Writing a winning Art Business Plan

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” Alan Lakein

artbizblog page

I’m not usually someone who enters competitions – but this one intrigued me – and fitted perfectly with something I needed to do anyway – some planning!

I’m a big fan of the artbizblog website  – it’s full of useful ideas and challenges to improve your business brain. I was struck by a sentence which said:

Stop over-planning and start taking action. Over-planning is killing your art business.

The challenge was set – write a business plan – in 200 words or less.

As I wrote an original BIG business plan that covered just about any eventuality (earthquakes anyone?!) when we first started A3 Art, I liked the idea of condensing down and sharpening up.

So I entered my plan – more as an exercise in getting something done that needed doing anyway – so imagine my surprise to find that my plan had won!

My plan was simple in its focus – to make sure that we have everything set up and ready for our next exhibition … yes … that’s right – we’re doing it again in September! So not only are you finding out the dates of our next exhibition already … you can now find out some of the things I need to do to make sure it happens!

So here’s the plan:

Planning for our second exhibition 20th – 26th Sept

Products required

  • 24 original acrylic paintings – have 12 currently. Need to paint another 12 = 1 per week!
  • 24 A3 mounted prints and 24 A4 mounted prints.
  • Purchase mounts online by end of July.


  • Local and expat market; tourists on holiday; and local businesses.


  • Create press pack.
  • Provide high quality images for promotion materials and ensure expat newspapers and FB contacts advertise for us.
  • Send press pack out on 7th Sept to ensure coverage is one week before event.
  • Maintain email list of contacts and keep updated – send a monthly newsletter.
  • Update website with press pack and information from 15th August.


  • Pricing – maintain pricing as for first exhibition
    A3 mounted £25, A4 mounted £15
    Acrylic paintings £75 – £95
  • Profit margins have been calculated, along with all costs and expenses. Excel spreadsheet up and running!


  • Completing enough paintings on time alongside other commissioned work – overcome by setting a target of one painting per week and create a list of possible ideas on Evernote and tick off each one completed!


  • Measure against success of first exhibition – aim for 25% increase in sales and 50% increase in commissions.

 You can find out more about my winning plan - and the other entries – via this link Winner of the 200 word Artist Plan Contest

A3 Art newsletter logo


This week also sees the launch of our new ‘News from the A3 Art Studio’ newsletter. We will be creating a monthly newsletter to send to our friends – full of information, news, and links.

Would you like to be added to our mailing list? If so – just send an email to a3art@live.co.uk with ‘Subscribe’ in the title – or leave a message in the comments below – and we’ll add you to the list!

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10 thoughts on “Writing a winning Art Business Plan

  1. Valentine Logar

    Having already done one show, was it easier to write the plan? How many ‘lessons’ did you learn from the first? While I am not in the art business, I do run a business and find I am always learning, each project teaches me something but I am not at all certain I could write a business plan in 200 words.

    1. ferragudofan Post author

      thanks for reading and commenting – yes I think having done one show has helped – I wrote about the exhibition after it happened – with lots of hints and tips you might be able to transfer across to your own business?
      You can find the link here:


      the challenge of 200 words was certainly a challenge – but I liked the fact it helped me to focus on the most important areas – and helped me ‘nail down’ the key things I need to do! and the shock of realising I have to paint one picture a week between now and September has definitely focussed me in the studio!

  2. Maria Tatham

    Alyson, congratulations! This kind of enterprise involves thought, time, and hard work. Best wishes for meeting your goals and your upcoming events!
    Love the picture highlighted on artbizblog.

    1. ferragudofan Post author

      thank you very much! it was worthwhile for lots of reasons – not just winning!
      glad you like the picture too – my latest ‘new Wave’ style painting – been busy with Pet Portraits since but hoping to paint another one soon!
      have a great weekend

  3. Jim

    Congratulations, Alyson! :) As a former, now retired, business professor, I like what I see in your business plan. Since this was for one exhibition it covered the bases very well. I suggest that you concisly detail out in a plan like this for your future exhibitions as well even though it wouldn’t be a writing assignment. You could do that for every aspect of the business end. This one seemed to show reasonable expectations and I will be interested how the exhibition comes out.

    I have known two artists quite well. One, Larry Dyke, is known throughout Texas for his Texas and Golf Course art. He sells litho prints of his work through a marketing firm. The other, John Tassin of Galveston, Texas, painted Texas Gulf Coast pictures and of the many ships and boats and docks in our coastal towns. He died in 2009.
    [ http://galvestondailynews.com/story/134648 ]

    John’s work was in many of the Galveston restaurants and other tourist hangouts. He would make the rounds amongst those places and one would never know where that might be for the afternoon. He also had a small ‘shop’ in a boutique type store full of various art works, antiques, and crafts.

    I do know that any of John T.’s paintings were sold as prints. We have only one of his originals. I should post it on my blog. Every time we would visit Galveston (about 100 miles to the south from our home, requiring us to go ‘through’ Houston, Texas) I would make it a point to look him up.

    I will request your newsletter via the Web site. Thank you in adance.

    1. ferragudofan Post author

      thank you again Jim – your comments are really encouraging – thank you

      art prints certainly sold well at our first exhibition – I decided to limit each piece to 25 editions and hand-sign each one … people seemed to like that!

      do let me know your blog details so that I can come over and visit!

  4. Marc

    Hi Alyson,
    It’s really helpful to see your business plan so many thanks for sharing this. I have been bamboozled by much advice found online so I appreciate the clarity and simplicity of what you’ve written.
    I also completed and shared a how-to guide when I mounted my first exhibition two years ago which helped my confidence enormously:


    Once again, thanks for sharing the plan and congrats!

    1. ferragudofan Post author

      thanks Marc for commenting and visiting the blog – glad you found the plan helpful – we are on track for our exhibition in September – so I will keep adding posts and ideas as we go along
      best wishes – and thanks for the link to your post too – I’m off to check it out!


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