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Online art gallery business for sale creating a perfect work from home opportunity or additional revenue stream for an established art sector business. Acquire Art is a newly established online art gallery and marketplace, allowing artists to subscribe for a year membership to promote themselves and their work via a collective artist platform. The artists create their own profile and upload their own artwork via a user dashboard area, to promote their work as well as their own website and socials. The artists pay no selling or commission fees so all turnover from the site comes from fixed membership fees. If you are looking for a flexible work from home business opportunity based in the UK or particularly looking for an online or art gallery business for sale, Acquire Art is all set up and ready to grow.
Acquire Art was launched just prior to the first lockdown. The original marketing plan involved visiting artists at open studio events (such as Oxfordshire Artweeks and the numerous other art trails across the country) to find new members. All these art trails were of course cancelled due to Covid. Among other personal reasons (change of circumstances of the business owner), the website hasn’t had a chance to become more established, although it is up and running; marketing campaigns do yield new memberships; and several artists have received successful sales or enquiries for commissions.
Some experience running a business or marketing would be a helpful start for anyone interested in buying this online art business. If you have an interest in art and are competent with IT or a bit of a whiz on social media then you’d stand a good chance of turning this website into a successful little business that helps artists promote themselves and their work for a fixed annual fee.
Up to two days of training can be provided to the buyer on the functionality of the website, including re-sizing artwork images and adding ALT tags; general admin; search engine optimisation; changing the featured artists and artworks and the homepage slideshow, and more. Any additional days or hours of training can be provided at extra cost. Training can also include, if necessary, the following:
An information pack will be provided to the buyer, including as much ‘how to’ info as possible.
The site functions very well. The website took over ten months of planning and building, to make it user friendly for both visitors and the artist members. Artists create their own profile and upload artworks, which greatly reduces admin work for the website owner. However, the website does need regular marketing to increase organic search traffic and referrals from socials and other sites, and of course the website will need regular new members to grow and profit. The site currently has 56 artist members with artwork displayed in the online gallery. Acquire Art also currently has 500 Facebook followers and over 700 on Twitter, although engagement is still low. A greater focus should be made on making social posts more engaging and frequent. Overheads are very low – the buyer will only need to consider hosting costs (currently £360/year with current provider) and there may be some essential website maintenance costs required at times throughout the year to ensure it always runs smoothly. The current web developer can provide a retainer service, starting from a minimum 4 hours per month which can be used for general site maintenance and development, and provides a priority service for any urgent work required. This was being utilised by the current website owner up until May 2021 and since then any web maintenance has been ad hoc. This would be entirely up to the buyer and could be started at any time. The buyer may choose to re-invest a portion of revenue from membership subscriptions each month into paid advertising – via socials or art-related publications, to push the site forward. Although, paid advertising is optional. Personal Indemnity insurance would be advisable due to handling personal data. If the marketing plan of the buyer is likely to involve meeting artists at open studio exhibitions, then travel costs will also need to be considered. The business offers a lot of flexibility on how the marketing should be approached and what costs, if any, will be involved.
Note from the owner:
Acquire Art had been my dream project for some years and deciding to put this online art gallery up for sale has not been an easy decision. The original aim was to run the site myself, on a part-time basis, for three years and then potentially think about selling as an established business. As an artist myself, and also having worked in marketing for 12 years, I felt there was a need for a website like Acquire Art. There are many ways to sell art but it is not always that easy and some find marketing their own work very difficult. Many artists are put off by high commission fees that galleries charge. Often artists believe that their own website will bring them lots of sales only to discover that no one is finding it in a sea of other artist websites. The key is community. A larger number of artists all using the same platform, rather than just their own website, creates a more useful resource for web visitors. This is what Google looks for. Google likes to see sites that grow and the content is always changing – this is achievable with a collection of artists all editing their profiles and uploading new work. The site was then designed to help visitors find what they were looking for easily. The end result is a website where artists can be discovered, receive enquiries directly via the site or refer traffic to their own website or Etsy shop or their social pages. The artists can still handle any sales off-site themselves, however they usually do so, or refer any potential buyers to a third party, such as a high street gallery or online shop (eBay or Etsy to name a couple), to help process the sale.
My reasons for sale are very genuine. There were significant delays with the website build with a previous web developer not managing to complete it. I eventually changed developers and a year later the website was finally launched, but the timing of it was not so good for me by then. A job redundancy a few months before launching the website meant I was preoccupied for some time settling into another job which required more time away from home and less available time for the website. Then with the Covid lockdowns I had to change my plans again and the website only received my minimal attention to keep it ticking over until I could start networking with artists effectively again. I did run some email campaigns during this time, mainly to gauge their effectiveness and give the site an occasional injection of new content from new artists. I will continue to do so until the website is sold. The campaigns yielded good results with a healthy conversion rate. Although the site is now ready to be pushed forward, I am no longer able to invest the time I once had, to do things properly. I took a little while to reach the conclusion that my circumstances will not be changing anytime soon and I don’t want to see the website decline in that time. I am now offering my online art gallery business for sale to an art lover and someone passionate about helping artists, to continue from where I have left off.
Over lockdown I’ve continued making improvements to website functionality with my web developer. There are many possibilities for future development. Moving forward the site needs more user activity, which is done by running regular marketing campaigns or visiting artists at exhibitions to gain new members. As the site grows, it will receive more membership sign-ups directly via Google (and other search engines) and could mean potentially less time needed to be put aside for direct marketing in future. The site has received two new members via Google so far. The rest were acquired via marketing campaigns, which should be the main focus for now. The increased activity on the site will help boost the search traffic (Google likes active; changing; growing sites). The buyer will next need to focus on improving engagement from existing members, keeping them interested in the site and regularly adding new work to it, by sending newsletters and perhaps running the occasional competition. The same is needed for social followers and website subscribers (which the site has recently started collecting from our sign-up form). Google loves new content so regularly writing new helpful articles will help increase traffic – the site splits articles into two categories; those for selling art and buying art, and essentially serve as a blog. The buyer should also consider setting up an Instagram for the site and create video slideshows of artists work to increase engagement on socials. All of this simply requires a certain amount of time invested, and with a passion for art it will be very enjoyable. However, the buyer should also consider paid advertising to provide a boost of activity when required and to save time. It was not an easy decision deciding to put my online art gallery up for sale sooner than originally planned, and I hope this will be an exciting opportunity for someone as it had once been for me. As the site grows, other revenue streams will be possible through it, such as affiliate marketing; charging artists for extra publicity, such as a spotlight feature; and charging artists to boost their artwork submissions so their work is more easily spotted in the gallery; and providing a shopping cart option and charging a processing fee etc.
The guide price is £16,000. You can register your interest and ask any questions to the owner at email@example.com
The online gallery is currently listed for sale on eBay, which you can view here and make an offer. Please discuss your intention to do so with the owner first and ask any questions. Offers below the guide price will not be accepted straight away but will be considered after 20th August.
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