quality photographs of your art? Or does your presentation need help?

  Do you have additional photographs of your work, for example in situ? And detail shots? And work in progress?

Your Artist Story

❏  Do you have an artist statement that is clear and compelling?

  Have you created a brand story behind your work, and how does it connect with your audience?

  Do you understand how to use your story in different venues and for marketing purposes?

  Does your story make emotional impact with your audience?

Pricing Your Art

❏  Is your work priced appropriately? Or are your prices unrealistic?

❏  Do your prices include a profit margin?

  Have you used strategies to add perceived value to your art?

  Do you use techniques to upsell, cross-sell, or create packages ?


  Do you have a clear idea of your target customer?

  Are you clear on how to share your inspiration and concept with the world?

  Are you using social media effectively and are your efforts working for you?

  Do you have an email marketing list? Are you confident writing emails to market your work?

  Have you created a media kit for press and marketing purposes?

  Are you focused on building strong relationships with your clients?

Your Art Website

  Do you have your own art website?

  Does your Home page have a header with your business name, and tagline?

  Is there an email subscriber opt-in form on your site? Does it pop up?

  Is the art on your website priced? Why or why not?

  Does your About page work well for you? Does it use a conversational tone, introduce you as the artist, and include your photo?

  Are you using videos on your website?

  Does your site have a blog? Or are you willing to create one?

  Is there sufficient information for visitors to understand what you make, your terms and policies, and be able to purchase your work?

  Have you made a regular practice of building backlinks to your site?

  Are you selling your work on any third party websites? What results have you gotten?

Business systems

  Are you compiling a list of customers and prospects who are interested in your art?

  Do you have a plan in place to gain repeat and referral sales?

  Do you have Google Analytics installed? How do you use that data?

  Have you created business systems and planning that help you keep a balance in your art business?

  Are you outsourcing work to other people in order to allow yourself to do your highest level work?



Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!



  1. This is a great list! Thank you. Just need to add “Invest in some professional accounting and tax advice“. Setting up the right structure and tax registrations, the appropriate accounting system, knowing what records to keep and the tax treatment of various sources of arts income can really help an artist to keep in control of their finances. Plus avoid compliance costs blow-out down the track.

    Tax is hard! Most accountants who are familiar with artists are happy to run through these essentials in a meeting, and will let an artist know which aspects they can take care of themselves and what should be outsourced and when, to save costs overall. Better to tackle this early on than to get a few years behind and have a lot to fix.

    • Excellent addition to the list, Electra. Tax professionals who take an interest in artists as clients can be immensely helpful in helping them plan and run their businesses more effectively and save money in the long run.

  2. Am building new site. Is there anyone who could give a candid opinion?

Speak Your Mind