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Topic: starting up a window painting biz  (Read 410 times)
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bettyxbrown
« on: September 23, 2008 04:39:43 PM »

yo,

so, i'm starting up a window painting business.  i'm mainly looking to do permanent (but removable) reverse-glass displays; think business names, and things like that.  i do high-quality glass painting in a very wide variety of styles, though i tend to gravitate towards art noveau, sailor jerry, comic book, and cheesy flashy 80s style compositions.

anyways, what i'm piping up here for is to see if anyone's got any tips or tricks for me when it comes to breaking into moneymaking.  i'm not looking to get rich off this or anything, just pay some bills.  my plan for right now is to expand my portfolio (started working on that this month, got 4 or 5 pretty big pieces done already), and then move on to doing free pieces for local businesses that i like (think the coffeeshop down the street, the local fat-positive boutique, the women's bookstore, etc).   i figure that's good real-world practice, establishments i respect get something good, and it's even advertising in itself.

then comes the part i'm not so experienced or comfortable with--pitching it to businesses for a fee.  i'm not really sure what i'd like to charge (hourly? flat rate?), what businesses i should focus on (i'm thinking retail, but really, most any could do), how i should initiate communication with these people (walk-in? email? pamphlet drop-off?), or...anything!

i have a friend who works doing art/general management and is a fucking whiz at it, who's all set to give me a hand on this stuff; however, her husband's parents are visiting from Brazil for the next month, so her hands are pretty full time-wise, and i'd like to start wrapping my head around this right away!

so, yeah! any suggestions, experience, input of any kind, is highly appreciated!   thanks for taking the time to read my query. later!

xo
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outbackgirl
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008 07:42:12 PM »

do you have a business enterprise centre near you?  (australian thing - http://www.beca.org.au/, but assume they are in the u.s. also - basically government run advisory centre for people in small business).  they should be able to provide you with good, non-biased advice.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008 07:44:10 PM by outbackgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

CraftyChef
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008 09:05:55 AM »

I'm not crazy about an hourly fee, but with something like this it could be a good idea. My question is: do you know how long it takes you to create, say, 3-4 types of window (from easy to complex)? Then you can show people what the different types are, and APPROXIMATELY how much they will cost based on your time; if folks get a good estimate they don't mind a little over that if it's necessary. Only you can decide how much per hour you would charge, but I wouldn't take less than $25 per.

To talk to people...you know how to talk to people, right? You probably do it every day. You clearly want to talk to folks who can make the right decisions, so finding out who they are is simply done with a phone call. Other than that, you are a person, and they are a person, and you've got a cool idea and a talent, and they may just want it, so just ask 'em.

If it was me I would do 2 in different parts of town for free in exchange for writing "by MyNameWindowPainting" + your phone or site, and referrals to/from other businesses in the area. Particularly if you're doing coffee shops and cafes and stuff, they get lots of other locals into their shops for breakfast and lunch and have plenty of opportunity to look at your work.
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