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The Art Rental Business

By: Catherine Burrows - Updated: 2 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
The Art Rental Business

Art rental is a growing business which offers many advantages and opportunities to artists and art collectors. It provides a valuable service to many companies who rent the art. Private individuals may also choose to rent rather than buy works of art.

Renting Art

Renting art as a business opportunity is a superb way to make money from a private passion. It allows you to collect art or create art but also generate a monthly income from something you prize. The added advantage is that although the work of art may be removed from you physically, it will be returned at some point and you never lose ownership.

The Rental Market

Perhaps the biggest customers of art rental businesses are companies and corporations. They collect art for various reasons:
  • It complements and enhances the interior design of their business premises.
  • The art improves employee morale and their educational appreciation of art.
  • Works of art often help to define and support their corporate identity.

Due to various reasons, companies may not want to commit themselves financially to art. Therefore, art rental is a very good alternative.

Art rental allows private individuals to change their collection at whim and art rental makes sense for collectors whose personal tastes change regularly. Some rental agreements make provision for art to be rotated on a monthly basis which is a real gift for an art lover.

Artists and Art Rental

Art rental is a very good option for artists. It allows them to make a living without ever having to part from precious accomplishments.

Artists often choose to set up and run their own art rental business. However, running the business may seriously compromise their time and energy previously used to produce art. This will then have an impact on their supply of art for the business.

A business arrangement between the artist and a third party business is often a very good alternative. Artists ‘rent’ the work of art to the art rental business. It is then sub-let to the customer. The artist still receives their monthly income, retains ownership and pays a management fee or commission to the art rental business.

Things to Consider

When setting up your art rental business, it’s important to do plenty of research and make plans and provisions for the future. Some areas that need to be considered are:

  • Research your market. Is there a market big enough (with a budget to match) to support your business?
  • How much competition is there? Will there be a big enough market share for you?
  • Sensible business start-up procedures need to be researched and followed to give your business the best chances of success. Think about setting up finance and business plans and registering your business with appropriate authorities.
  • You need to ensure that you will have a good display of art to rent. This is fairly simple, with good time management, if you are also the artist. If you are sourcing art from third parties, you need to network and set up contacts. Visit art dealers, galleries and artists to make sure your name and business is recognised.
  • You will need to ensure that you set up an effective marketing strategy. This includes plans like setting up a website, direct marketing and art display. Art available for rent can either be displayed in your private gallery or you can cut costs by developing an online ‘virtual’ gallery.

The art rental business is still a relatively new concept. This needn’t be a disadvantage, with lots of planning and forethought it allows you to enjoy art, pander to your passions and make a good living too!

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