Summary: In today’s podcast episode, Stephen Halasnik and his guest Lee Prosenjak discuss the biggest challenges of building a business in the arts. A business in the arts must have sustainability and balance for it to be successful. To thrive, having a business partner can be beneficial, so those in the art world can then focus on getting their pieces into arts organizations, arts institutions, or performances.

The Art and Science of Business

Building a company can be an art in itself, in terms of managing a team, balancing personalities, and making sure all operations are on track. However, there is also a science to building a company such as running costs and hourly rate to make sure the business and team are good. The art and the science of the business must be balanced. Many in the performing arts business may understand the art side, but they need to know the science behind the business. These entrepreneurs need to know the physicality and focus behind what they are doing.

Find The Balance

In the art world, some people might not necessarily be good at finding the balance between their art and business, so you need to find complementary skill sets. For example, if you are in the fine arts doing paintings, then you can find a gallery owner who does all the other back-end work full time. These gallery owners are the ones who are making deals, pricing, and making sure you get taken care of, for a fee. Finding someone who excels on the business side and partnering with them can make you an excellent team.

Two Paths for the Art Industry

  1. Find that partner who excels on the business side

When looking for a partner, whether you are starting a new business or not, it can be challenging. A partner fills a very important role in your business. You have to ask yourself how you find someone that you can trust, and who will be as good as they say they are. One way of doing this would be to find people or a partner who believes in what you believe in. You need to have these shared values and passions, as this will be an important factor leading to success. You want someone to not just be there for a paycheck, but someone who genuinely wants to be there and supports your business model. This process can be difficult and scary because you might not want to do it. A tip to be successful would be to set a time frame to work with this person or group of people. After a couple of months, you will be able to tell if they were here for the right reasons and if they share the same values. There will be conflicts and the way that they handle them are very important so you can see if the partnership is going to work or not. Another aspect to look for is someone who excels where you have difficulties and for you to pick up where they need extra assistance. You will know when you find the right partner because you both will agree and mesh well together.

  1. Get “coached up”

When in the art world some people excel in both art and business, but they could still use extra assistance. You may understand business concepts, but not fully adapted to practicing them in the real world and need to be “coached up”. This is when you can look to professionals in this area that can help train you. Anyone can be trained to do anything; however, they cannot be trained in the belief of the organization. First, they will be asked the “why.” Why do you want to be with this organization, or what are its values, and what are yours? The answers to these questions may help you discover right away if the person’s values do not match up with the businesses. Then if the values do match up, you must determine the skills they present and how to apply them to necessary assignments.

Become Your Own Marketer

In the art world, entrepreneurship is starting your own business to showcase your talent. One of the biggest challenges on the business side of art is being able to properly and effectively market yourself. In recent years, a very popular and common way of doing this has been through social media or by becoming a blogger, especially during the pandemic. Social media and blogging have been great ways to grow virtually since the start of the pandemic. Your goal is to first get the attention of others so they can see your passion. Marketing yourself does not only have to be done virtually though, it can also be through art fairs or public art. Public art is any form of art done for the general public. Once you grow a good audience base, there are opportunities for sponsorships. Sponsorships will allow your business to expand to possibly an even larger audience. Being able to have a sponsorship with someone who shares the same values as you is also important as it will link the creative economy.

Conclusion: The bottom line is that even though building a company can be more of an art, there is a science behind running an art business or creative capital. The number one reason small business owners open their businesses is not because of money, it’s because they want to have more control over their future. Entrepreneurs have a strong passion for what they do and they want to be able to share it with others.

Guest Speaker: Lee Prosenjak, Co-Owner of Cherry Creek Dance, Hesse Partners, and Simon Sinek

Lee and his wife, Stephanie own and operate Cherry Creek Dance in Denver, Colorado, which has been dedicated to creating art every day since 1993. Today they inspire more than 2,500 students each week of the year to create art through dance in a multitude of styles. Lee has used the dance studio as a sandbox to practice building an inspired, safe, and fulfilled world.

Lee’s talents are also sought after as a Master Forum Trainer & Retreat Facilitator for global leaders in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He remains an EO member, since 2005, and has dedicated countless volunteer hours to serve on EO’s Global Forum Committee. He is also a Senior Partner & COO of Hesse Partners, overseeing the operations of their team of facilitators and expanding their diverse portfolio of clients. Lee divides his time between the Bahamas and Denver.

About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions

Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, Entrepreneur MBA Podcast. The Entrepreneur MBA podcast’s purpose is to help small businesses get over the $10 million per year in revenue mark. Mr. Halasnik is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is a leading provider of Lines of Credit to small businesses and nonprofits

Mr. Halasnik is a graduate of Rutgers University and has an Executive Masters from the MIT Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurship program. Mr. Halasnik has started and built 6 companies over 25+ years with 2 of those businesses making the Inc 500/5000 fastest-growing list. Mr. Halasnik is a best-selling Amazon author on business and regularly tweets about his ideas about growing a business. You can also find Mr. Halasnik on youtube talking about Entrepreneurship.

Mr. Halasnik loves small businesses. He lives in New Jersey with his best friend, and his wife Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.

About Financing Solutions

Financing Solutions provides an easy-to-setup unsecured business line of credit to small businesses. The small business financing product is a great cash backup plan that costs nothing to set up, nothing until used, and is inexpensive when needed. Financing Solutions is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and 5 stars by the BBB/Google Reviews.

Unlike a traditional business bank loan, our business credit line requires no collateral or personal guarantee (except in cases of fraud) making it an excellent alternative business financing option. Small businesses often used their line of credit for short-term expenses, working capital, to make payroll, or for a business investment especially when business cash flow is temporarily down.

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