Know Your Value

On Knowing Your Value

A big part of making the step into self-employment and starting your own business in general is knowing what you’re worth. All too often I see artists and aspiring creatives pricing their work and their skills for much less than they are worth. Pricing your work and figuring out what to charge for a certain project can be one of the most difficult aspects of the self employed artist. Underpricing your work is not only harmful to yourself, but it also negatively affects the market because it lowers the value of the work around you. If you keep your pricing at a healthy rate with maybe just a slight competitive edge, it raises the value of the artist’s community as a whole.

Tips for pricing and knowing the value of your work:

  • Account for cost of materials as well as overhead. Know how much your supplies cost, what your overhead is such as rent, utilities, the gas it takes to get to the post office, how much it will cost to ship, and how much the packaging and shipping materials cost per item.
  • Be realistic about how long it took you to make something and charge for your time to be a liveable wage. This includes brainstorming the idea as well as the actual production time. Don’t discount your time because you love to do something. If you are an artist, the community as a whole needs you to be an important component to our modern day culture, don’t act like what you do isn’t important to society because art is a huge part of innovation and helping people to think outside the box, and therefore create change and progress in all aspects of our society.
  • Know your value at wholesale and retail prices. If you are selling a product or small runs or artwork, you want to be able to approach small businesses and boutiques that will want to sell your items at higher prices than what they bought them for.  The general rule is that wholesale is half of retail, so take your numbers from the previous two tips, and that is your wholesale price, multiply that by two, and that is your retail price. Don’t sell yourself short.

This topic can go on and on, but these are the basics, and remember, it’s not about being greedy or finding fame, it’s about being able to create change in your community by offering creative and innovative services.  It’s important to build growth in your own community so that it can have living and working artists that contribute to society as a whole.  So on that note, let’s make 2014 and the coming years the New Renaissance! Keep working, growing, becoming inspired, and finding new solutions to our communities’ issues.