Artists aren’t typically the most savvy businessmen, preferring to devote their energy to arting (or whatever it’s called) instead of balancing spreadsheets and worrying about taxes. Unfortunately, as PandoDaily pal Benjamin Franklin once said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” and that rule applies to artists as well.
Big Cartel and Outright have partnered to make this a little easier. Big Cartel provides the storefront, which kicks financial data from any transaction over to Outright, the financial expert. Instead of importing, exporting, and just-plain-porting their data across services Big Cartel users can now expect their data to appear in Outright without any user interaction.
Outright, founded by several ex-Intuit workers and backed by Sequoia, Shasta Ventures, and First Round Capital, is a finance management tool for small businesses. CEO Steven Aldritch says, “Our job is to make accounting as simple as possible so [small business owners] can focus on running their lives.” The service operates on a freemium model, with an Outright Plus option being prepared for an Autumn release.
Big Cartel, with its 250,000 (mostly artist) users, is a prime audience for Outright’s product. Handling taxes as an independent worker can be a nightmare. When I was a freelancer, I dreaded the quarterly, “Hey, you should probably figure out how to do your taxes” tickle in the back of my head. Besides the frustration of figuring out how to file the damn papers, worrying about the financial aspect of a business detracts from the reason that business exists in the first place: the art. Every moment not spent putting paint to canvas or pen to paper is a moment wasted in many artists’ eyes.
Both Big Cartel and Outright understand this, and have worked to make running a business as smooth as possible. As Aldritch puts it, Big Cartel and Outright “Go together like peanut butter and chocolate,” and complement each other by covering separate ends of the ecommerce spectrum.
[Image courtesy Mat Honan]