Plan Strategically & Remain Situational – lessons from the Art Business
How do you keep growing when both your product and your customers constantly shift? Since 2003, Gary Levine’s company has sold licensed art (with constant shifts in taste and trends) to manufacturers and to retailers (where store counts, store types, and the explosion of ecommerce have shifted the balance of power dramatically in recent years). His advice: do what you love, operate in your “sweet spot”, and (15:45): “be thoughtful of who you’re doing business with” because not every revenue dollar is a good dollar. Gary has been strategic and remained situational throughout his years in the art business. He confirmed that (12:12): “the seeds you had put into the minority part of the business have paid off, and now your top 10 customer list is heavily leaning toward what used to be a minority.” Advice to his younger self (14:29): “be prepared for gloomy days…your business will be pulled left and right” – but Gary’s optimism and humility have served him and his customers well, are infectious, and his business (and Gary) grew during the COVID pandemic.