The 3 Most Common Rote Tasks Galleries Don't Need to Do

Nika
Nika on 6/7/18 12:33 PM

In our work with galleries across the country and the world, we consistently see experienced and talented directors and art consultants unnecessarily spending their time and energy on rote, low-value tasks.

Many of these tasks can be automated, streamlined or outsourced, so that your team can focus their efforts on high-value tasks that impact the bottom line, like working directly with clients and making sales.

Rote Task #1: Manually updating the gallery website

Your gallery website is one of the most important elements of your digital marketing strategy, so it makes sense to invest resources and staff time into it.

The problem is, most galleries are investing resources into the wrong aspects of their website, spending far too much time just keeping the site updated and accurate with the correct inventory.

The result? Staff have no bandwidth left to work on things like optimizing the website for search engines or driving more traffic to the site with valuable written content.

Alternative Solutions:

  • Choose a website that integrates directly with your inventory data
    • This is a great, cost-effective choice for many galleries that dramatically reduces the need for website maintenance and frees your staff to focus on other aspects of the site.

  • Utilize an API that pulls data from your management system
    • While APIs can be helpful, many galleries lack the web development skills necessary to effectively use APIs long term and often have more challenges with their sites.

  • Hire an entry-level staff member or intern to keep the site updated
    • Likely the most expensive option, we'd argue that even entry-level staff and interns have much more to contribute to your gallery's success than doing data entry.

Rote Task #2: Creating gallery collateral and sales/marketing materials by hand

As with websites, gallery collateral and marketing materials like tearsheets, invoices, wall tags, etc. are essential elements of your sales and marketing efforts. A sophisticated and consistent style contributes to your clients' experience with your gallery and represents your brand.

However, at many galleries, staff members are still putting together these materials by hand, pulling artwork images from their Google Drive and copying inventory and client data from spreadsheets or other sources.

Alternative Solutions:

  • Invest in management software with an integrated collateral builder
    • Technology is definitely the winning solution in this case! Modern management systems should be able to generate gallery-branded materials like tearsheets, invoices and wall tags directly from your inventory and client data.

  • Outsource to a freelance graphic designer or design intern
    • Again, this is the more expensive solution but someone with graphic design skills can at least work more quickly and efficiently than an art consultant who may not be a pro at Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. Check out websites like Fiverr where you can post jobs on-demand and on your budget, and get a response in no time.
    • If you hire an intern, you can feel good knowing you're giving a student an opportunity to practice their skills in a professional setting, and interns don't command the same salary as your art consultants.

Rote Task #3: Packing/unpacking artwork and taking it to a shipping agent

When you're selling art to clients around the country and the world, shipping is naturally a big part of your business.

But there's no need for your gallery director or art consultant to do the manual labor of packing and unpacking boxes, and schlepping them back and forth to FedEx or UPS.

Alternative Solutions:

  • Outsource theses tasks through TaskRabbit or ThumbTack
    • Technology can be of help here, too! In an age when many people pick up side jobs, businesses of all kinds rely on TaskRabbit, ThumbTack and other sites to hire people to help with a variety of manual tasks for not much money.

  • Ask your intern to help
    • While not a glamorous task, having an intern assist with packing and shipping gives them a better idea of the day-to-day experience of working in a gallery.

 

Topics: Operations