Luxury Life at 30,000 feet, what else do you need? How about Love? Luckily this Couple have a Passport to Romance! 😉 Location: Spring, Texas, DWH (one of the largest private airports in the USA). Looking for a photographer to join you in your private jet/exotic vacations to destination unknown? Drop me a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call me at 281 – 435 – 8817.
Business Wednesday no. 7
If you wish to open a photography studio that services industrial and commercial clients then location outside the town could suit your needs. Those businesses do not depend on foot traffic or high visibility. Rents in industrial areas are usually reasonable. Those buildings are designed with open space in mind and it should not be too expensive to modify for commercial studio use. An industrial area would not work very well for portrait studio because it is usually to far out of the way for an average consumer.
Here I want to share with you one example. Last time I photo shoot Wedding renewal in a huge photography studio. This studio has big open space with so many props each photographer could dream of. From bricks to build the walls through wooden desks, tables etc. Studio itself produce an amazing food photography! That is why they have a kitchen facilities and they are able to rent space for many kinds of events like weddings etc. What means more money to pay your rent!
Last location for your business is the shopping center. People go to malls to shop but as well to walk around and meet with others. Shopping centers realize the value of this foot traffic and charge extremely high per square foot per year. More established photography studios can generate the dollar volume to warrant the high rent. I like the fact that you can bump on photo booths in a malls and have a funny pictures at a low price.
Want to add something? Share your thoughts with us.
Business Wednesday no.6.
Continuation on choosing the best location for your business. Today my favorite one, which is no location at all! I called it ‘online business’. Pros and Cons.
Online business advantages:
- Your office might be almost anywhere you go,
- Worldwide public access to your website,
- Requires fewer investments or almost not at all if you are using free advertisement,
- You can go almost anywhere as a photographer/hair stylist (you do not need to stay in one place),
- What more you can earn money by adding commercials into your site,
- Your average hour as a photographer/make up artist can be higher cause you do not need to pay a rent!
- The cheapest option from all business locations list (because you can have it for free).
Online business disadvantages:
- High cost of your website positioning in Google – if you want to use that option.
- You should think where to storage your products (or not at all if your business is strictly digital),
- Time and cost of travelling as a photographer, hairstylist (you should find a solution how to deal with it),
- No photography studio, what means you can rent one if your customer is in need or bring your own.
Having more ideas? Share your thoughts and experience!
Have a great Sunny day! 😉
Welcome to Business Wednesday no.5.
Continuation on choosing the best location for your business. Today main street location pros and cons.
Main street advantages:
- Ease of public access,
- Walk in traffic,
- Higher visibility,
- More respectability,
- More signs, front window displays etc.,
- When you’re closed, you’re closed. Nobody knocking on your door on your day off and after hours,
- More usable space than average home.
Main street disadvantages:
- Expensive (more than home business, less than shopping mall, in general),
- Two rents to pay your home/apartment and your business on the main street (unless you are a lucky owner of your place),
- Time and cost of travelling,
- Parking can be a problem.
- No kids at work (so additional money for Nanny or dropping them off to grandparents – time and cost of travelling again! Unless you are creative parents and you design small playground space for your Little Ones).
- If this is photography studio business then must be managed during regular business hours requiring at least two people most of the time (one shoot, one to be a receptionist).
Having more ideas? Share your thoughts and experience!
P.S. How about Business Wednesdays as a video ?
You can vote what is better to read or to watch…
Have a great happy day! 😉
(All e-cards are made By Niki)
Business Wednesday no.4.
Decisions, ah decisions! If you are the lucky one who decided to open your own full-time business you have to think about what is the most important. Location.
You have few choices:
Main street business,
Business outside of town, like industrial area,
Today I am going to look closer at number one. Nowadays there are so many mothers who stay home with children and they are really creative ones. They make cloths for children, take a courses for beautician, write blogs etc. For them would it important to stay home with young children while doing business at the same time.
Home Business advantages:
- Cheaper than renting a main street location,
- Less investment in furnishing,
- Save a lot of time and expenses for traveling every day to your main street location,
- Less time away from your family and a lot of work can be done while watching TV with the kids at home (if you have divided attention).
- More time spent with your children especially when they are young, and you always (almost) know where your kids are.
Home Business disadvantages:
- No walk-ins,
- Limited space for your business,
- Some clients are not going to feel the same level of respect than for a main street business,
- Difficulty in finding location your business deters potential clients.
- Usually little space for your sign, parking etc.
- People will come or call you after regular business hours, intruding into your private family life (what happens to me: phone calls after 10 p.m. or at 7 a.m.and not to mentioned about text messages after midnight – and I do not even have home business 😉 ).
- Your kids and family will intrude into the business at times. Here make sure when you are meeting your customers to do not allowed your youngest family members to run around the table, you should give your all attention to your clients. You do not want to be sitting there with your kid on your lap. Make it look the professional you can.
Where is your business located at?
Cause maybe not on this list at all?
What are other places worth to recommend?
Share here your opinions 😉
Next week pros and cons of main street location.
