|Ishmael In Action||
Artisan Technical Services was founded July 4, 2000 to serve a number of constituencies. They believe that people & organizations working in the arts, whether they are just starting out in their careers or entering their 4th decade, have a need for cost effective, out-sourced support services. By providing support services on an 'as needed' basis to Non-profits, For-profits, and freelancers, Artisan hopes to be able to lower costs across the board and allow these professionals more time and energy to do what they do best.
Bay Area Technical Services Firm Moves Towards Tribal Model
Specifically, ATS currently helps most of its clients by designing lighting, audio, video, and scenic systems for their functions. These functions and events tend to be short term in nature, such as wedding receptions or corporate meetings. In the long run, the firm's goal is to have 5 - 10 partners, each with a clear focus of responsibility (marketing, accounting, design, etc) who will jointly own and manage a facility that will be the primary revenue source for the venture. The facility will serve the Corporate Communications industry, the Special Events industry, the Arts Community, and local citizens. They will provide services similar to Kinko's, but with some specialized additions. They will also provide rehearsal and recording studio space, dance rehearsal space with sprung floors, a conference room, and much more.
In the spectrum of tribal ventures, ATS is best considered at the halfway mark. It was founded with the intent of being a tribal venture, and should become that by the time they buy a building and begin renovating it. But, in strict legal terms ATS is a sole proprietorship as defined by the state of California. This is because S-P's are the cheapest and easiest ways to open a business in California - one can do all the paperwork in a few hours, and be incorporated by dinnertime. As Artisan grows, their next legal step will be to become a LLC, or Limited Liability Corporation. For tax reasons, this is the closest form to Quinn's ideal of tribal ventures because each member is a full or partial partner, not merely an employee. In the long run, of course, Artisan will need to teach those folks at the tax board a thing or two, and get some new legal classifications.
If you are curious to learn more, please visit the Artisan Technical Services website, and/or the Bay Area Ishmael Local Group site, which contains a copy of Artisan's business plan, circa early 2001. A more complete business plan and a status report will be posted there in the near future. Artisan co-founder Dan Franco says, "There is no one right way to live, as we all know. My hope is that Artisan's way of making a living will be sustainable and enjoyable for the long run."
Learn more about Technology Tribal Businesses.