Gaining Business Savvy
“How do I get customers?”
“What should I charge for a job or piece of work?”
“What’s the best way to market my business?”
For the past four years, thanks to initial efforts by the Alumni Association, the NBSS Business Course has grown into an annual program for students and alumni. The program, which is open to all NBSS full-time students, is a collaboration between the school and members of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC) who modified their business course for artists— The Artist’s Professional Toolbox—for NBSS.
“I was woefully unprepared to start a business myself, but this course gave me tools with which to begin exploring options.” Jonathan Hopewell, CF ’11
“Each year we plan and teach this series, we enjoy it even more,” says D’lynne Plummer, Director of Professional Development at the A&BC. “The course specifically targets the unique crafts and disciplines taught at NBSS.” “It was interesting to learn about the types of insurance and some of the high level financial stuff,” said Bill Rainford, PC ’11 and owner of Rainford Restorations who took the course.
“The course was extremely well designed and taught, bringing very knowledgeable instructors from each discipline,” said Jonathan Hopewell, CF ’11 and current proprietor of Hopewell Woodworking. “I was woefully unprepared to start a business myself, but this course gave me tools with which to begin exploring options.”
Meeting for six consecutive Friday mornings beginning in February, the course covers business plans, marketing, contracts and negotiations, pricing, accounting, insurance and legal issues. One thing that makes the course special is the panel discussion at the last session. A panel of successful alumni lead a three-hour discussion of business strategies. “If we want our craft to support us financially, then we need to know our craft and have some business savvy,” stresses two-time panel member Walter Beebe-Center, PC ’94, owner of Essex Restorations.