Business Wednesday no. 3.
Did you ever think about how much time you spend doing your business? I guess you noticed that there are many types of times where you work but you actually do not sell. Let’s make it clear.
Management time – your time spent preparing contracts, agreements, answering e-mails (that may take forever!), planning your schedule etc.
Selling/marketing time – while you prepare marketing offers, time spent with customers (other than photo shooting time), order taking, delivery of your ready products etc.
Education time – time spent at workshops, conventions, reading books to learn about new ideas and techniques, watching educational films online (a lot of that is for free).
Production/finishing time – postproduction (may take forever too!), creating prints etc.
Pre and post-shooting time – time when you are getting ready for a shoot (charge batteries, delete all pictures from your memory cards, prepare your bag) , the time after (downloading the files).
Finally Photography Time: when you are actually taking photographs.
Do not forget about vacation time in your schedules 😉
After dealing with all of that think about how much is your time worth. If you do not value your time no one will. I guess many customers do not realize all of that. And I do not only think about photography in here. It is good to educate them when you have an occasion. They will more appreciate what you are doing. Before you value your time make research with your concurrency. Get to know maximum and minimum rates in your area. Think who you want to work for. Few days ago I was thinking to add one more offer to my photography services. I thought I can save my time and money of my Clients and give them cheaper product without any post production done. But here I stopped myself! I do not want provide something not finished. Something that I would not be happy with. I imagine people seeing this style of images and thinking “I could do the same or even better”. I absolutely do not want that! Plus nobody would recommend a person like this or even more I could have a bad reputation. There is always a border line you can not cross. I want to give only Wows, Ohhhs and Ahhs 😉
Share your ideas about time valuation!
Welcome to second Business Wednesday!
If you are starting your business you definitely need a business cards. But having them is not enough. People are not aware of you. It is time to start promote yourself but with care about your budget. Use all the freebies you can : social networks, sites where you can promote your business services, do mailings to selected markets, make cold calls to commercial accounts etc. First months are dedicated the most to your clients. Remember to treat each customer the best way you can. Person who ask you for business photo shoot , still might bring you a wedding customer worth ten times more that his/her own photo shoot. So use all your skills and talents. Trick is to use the lower-income jobs to get higher-paying jobs.
When starting a successful business the most important thing to do is to get those fist 100 clients. After as you develop your skills and product quality you can be more selective about whom you want for customers and how much you charge them. At the beginning getting clients is paramount. Nothing else is more important. You can do jobs for no profit or even at a loss, if the jobs have the potential to net more customers. If it get you clients it is more than fine to spend hours on jobs that will earn pennies. I do not think that many beginners can open a new business and charge top rates for their work.
When you are new on the block usually means that you have to use price as a major incentive to attract people.
And with my style of living is not the easiest I have to admit. Travelling a lot is not helpful for your photography base. One year hear, one year there… and as soon I have a good base to work with (hair stylists, make up artists etc.) I am going away to a new place. But I am trying hard and never lose hope to settle down in one place. And who knows maybe I settle down already?
So absolutely don’t be ashamed of being the cheapest when you are the newest.
Want to share and drop some ideas? How did you get your first clients?
I just came to an idea to share with you what I know about business so far and I would like to learn from you as well. Business Wednesdays are dedicated to those of you who have chosen to make your own business (your passion) as your full-time occupation . Because nothing feels better to do what we love. Those tips will be great not only for photographers (you can use them for any kind of business) , however I will try to point out some important things that might be helpful for all of you behind the camera. If you decided to be in your business part-time, there still will be plenty information for you to learn from.
Here at the beginning I have to make a statement, Business Wednesdays are for those who wants to be successful and at the same time to make a good living by doing what you really love! If you want to fail, there is no need to read any further. So do not subscribe to follow Business Wednesdays.
We are here to learn from our successes but as well to “Learn from mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” 😉
“Begin where you are. But begin. Act. Move – just do not stay where you are.”
You have to focus all your positive energy into your business. And ad a huge amount of enthusiasm and excellence. Remember when the time will be getting hard, you can not quit, you have to make it work.
Your business has to be more than just a job. It has to be almost an obsession!
First very important tool for your business is an exciting website for your clients to show them your work. But remember showing too much might get them bored. Websites were created for photographers. Because all of those non photography sites still need a good quality pictures. Bingo! More work for us.
Once you have your site, you will have to promote it, advertise it and inform as many people as you can. Now we can create Facebook Pages, Twitter and much more. How we can get more traffic? Make sure you make research and post your new posts in a crowed traffic hours. That is in case you post something quite often. If you add a new shoes selection once a month to your boutique website make the same.
To be successful, don’t ever stop learning and growing. Attend Photoshop classes, watch educational videos, borrow books from local library. If you are a fashionista and you sell outfits on your site, fallow latest trends in fashion, try to attend fashion shows, and fallow fashion bloggers.
How you promote your business website? Which method is the best in your opinion?
Share here your thoughts, let’s learn from each others.
Next week I will write about first customers and the chain of success.