Photography Business Budget Advice | 5 Actionable Tips For Creating A Balanced Photography Business Budget
Photography Business Budget Advice | If you’re passionate about taking photos, you might be considering quitting your day job and starting your own photography business. And who could blame you, right? Doing what you love and getting paid for it can hardly be called work – it’s more of a dream come true. While it may feel like a dream come true, even the most interesting job is still a job at the end of the day, and in order to succeed, you’ll need to learn the ropes of running a business and be just as skilled at it as you are at taking stunning photos. One of the first things you’ll need to handle, from the moment you start a business till the day you retire is budgeting.
Yet, you’d be amazed just how many photographers out there choose to completely ignore this vital aspect of running any kind of business. We get it, you’re a creative artist, and the mere thought of creating a budget, writing a business plan, and tracking your expenses sends shivers down your spine – but things like these are what sets professional photographers apart from hobbyists and enthusiasts. And often, these things will be the critical difference between success and failure, so you want to be prepared. To help you get a better idea of what creating a budget actually means when starting a business, we found some of the most important tips you need to know about.
Why You No Longer Can Afford To Ignore Budgeting | Photography Business Budget Advice
Running a photography business and keeping it afloat can be a challenging task, especially if you quit your day job in order to focus on photography full time. Sure, you might love taking photos, but in order to stay in business, you’ll need to take care of your finances. Even if you saved up some money before diving right into the process, you’ll burn right through your savings if you don’t come up with a plan that not only covers how much money you have, but also how much you’re going to be spending, and how much you need to earn in order to cover your expenses.
Many banks will ask to see your planned budget when you apply for a loan, and you’ll want to have it ready. A well-created budget will help you keep track of your progress, and if you fail to achieve some of your goals, you’ll be able to go back and see what went wrong. And lastly, budgeting will help you allocate your profits and other extra resources to grow your business.
Plan Larger Purchases Carefully And Overestimate Your Expenses | Photography Business Budget Advice
Starting a photography business can cost more than expected, especially if you jump in head-first without a solid plan. This where budgeting comes in – you need to take all of your larger purchases into account and figure out how you’re going to cover them. Where many beginners go wrong when starting a business is blowing their equipment budget on the best gear available, only to realize down the road they have no backup equipment. You need to work backup equipment into your budget, as the last thing you want to happen is your main (and only) camera breaking down in the middle of a wedding.
Be Realistic About Your Cash Flow | Photography Business Budget Advice
Most your budgeting will be done in advance, which means it will be based on cash flow projections, not the actual cash flow, so you need to do your best to keep those realistic. Overestimating your cash flow won’t give you anything but false hope and a huge mess to clean up later. Since it can be difficult to predict your cash flow, especially when you’re just starting out, it’s a much better idea to overestimate your expense and underestimate your profits just to stay on the safe side.
Know Your Worth | Photography Business Budget Advice
One of the most common, and most dangerous mistakes many photographers make is letting the client set the terms. Whether insecure about the quality of the services they’re providing, or trying to remain competitive, many will overlook the importance of having clearly set rates. “Winging it” is a really bad idea, especially when it comes to the price of your services. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows how much money you need to earn in order to stay in business – and if you don’t know your own worth, how is anyone else supposed to know it? It’s a good rule of thumb to have a starting point when a potential client approaches you, even if you have to lower the price to secure a potential gig than to leave it up to the potential clients.
No Budget Is Static | Photography Business Budget Advice
A static budget is a bad budget! As budgeting is based mainly on cash flow projections, you’ll need to keep an eye on your budget and ask yourself two vitally important questions: How am I doing compared to my budget, and are the results are different than expected? If so, what can I do next month to perform better? These questions are important for any business, especially if you’re just starting out, so you’ll want to revise your budget each month, even if you already have a yearly budget created.