How Easy is it to Start a Mosaics Business ?
We are constantly surprised by how many subscriptions we get to "Mosaics Business," the newsletter on starting and growing mosaics businesses. On the subscription form we ask subscribers if they are more interested in starting or growing a business. About 70% of the responses are "starting." It is awesome to see so much interest in starting a mosaics business, and I hope it leads to a lot of business formations that succeed.
It is really easy to start a mosaics business, or any other business. Here it is in a paragraph. Decide on a name, location, and maybe a logo. Choose a legal form (proprietorship, partnership or corporation) that is appropriate for your financial requirements, and file the necessary forms with the state. Get federal tax identification numbers. The exact nature and location of the business will dictate any need for business and occupational licenses and sales tax numbers. Develop a website and other communications channels. You're pretty well done.
A business formed in this fashion is good for mosaic artists who have little or no need or aspiration for the business to be profitable or to achieve growth targets. It is a business that yields personal satisfaction in lieu of increasing profitability and is exactly the right way for some.
Starting a mosaics business that is likely to grow is significantly challenging and requires all the above steps plus at least one that must precede them. And, it is the most important of all steps requiring you to choose between 2 fundamental options. But before we get to it, consider what a business is.
At the core of every commercial endeavor are 2 elements - a problem and a solution. First, the problem is one that people are willing to pay to have solved. The people with the problem begin to define a "market." The quantity of people willing to pay to solve the problem and the price they are willing to pay determines the value of the market. Second, the solution to the problem. The solution begins to define a "product or service." The value, and to a large extent, the desirability of the solution are largely determined by the difference in its price and the cost of the problem it solves.
With that understood, let's get to the 2 big options you need to choose between. Neither choice is right or wrong, but one is right for the values, aspirations, and circumstances of your business. Choosing the wrong one will make your business more difficult than it has to be and could ultimately lead to its demise.
You can be product focused or market focused.
Option 1) A product focused business makes its product, makes its availability known, and allows those who desire it to acquire it. The product focused business is one that may work best for an artist with the opinion that their art must, first of all, be expressions of what is in them.
Option 2) A market focused business identifies a market opportunity, makes a product for the market, makes its availability known, and allows those who desire it to acquire it. The market focused business is one that may work best for an artist who is fulfilled by just about any participation in mosaic arts.
When you are considering the right direction for your mosaics business remember that no business can succeed when the values of its owners and employees are being violated. And, the kind of business that is best is one that is fulfilling within your unique set of values, aspirations, and circumstances.