Call Us: 508-441-4622

BizLab: the ultimate business resource for artists and creatives

When it comes to running a business, access to a supportive community is invaluable. This is especially true for creatives and artists who often feel at odds with the business and professional world. Luckily, we live in the SouthCoast, where the creative community is vibrant and the business resource you’re looking for is right under your nose. It’s called BizLab!

In this blog, we’ll explore BizLab’s potential to support artists with their creative endeavors. We’ll learn how it all started and take an inside look at our most recent lab from the lens of an artist.

Now let’s dive in and learn why BizLab is the ultimate business resource for artists and creatives..

Biz Lab Benefits for Creatives

In today’s fast and evolving world, artists are more than just creators. We are entrepreneurs, navigating the ever-changing business landscape. As a Natural Dyer, I am driven by extracting beautiful colors out of ordinary materials, but it’s easy to get lost within the realm of creating. This tends to result in putting the “back end of the business” jobs off for another day that hardly comes. This is where a resource like BizLab comes. It offers support, accountability, and opportunities for fellow creatives in the following ways:

  • Networking Opportunities: a platform to collaborate with professionals that could lead to potential partnerships and exposure.
  • Business Development Resources: Expert led sessions can help artists enhance their business literacy in topics such as marketing, finance management, branding, SEO, and growth strategies.
  • Inspiration and Creative Exchange: BizLab fosters inspiration from other business owners, where gatekeeping is left at the door and advice is openly laid out on the table.
  • Community Support: Like-minded individuals who understand the unique challenges faced by an artist provide support and aids isolation.

Overall, BizLab offers a space and educational platform to develop your business, expand your network, gain exposure, and find support within a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem.

Formerly known as Marketing Lab

If you’ve been with us for a while, you probably know that BizLab was once called Marketing Lab. Groundwork’s Co-founder, Sarah Athanas formed Marketing Lab in 2020 as a way to keep coworking members accountable during the pandemic. It started as a 30 minute weekly Zoom call open to all members who engaged in marketing. Overtime, Marketing Lab grew to a robust weekly hybrid meeting that included members from diverse industries and at different stages of business growth.

Each week, marketing lab helps me recommit to marketing so I don’t push it aside. I learn amazing tips and tricks from others both during the monthly deep dives, but also the weekly half hour check-ins. Like: What email system do you use when you outgrow MailChimp? What social media planning calendar works for my peers? How are people using ChatGPT  in their businesses? Plus, I just enjoy everyone’s company.

-Marlissa Briggett, Publisher, South Coast Almanac

We recently decided to rebrand Marketing Lab to reflect its expanding focus on all topics related to running a business. With BizLab, we can now provide an array of expertise and resources from (and for) our diverse community of entrepreneurs and artists.

How does BizLab work?

A group of people in deep discussion gather around a conference table in a brightly lit room

An Overview of My Recent BizLab Experience

Recognizing the importance of financial literacy, I decided it was probably a smart move to attend BizLab on Cash Flow and Forecasting with Groundwork member Pam Crombie.

An intimate group of eight members gathered in The Shuttle. Going around the table, we shared what was renting space inside our brains. During our intros, I specifically remember noting the admirable amount of presence and attention that each member was gifted. This created a safe environment filled with trust and curiosity. Everyone was eager to hear what obstacles or breakthroughs were being brought up for discussion.

The team at Whaling City Solar shared that their focus on sourcing leads. NB Food tours owner, Pam Shwartz, was looking into a lead-nurturing email campaign. Alanna Nelson, owner of Sippizine & Sippican Historical Society wanted to work on a sales strategy. I, the creator behind Falling Off Trees, shared about working on streamlining general processes to make more time for creating.

Following, presenter Pam Crombie led the group into the Cash Flow and Forecasting journey. Initially, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed regarding my previous laziness when it came to forecasting within my small business. These personal fears were quickly laid to rest as Pam led the lab with clarity and kindness. She created a simple Google Spreadsheet with the basics. This made it easy to digest and follow along throughout remaining time.

We danced with the process of starting cash, business expenses, types of income, and the impacts of each. The spreadsheet was easy to manipulate according to different “what ifs” which allowed for proper projections and planning.

The collaborative session came to a close with reflections and goal setting as a takeaway. Afterward, Sarah shared her notes with all attendees though our Slack Channel. She listed each business and what their goals or projects were. Just like in the previous years of Marketing Lab, BizLab continues to create accountability and support the overall growth of each member’s business.

Hear From Our Community

Attending BizLab can provide valuable knowledge and tools to entrepreneurs, professionals, and innovators from various industries, including artists and creatives. These engaging and interactive sessions seek to inspire and optimize entrepreneurial growth. With BizLab, we’ve created a platform within our dynamic coworking space that connects individuals. There is an ongoing exchanging of ideas which creates a give and take relationship amongst those who attend. Participants can expect to walk away with a fresh set of skills to dance with the challenges of running a business, cultivating long-term sustainability. 

Here’s what one lab member has to say about BizLab:

A man with his black labradoodle sitting in a car

My favorite part of BizLab is how it highlights the diversity of the Groundwork community. There are few other ways to hear input from specialists in engineering, accounting, tourism, or coworking all in the same setting. I find it so useful hearing the different approaches taken by everyone to the topics covered. It also reinforces the sense of community at Groundwork – everyone is so eager to collaborate and help each other out. 

-Dan Moriarty, Project Manager at Whaling City Solar

Join the Community!

BizLab is held monthly in New Bedford and is open to all Groundwork members. Not a member but would still like to attend? Here is your invitation to join our Social Club! Gain access to all our member events, community Slack channel, and get special discounts on day passes and meeting rooms!