If you’re an artist with an entrepreneurial edge, there are various opportunities to build a business in the art industry. The digital landscape offers multiple sales platform options and social media has opened up fantastic opportunities to market your work. However, as with any enterprise, your growth can be dependent on utilizing the right supportive resources.
Storage units are elements that are often overlooked as ways to help businesses thrive in the art industry. They’re not simply spaces to keep excess personal items you don’t have room for at home. With some consideration, research, and creativity, you can use a unit to bolster your operations as your career develops.
For Managing Inventory
An increasing number of artists are using e-commerce to sell originals, prints, and merchandise as part of their business plans. Making a store on platforms like Etsy that stands out requires planning and smart design choices. However, by taking the time to develop a strong brand presence and using social media for audience engagement, your art business can see greater demand. This may mean you require inventory management solutions that support your growth.
If you’re not lucky enough to have a property with outbuildings, keeping a large number of paintings, prints, sculptures, or merch at home is unlikely to be practical. Storage units can be a practical and cost-effective way to keep your stock housed and organized. Indeed, many storage businesses today include shelving racks in their units that you can use to maintain practical access to items, rather than having to rummage through boxes piled wherever there's space.
In some instances, you may find it useful to double your storage unit up as a logistics station. You could consider keeping not just your products in the unit, but also elements such as packing materials and franking machines. This enables you to visit a few times a week with your order list so you can pick, pack, and frank your items in one place before dropping them off at the post office.
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To Protect Older and Unsold Pieces
If your art business functions in the fine art sector, your unsold paintings, sculptures, and installation items need to be cared for. It’s unlikely that all of your pieces are going to be on display in exhibitions at any given time. Not to mention that stacking pieces in your studio can take up valuable real estate and put these items at risk of damage.
Storage units can be an effective solution to this issue. It’s important, though, to make informed choices about the type of unit you use. Temperature, light, and humidity can impact the integrity of your pieces while in storage, so you should prioritize climate-controlled units. It’s also wise to ensure there are components that keep pieces off the floor to avoid damage as a result of unexpected floods or leaks.
In addition, you must take the time to review the security arrangements of different storage unit providers. It may be prudent to prioritize those that use electronic lock systems rather than padlocks that may be broken. Wherever possible, look for multiple layers of security, including restricted access to the storage unit blocks and even security personnel on the property. It’s also wise to take a thorough inventory of your artwork, with photographs of pieces and their conditions, in case you need to make compensation or storage insurance claims.
When Navigating Difficult Times
The art industry can be notoriously fickle and profitability is far from guaranteed. As an art entrepreneur, it’s important to take steps to safeguard your business from periods of economic uncertainty. Diversifying your income streams beyond simple art sales and reducing your inventory by auctioning off items can be effective in this regard. You can also find that adopting a storage unit can be a valuable resource to navigate choppy financial times.
Primarily, it can be a temporary but less expensive alternative to a dedicated studio space. It’s not unusual for commercial studios to be coupled with premium rental costs, which can eat into your revenue during difficult times. Particularly if you cannot work from home, a storage unit tends to be a relatively agile industrial space to set up creative operations in. This can keep you productive until your business starts to experience growth again, allowing you to overcome temporary financial setbacks.
Similarly, the storage space can function as a small production unit when you’re diversifying your income streams. You may be able to use your studio for the purpose of creating art, but it may not be well-suited or large enough to print t-shirts or 3D print designer toys related to your work. A storage unit can house these elements, allowing you to put your business in a more resilient financial situation.
Image Source: Pexels
As an art entrepreneur, you can utilize a storage unit to improve the efficiency and growth of your business. You can store and ship e-commerce inventory and protect unsold pieces that are not currently being exhibited. A unit can also help you navigate difficult periods by supporting the diversification of your income or functioning as a temporary studio.
It can also be wise to consider how storage units can factor into your future plans for your creative business. You might rent multiple units across the country to serve your storage when you travel to exhibitions or events. Having units in different countries can allow you to provide faster and more convenient shipping to customers in different territories.