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BiyoArt Business Update


It's currently early February 2006 and a rather mild winter to date. Business taxes managed to get done earlier this year with a less painful return ratio of 3 to 1 from the 4 to 1 in 2004 and 5 to 1 in 2003. Still not in the black but heading in the right direction with cost management of the festivals attended in 2005. Still maintaining a below $400 show fee as well as limiting the overall distance traveled. Point in fact was the Toledo show where the heat, as with all of the shows, was a major factor at keeping customers away. The show distance was over 1600 miles away, which puts it at the upper end of the return on investment spectrum of about $1200. Now when no sales are logged, interest in the artwork below average and time traveled are taken into account, it makes this show a liability and not worth the return. Even if sales are slower year to year, shows such as Buffalo, Mystic and Glastonbury are at the smaller end of investment risk and worth the return.

Still spending a lot of time trying to find shows fitting my criteria to establish a more permanent schedule. It would be a little easier if one were able to get into the shows to which one applied. Also, less time is now needed to figure out the state tax returns this year, since three new states were added last year and none this year. Finally had to write out the schedule of sales and use tax returns for all of the states since adding the new states; they are all different.

Finally came to the conclusion from attending the festivals for the past few years that a sports niche does exist and it's just a matter of having the requested sport artwork on hand to increase sales. Had some time this past fall to design a Triathlon print in both male and female genre. This was after a swimmer in a freestyle format was designed. Also managed to get a hockey player designed and a soccer and lacrosse photo in the works. The expensive part of printing is obtaining the photopositives to expose the screens. So, at the moment the designs sit as colored-in plots on the drafting table. Will probably print some of them and bring the remaining plots to the shows as proof of concept to obtain some sales. The booth design is also changing to reflect more of a sports theme. Also removing the inner fabric from the booth walls to show the hanging mesh; had positive comments when it was done at a couple of the more humid and hotter shows.

Lost some ground in the search engine rankings due to a 7 month subscription lapse in registration with the search engines. Still have first page ranking on most pages within the search engines and top ranking in the Froogle storefront for the artwork. But, there hasn't been any on-line inquiries about the artwork spite the specific search hits for the artwork. Also, still haven't gotten the credit card process implemented; just haven't spent any time on determining what needs to be implemented and how to go about doing it. Another wall that needs to be climbed to make it easier for point and click sales; no excuse.

Need more sporting designs and a better avenue for sales. Possibly an agent that has dealings with the corporate world on sports. But, presently need to spend more time designing sporting things and determining how to best present those designs. Need to carve out some design time and figure a way back to the enjoyment of designing. Get all the frustrating life crap out of ones head and focus on the proper avenue; easier said than done.

An update to my update: researched and purchased equipment to print reproductions of all of my artwork, including those not yet hand printed. Equipment also prints photopositives on film. The expense of past photopositives in and of itself has already paid for the equipment. All of the artwork files need to be modified for printing. Now, hopefully the Walmart Mentality that customers have grown into while attending the art festivals can be overcome with the less expensive reproductions. People like the artwork, they just don't want to spend $100 on a 13x18 unframed hand pulled print; well let's find out if they're willing to spend $30 on a reproduction.

A final update to the updates: the almost over show season has turned out to be the most successful season to date. The bet on the reproduction demand was understated, it was difficult to keep up with demand supply between each show. Of course we still do not have all of the design requests, else our sales could possibly have been double on the year. It should be an exciting show season for 2007, as well as the possible holiday season.

We followed the major part of the season with hiring RA of MerchantPAL consulting services to bolt on a secure shopping cart onto the website. Due to our requested requirements on the cart functionality it took about one month, until mid-October, to complete the functionality. It will now take until about the end of October for me to populated the new product pages with the shopping cart functionality. All of the setup services provided by MerchantPAL cost the company only $295, and there isn't a zero missing from that number. Recommend their service to anyone who wants to keep your existing site design and can utilize their example page of your product line and populate the rest of the site with the code. This drive was taken up at the request of our customers who also want to purchase reproductions for the holiday season and for the procurement of new artwork designs online. It's gotten to be exciting times again...a design can be done on a Tuesday and sold as a graphic reproduction on Friday. This way it can be determined which artwork designs should go to the next level of the more expensive silkscreen instead of the other way around.

Our site has finally incorporated a secure shopping cart with updated silkscreen pages and new graphic reproduction product lines...and about time...20-October-2006.

It's been real
We'll have to do it again real soon.
Talk at ya.



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