Every person has strengths and weaknesses in their abilities. These attributes or deficiencies in ourselves and friends start to become evident to us as children attending elementary school. Some members of the class have a natural aptitude for mathematics, others are voracious readers, some welcome the chance to speak in front of the class or at assemblies, and others have the vision, creativity, and ability to create beautiful works of art. Through continued education and practice, these skills improve and often influence career paths as the highest market value is commonly paid for our strongest skill set as adults.
The path forward professionally for people with a mathematics or communication aptitude is often self-evident. Unfortunately, society often does not provide obvious career paths to personal fulfillment and financial prosperity for people with artistic strengths. It has been my experience, that people with artistic talent can perform at a high level of skill in a spectrum of mediums or projects. This is no different than a highly skilled computer programmer who has the ability to create equally high performing CRM software and video games. Unfortunately, the corporate employment world often does not embrace artistic skills with good positions and potential for upward mobility. Experiencing these obstacles and recognizing their unique skill set, many artists elect to become entrepreneurs.
The beauty of entrepreneurship as a career path for an artist is that a free market economy like the United States recognizes quality with an assignment of value and market demand. The higher the quality of a product the more demand and the better the economic rewards for the entrepreneur.
IBA, as the oldest business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, has been witness to the successful transition of ownership of many business models built on a foundation of delivering quality artistic products to a loyal customer base making reoccurring purchases. Many of these businesses started out with a vision for execution by their founder, but over time became standardized processes that could be performed by staff with an appropriate skill set under proper executive management.
The following are five examples of successful artistic business models that have been sold by IBA and successfully run, following a transfer of ownership, by new executive management:
- Florist Shops A palette of fresh flowers is a common entrepreneurship environment for a person with a strong artistic skill set to share and sell their skills. The beauty of this medium for an artist is that it is always changing in terms of colors and floral products. The entrepreneurial venue also offers the ability to work in small formats (vases & baskets) or large formats (weddings & events).
- Photography E.A. Bucchianeri famously said, “Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation.” Nowhere is this statement truer than in photography. One party could value a limited distribution photo in five figures where another person would not purchase it at any price. The ability to deliver the right photo for a client is rewarded lucratively in the marketplace. The deliverance of photos as a business owner can be in a commercial setting for advertising purposes or to record for prosperity a personal event like a wedding.
- Construction Anyone who has completed a remodel of their home knows the overwhelming spectrum of design and material options. The ability to take the canvas of a dated kitchen and through vision and knowledge transform it into a productive, aesthetically pleasing “heart of a home” for a client requires a highly skilled professional. Currently, businesses in the construction industry with an artistic component are in high demand by consumers seeking to personalize their home. This demand creates opportunities to build successful, profitable privately held companies and family businesses. IBA has successfully sold construction industry businesses for entrepreneurs that range from straight forward painting companies delivering quality workmanship to landscape design businesses to general contractors who facilitate major kitchen & bathroom remodels for their clients.
- Home Staging Art can be the creation of something new from raw materials. It can also be the ability to take something old and present it in a new light or different presentation. A significant value adding service in the residential real estate industry is the staging of homes for sale. Statistics convey that staged homes sell quicker and for more money than homes that are not staged (https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/how-much-does-home-staging-cost/) The best businesses have their customers leaving satisfied perceiving value. IBA has sold staging companies with a large quantity of wonderful reviews online from satisfied customers where the financial rewards to ownership greatly exceeded what the business owner could earn working in the corporate world.
- Food Service Many people with an artistic aptitude gravitate to the food & beverage industry for materials as entrepreneurs. This artistic palette is unique in that the ability exists to present “masterpieces” that can win applause based on an assessment by four different senses. Few things are more satisfying than to be delivered an artistically presented plate radiating captivating aromas that offers inviting textures and flavors upon consumption. Talented food artists and entrepreneurs have the option of operating restaurants, creating cocktails in a bar, manufacturing wines, spirits, or beers, and/or baking products that people line up for on weekends. All of these businesses have been successfully sold by IBA in the past to a next generation ownership interested in learning and building on the legacy of the last generation of entrepreneurship.
Thomas Edison famously said, “The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.” Entrepreneurship offers a ladder to financial prosperity to people willing to work who embrace their personal skill set. It is one of the few career paths where artists can achieve both professional fulfillment and income commensurate with their abilities. If you are an artist who is interested in selling your “life work” as an entrepreneur, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, assess the market value of your business, and provide an overview of our client services. If you are an artist trapped in the corporate world as an employee, we would welcome the opportunity to share with you the wonderful mediums available to you as an entrepreneur. Money aside, we have a suspicion you will be happier doing what you were born to do rather than trying to be someone you are not professionally.
IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, and real estate communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.