One woman band running four businesses shares tips for those starting out

Emilya Colliver began her latest venture Art Pharmacy out of a desire to make art more accessible at lower price points. The online gallery sells works by emerging and established Australian-based artists, and displays original prints, oils, watercolours, acrylics, photography and etchings.

The mission statement on the Art Pharmacy website sums up Emilya’s refreshing approach to art: ‘The biggest, grandest collectors in the world started off with just one piece of art, so we believe that anyone can start an art collection, even on a budget.’

Take the plunge

Looking back over her years in business, Emilya encourages would-be business owners to jump in as the year starts. “Just give it a go, take the plunge,” she urges. “It can actually be quite affordable to start a business, depending on what it is.

“Your first business may not work but the next one might. Until you give that first one a go, you’ll never know.”

Emilya speaks from experience. She’s a self-confessed one-woman band who simultaneously runs four businesses.

“I run Art Pharmacy, Culture Scouts, Art Pharmacy Consulting and Art Pharmacy Prescriptions pretty much on my own. Of course I do have people who do amazing things for me part-time, but a lot of people think there are whole teams behind each of my businesses.”

Invoice early

Being so close to each business is a benefit says Emilya, who balances her creative tendencies with a keen eye on cash flow – and she encourages new business owners to do the same.

“Always get the invoice in early and be upfront with larger organisations. Say that you are a small business, because their finance departments tend to have long payment terms,” she says.

“If you give them enough warning they can usually pay you a bit sooner to help support your cash flow. Also, remember to have your T&Cs attached to invoice milestones. This way if things get drastic, you can pull that out to get things moving along if clients are dragging their heels on payment.”

Build your tribe

Finally the last word from this creative entrepreneur comes down to accessing the power and potential of your own network. Emilya encourages new business owners to not be shy in coming forward.

“If you start a business this year, you will find, like I did, that once you start you will meet a ton of incredible people who are so willing to help you,” she says. “Use them, and don’t be afraid to ask.”

Quick-fire answers…

  1. What I love about Xero… It is such a great tool. Numbers are not my forte and Xero helps me understand the financial health of my business in a really easy-to-use way.
  2. My favourite business apps are… I love Instagram – we have nearly 16,000 followers and we sell quite a bit of art because of it.
  3. The thing that gets me out of bed every day is… I am lucky enough to work with hundreds of amazing artists. I am overwhelmed by their creativity and passion. I love curating a new exhibition and seeing it all come together.
Originally posted by Erin Smith on https://www.xero.com/blog/2017/01/my-advice-to-the-startups-of-2017-emilya-colliver/