Being an artist and being a professional artist are two different things, as pretty much any artist will tell you. The skillset you need to create Art doesn’t always live happily with the skills you need to, say, keep track of your inventory and figure out how much you have to charge per piece to cover the cost of materials used and to create another. You have to do a little more than break even on each painting because even if you don’t need this money to survive, not every painting will sell. Even your greats might linger, and if you don’t get extra money to paint another one from the sale of one you might find yourself trapped with paintings you don’t want and unable to raise the funds to make more.

However, just because you need to have some business sense doesn’t mean that you have to be a money shark. It’s actually fairly simple to organize your inventory of work, get a good idea of how much it cost you to make each piece, and then work up from there. Bringing a barcode printer and reader from a reputed company like Shopify into the business side of your professional art career is going to make your life a lot simpler than just about anything else.

Unobtrusively Mark Your Products

You’re a busy artist. You make a lot of things. Sometimes you might not remember painting a certain piece too clearly, especially if it hasn’t sold in a year or more. You were practically a different person when you painted this painting. One good way to keep track of all the details is to simply affix a small barcode to the back. You can print them yourself on sticky paper that will peel cleaning, leaving it suitable for reframing if the new owner desires (and if they don’t, it’s on the back where they might not even know it’s there.) You can easily put in as much information about the painting as you need, from the title and date it was painted all through the kinds of paints and techniques that you used, according to Small Business, if that’s what’s important to you. Barcodes are made to store a variety of information that you can summon with a click of the scanner. You can also add the price of your materials to that, so that you know when haggling (as people will inevitably haggle over art) what number you absolutely cannot go below. Of course, that’s until you reach the point where you never want to see the painting again, and you’d give it away if you thought that would keep it gone.

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Keep Track of Sales Easily

Sales are something that will never stop feeling good for as long as you keep making them. You’re always going to be thrilled, both that someone loves your work and that you’re getting money from it. However, sometimes it can be tough to keep track of all your receipts. You should always have a good idea how many works you have in storage, where you’re keeping them, and simple things like the themes of the piece so you can break them out for galleries and trade shows. Barcodes are an infinite resource, and as long as you have space on your computer you can keep adding more and more barcodes to them. This will allow you to recognize sales patterns, as well as always knowing exactly which piece would be perfect to enter in each local art show, crafts fair, and so on. Your barcodes will always show the last scanned location of an item (which is also how they help traditional retailers cut down on in-house theft, according to Barcoded Discount.)

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Keep Your Online Store Up to Date

This is the age of self-promotion, and more and more artists are getting in on this by opening up their own .online stores While some people feel that not being able to see the work in person dims it, others disagree. The issue is that often you list everything on sale in your store and then you take that same stock to art shows and exhibits. You don’t want to end up accidentally selling a one of a kind painting twice. You need to keep things up to date with your shop and barcodes can instantly update your inventory so you know what to pull from your store.

You Can Hire Assistants

Barcodes reduce human error, which is one of the main reasons artists are afraid to hire assistants. However, these days, barcodes are making a huge splash in school libraries, according to Learning Unlimited LLC, which proves that literally a child can use them. If your assistant can click a scanner, then he can sell your paintings with this simple system.

Meet Evan Varsamis

Evan Varsamis is an Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO at The Gadget Flow and User Interface Designer. During the past years he has been practicing Growth Hacking and various user acquisition techniques.