We provide our valuable recommendations on opening an art school.
Why Start An Art School?
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, but most share a passion for their line of work. Art school entrepreneurs are no different. Unless you are the next Picasso, it will be difficult to make a living from your artistic passion without engaging in art education or other entrepreneurial endeavors.
But even though most people launch an art school because they are passionate about art, long-term survival hinges on the application of sound business skills. In other words, your artistic skill set will need to be augmented by a business skill set to achieve a successful startup and growth.
Art Schools: Marketing & Revenue Streams
Art schools attract individuals who are interested in taking their hobby to the next level. Your best students might be able to sell their art, but most will be satisfied to gradually improve their ability to create art for their personal enjoyment.
Kids and adults are viable demographic targets, so you'll want to include both groups in your marketing plan and class offerings. Limited duration classes can stabilize your revenue stream by providing guaranteed income in four-, six- or eight-week blocks.
To attract the broadest possible student base, you'll need to offer classes in a variety of disciplines including drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture and more. If you aren't confident in your ability to teach in a given subject area, recruit adjunct teachers to fill the gaps.
Two-in-One Business Models
Most art schools operate a two-in-one business model. Either the art classes are a value-added component of an art supply business, or art supply sales are used as a way to supplement revenue derived from the business' core educational mission.
Two-in-one business models are especially useful for introducing new students to the world of art. Rather than navigating the entry requirements on their own, aspiring artists have access to a one-stop resource for everything they need to make their artistic interests a reality.
Best Practices: Business Plans for Art Schools
In a startup art school, there is no substitute for a high quality business plan. The effort you invest in the creation of your plan now will pay off later in lender responsiveness, investor attention and strategic confidence.
Business plans address a wide range of issues, including startup financials. The financial chapter of your business plan is one of the first places investors and lenders look, so it needs to contain forecasts and budgets that are rooted in business realities rather than your personal best case scenario.
Subsequently, a thorough understanding of business plan financial basics is a prerequisite to effective business plan writing for art schools.
Review the Competition
Prior to launching an art school in your area, it's essential to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Try our link below to find competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of art schools that are close by.
Is the local market large enough to support another art school? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
After you've evaluated your local competitors, it's essential that you have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Fortunately, somebody who runs an art school in another town will be much more likely to talk with you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
What's the best way to find an art school owner in a different locale who can assist you?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Financial Benefits of Buying an Art School
Startup art schools carry a host of financial risks and concerns. Without an operational history, it's hard to predict how your startup will actually perform in the marketplace.
Although there are many benefits to buying an existing art school, the financial advantages rank near the top of the list. Many entrepreneurs buy an existing business for the sole purpose of tapping into the financial benefits of an established customer base.
An acquired business also has documented assets and earnings - a big advantage with lenders and investors.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Recognize that your chances of thriving in your new business are substantially improved when you join the ranks of franchisees rather than going it alone.
Prior to making the decision to open an art school, it's worthwhile to assess whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might make sense for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These interviews should be of interest to you.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing art school, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to art schools, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.