If you are in your art for the long haul and want to become a professional artist at some point you are going to need to scale up without burning out. In order to be able to do this, you need to know how to get help for your business. You will need to understand how to build systems that allow you to produce more art and make more sales without more effort.
One of the most common questions around this topic is on how to hire help.
If you're just getting started with your art business, you might find this all a little overwhelming, and it may not be appropriate for you at the moment, but it doesn’t hurt to know what to do in the future. If you're generating money from your art and you're thinking about how to grow your business, then read on.....
How do I find the right people to hire?
Well, of course, this will depend on the role you're hiring for. If you're talking about general office assistance, like answering emails and basic collector correspondence, then you might think about hiring a virtual assistant, or VA as they are commonly known.. These days there are a great number of websites where you can hire a VA. Here's a few suggestions.for you.
If price, is your number one priority, then try Upwork.com. They are cheap but you will need to give specific, limited tasks with a lot of supervision.
Sometimes it is important to have someone who is US or Australian based and a native English speaker. If this is your requirement then you might give DigitalNomads.com. or WeWorkRemotely.com a go. These are middle of the road kind of options, easier to work with but more expensive.
If however it is important for you to use a well-vetted, high-quality VA and you want someone to do the search for you, check out PriorityVA.com or https://www.zirtual.com
That takes care of tasks that can be done online. But what if you need someone in person? Some things need to be done on the ground. This might be things like cataloguing all your work, hanging a show, or handling shipping?
There are niche job boards in most cities and towns. Or you might start with your local newspaper's website as they often have job boards. If there is a university near you offering an arts course you might approach the art department there offering work experience in a professional artist’s studio for their students for a nominal wage.
You can also ask your network. The best employees are often found through referrals. However, a simple recommendation is not enough. You would also need to take a look at the person's resume, and interview them before you hire them. That goes fo anyone you hire really, including students from an art school.
Remember that the best candidates are not necessarily people with an art background. You want to hire for the job skill, not the background.
BEFORE YOU HIRE
There are a few things you should do before you hire.
Make A List - of all the jobs that need to be done.
Write a job description. Far too often we skip this step because we think we know what we need help with. But it's important. You need to think deeply about what you want out of someone you're going to pay with your hard-earned art dollars.
List out the duties in detail: what is everything you need this person to be able to do? Bullet points are good.
Now perhaps you don't know what to hire for first, or more than likely there isn't a budget for a full-time employee. If this is the case make a list of all the things you did in the last two months. Which things did you hate doing the most?
Now think about which of these ones you're least good at? Those are the things you should hire someone else for first.
Not only that, you want to be sure that you hire someone who enjoys doing that work and is good at it.
Your next question might be - How do I write a job description for that job? I suggest you search the web for that job and look at several examples of other people descriptions for that job. You will also need to research what the going rate in wages is for that job as well. You would ideally want to have 3 months of wages for that person set aside before you hire them and hire them on a trial basis to make sure that you get along and that they can do the work properly also.
If hiring and growing your art business is something you're interested in doing, you might want to consider investing in a business coach. I have worked with Alyson Stanfield who has a wide range of programs on offer.