On November 1, 2018, I was managing all my client projects on a board on Trello. An order came in; I added it to the board. A mock up was approved, and I moved it to my “to paint” list. An order shipped, and I moved it to my “in transit” list. I had a week in October when a new project came in everyday. I coudn’t believe my order volume.
I sell fine art. I can’t finish a project in a single day. One client decided that she wanted two paintings when I had only painted one. She did give me an idea that she wanted multiples - and I had missed it.
I missed getting a client’s order on my board and they emailed me a week later asking about their mock-up. I couldn’t remember who was a client from Etsy, who came from my website, and what prices I had quoted everyone at the start of their pieces. I couldn’t remember how they preferred that I contact them - email, Etsy message, phone? Overwhelmed and disorganized, I missed deadlines and followed up with almost no one. I reached my breaking point in the final push of the holiday season.
I’ve been designing and painting family crests for eight years. Of course the holiday rush isn’t new to me. I used to manage my little Etsy shop while working full-time; but my business has grown a little since then. And I would like it to grow even more.
Relationships are the core of the personalized art that I sell. My client’s experience in working with me is as important to me as the artwork that I create for them. My business is built around serving one person at a time and creating a unique, one-on-one experience that celebrates their story. I wasn’t doing that well if I was spending my studio time digging in my email trying to figure out if their flowers in their art were supposed to be blue or red, or if they had a deadline for their art.
I bought a Dubsado subscription on November 5th. I spent the holiday season overwhelmed with not only the projects that I had accepted, but also in trying to learn and move into a new software to manage my business. I’m still not 100% set up, but I am learning fast and I am using the tools that I bought to make my projects run smoother and impress my clients.
I sell art - a thing that is a discretionary purchase. I know that no one really needs the items that I sell like they might need pet food or office supplies. Keeping that in my mind makes me work so much harder to make sure that my process is a joy and a celebration for my clients. Dubsado helps me organize my client’s needs so I can put more energy into making their art beautiful and unique.
Think Dubsado might be help you manage your creative business? It took me just 3 days to decide that it was perfect for me. Use my Dubsado affiliate code Jamie or click here to test it out for your small business.