However, it is still advisable that at the start the owners are themselves acquainted with the nuances of business and art so that they have a certain degree of control over the business and do not need any outside help.
There are some areas, however, where the owners will need to recruit professional assistance if the need arises:
- Graphic design
- Accounting and finance
- Public relations
The owners may also outsource some of the above mentioned business activities.
A proper business plan
Like all other business ventures, it is essential to draw up a business plan when aiming to start an art gallery. There are certain areas that the entrepreneurs need to analyze as part of the whole plan:
Product: The owners should be able to identify the sort of business they want to focus on. They should be able to determine the skills of their team members and the prevalent conditions in the market before making any decision as such. It is considered advisable to focus on a unique product, one that is not readily available in immediate vicinity.
Capital requirements: To start with, the financial requirements will vary depending on the nature and size of the art gallery that an entity wants to open. The owners also need to be mindful of critical factors such as deposit and rent, reserves, salaries of employees, exhibitions and inventory, and advertising and marketing that will include advertising, website, publication of invitations and catalogs, and online advertising. Under normal circumstances, an art gallery starts providing profits from the 4th or 5th year of operations.
Location: An art gallery is similar to a retail business in the way that location is important in case of both types of business. After the owners decide on the product they want to focus on, they should analyze and determine an ideal location for their gallery. Ideally, the gallery should be built at the place where the prospective clients are located. The owners should make sure that their gallery is attractive enough so that they can draw the best buyers in town.
Relationship: A good relationship with various entities such as collectors, press, artists, and the competing galleries is of paramount importance for successfully operating an art gallery. Ideally the owners should be responsible for the public relations but if they are not comfortable interacting with others, they should employ professionals who are fairly skilled and experienced in this domain.
Marketing: The owners should have a proper marketing plan where they can create a layout for introducing and promoting their gallery. While creating the plan the owners will be required to consider factors like exhibitions, advertising, public relations, art fairs, and other relevant promotional media.
Equipment needed to open an art gallery
The first thing an entrepreneur needs to open an art gallery is substantial wall space. In addition, they require point of sale systems, materials and tools for placing the artworks on stands and walls, cash registers, and credit card processing systems.
Opening an art gallery – the basics
To start with, the art galleries are primarily opened to assist artists in selling their work. The owners also need to be present at the gallery and deal with prospective customers who might or might not have a lot of knowledge regarding art.
The owners need to find out artists who wish to sell their work and decide a commission for the same. They will also be required to deal with leasing agents and building managers to get the space where they will set the art gallery up.
They can also gather valuable experience by working in well known art galleries. This will help them get a good idea of the ways to operate one and also help build up a network with artists, whose works can be used in the future.
The owners should normally look for artists at the colleges and universities as these are the areas where most of the new artists come from. They can also issue advertisements at publications of the local governmental organizations, newspapers, and art magazines for this purpose.
Prospects of an art gallery
It is unrealistic to expect to become a millionaire after opening an art gallery. The Forbes list of richest individuals in the world does not have any art gallery owner. However, an art gallery does provide its owner with a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle but not before 10 years of operation. The major takeaway of being an art gallery is the whole business process itself and the life that comes with it.
The prospective owners of art galleries also need to remember that art galleries are also trend based like the retail businesses such as restaurants and apparels. So they need to be careful about these factors when opening an art gallery.
Last Updated on 23 March 2012