Over the next few weeks I'm going to be evaluating some ways to approach these duties in a time-saving and user-friendly manner. Some of the topics I'll be working on are:
- Collecting contact information from my guestbooks, Quickbooks, website, etc, into one workable and easily adaptable database.
- Finding boxes to fit the unique shapes of my canvas artwork and finding a supplier that works with small businesses and enables smaller bulk purchases.
- Putting together a shipping table so I can have a quick resource guide for my shipping charges. I would like to be able to offer more shipping coverage without building a quote.
I've been migrating towards more sales online which has made this necessary. The contact base is going to be time intensive in the beginning, but this way I'll have a comprehensive list of people for my show invitations.
Things to keep in mind when creating contact databases:
- Keep track of what sort of contact this is. How were they referred to my work/website?
- Do they require updates on all work, local showings, blog updates, etc?
- What pieces does this collector own currently?
- Do not over email. I refrain from using email except for show announcements and possibly an update 1 - 2 times per year. If a collector would like to be updated frequently, they can subscribe to the blog.
- Last contact date.
- Format. If you use Excel many times this database is exportable and can be used when creating invitations.
Things to keep in mind when packaging:
- Allow enough room around the canvas for whatever cushion you use.
- Be green. Either re-use mailing material for small pieces or buy biodegradable packing materials. I loathe styrofoam peanuts. Who likes to spend more time cleaning up packaging than they do opening their purchase? And just how long does it take until these peanuts break down? A looong time, if ever. If you need packaging peanuts, starch peanuts are out there which break down faster and are more eco-friendly.
- If you can buy packaging in units of 25 boxes or more it goes a long way towards lowering your packaging costs. One vendor I'm going to look into is U-Line.
What have I left out? Let me know.