Establishing policies and procedures for your art business is essential to ensure smooth operations and consistent customer experiences. Here are some suggested policies you may want to consider:
1. Returns Policy:
Decide whether all sales are final or if you allow returns. If you do accept returns, set a clear time frame for returns (e.g., within 30 days of purchase). Determine whether you will refund the money or issue a credit for future purchases.
2. Payments Policy:
Specify the types of payment methods you accept, such as cash, credit cards (through services like Square or PayPal), Venmo, Zelle, or others. Be aware of any associated fees for credit card processing and inform your customers if they will be charged extra for using specific payment methods.
3. Time Payments Policy:
If you allow clients to pay over time for their purchases, establish guidelines for this option. Decide if this is offered on a case-by-case basis or as a general policy. You may also want to set expectations regarding payment schedules and any associated interest or fees for deferred payments.
4. Shipping Policy:
If your artwork requires shipping, clarify how shipping costs will be handled. You can include the cost of shipping in the artwork’s price or offer different shipping options (e.g., client pays shipping, you split the cost, etc.). Be prepared to provide estimated shipping costs when asked.
5. Commissions Policy:
If you decide to take commissions, establish policies around this service. Outline any required deposits or down payments, the timeline for completion, and the client’s involvement in the process (e.g., whether they can provide feedback during the creation of the commissioned piece).
6. Pricing Policy:
Decide on your pricing strategy and be consistent with your prices. Avoid frequent price changes, as it may confuse customers. Be transparent about your pricing and communicate the value of your artwork clearly.
7. Communication and Mailing List Policy:
If you collect customer contact information, be transparent about how you will use it. Inform customers if you plan to add them to your mailing list for future updates, promotions, or events. Comply with data protection and privacy laws when collecting and using customer data.
8. Communication and Customer Service Policy:
Establish guidelines for responding to customer inquiries, complaints, or feedback. Provide a timeframe within which you aim to respond to customer communications, and ensure you maintain a professional and courteous tone in all interactions.
9. Inventory and Stock Management Policy:
Implement a system to track your artwork inventory and stock levels. This will help you avoid overbooking or overselling your artwork and maintain accurate records of your available pieces.
10. Event and Show Participation Policy:
If you plan to participate in tent sales, studio tours, or juried shows, establish a policy for event participation. Determine the criteria for selecting events and the procedures for preparing, setting up, and handling sales during the events.
Remember that these policies are not exhaustive and can be customized to fit your specific art business needs. Having well-defined policies and procedures will not only provide clarity and consistency but also help you handle various situations that may arise in your art business.