Photography Startups | Disastrous Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Photography Business
Photography Startups | Starting a photography business sounds much easier than it really is, and many very talented photographers rush into entrepreneurship before properly doing their research. It’s one thing to be a good photographer, but quite another to be the owner of a successful photography business. In fact, we’ve all seen many incredibly talented and skilled photographers suffer through tough times in their business, while at the same time seeing others who seem less deserving sail right on by. The main difference in these two outcomes lies in the photographer’s understanding of the importance of business skills.
It takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort to succeed in the professional photography industry, and build a lucrative business from the ground up. But it also takes more than artistic and technical skills; you have to be a savvy businessperson in order to survive. In any business, there are many mistakes that you can make… and those mistakes can end up making – or breaking – your business. Here are five photography business mistakes that so many business owners make, and ways to avoid them!
Not Knowing How Much You Need To Charge To Be Profitable | Photography Startups
If you don’t know how much you’ll have to charge to make the amount of profit after taxes and expenses needed to stay in business, you’ll end up having to raise your prices significantly after few months, and will lose clients in the process. As a business owner, one of the first things to do is to determine the cost of keeping the business open, and what it costs just to pick up the camera for a job. With these factors in mind, together with a realistic evaluation of the photographer’s time, added to the actual cost of sales of products sold, the photographer can determine healthy prices that correctly value their work and time.
Lacking A Marketing Plan | Photography Startups
Getting your name out there is going to be the first step to growth. Many photographers don’t put enough emphasis on marketing themselves, and it holds them back from reaching out to new clients. Why do you think there are degrees in marketing and business management and planning? It requires a clear, yet fluid, plan that shapes and evolves as your business does as well. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can take many different forms. Starting an email marketing campaign for example is the number one secret weapon that will help you to boost your photography business quicker than anything else. Yet many photographers never take advantage of this incredibly valuable marketing opportunity.
Ignoring Social Media | Photography Startups
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful and personable types of modern day marketing, and it’s an approach that’s easily accessible to any up-and-coming photographer. It is incredibly vital to maintain social media pages for your business, and to post regularly on each of them. Even just posting a photo a day, or updates on photo shoots, you are going to constantly keep your business name and your work in front of your potential clients.
Not Having Insurance | Photography Startups
Don’t think that you will be able to use your homeowner’s insurance, or your renters insurance for your photography business. Not only will that not cover professional level equipment, it generally will cover only point-and-shoot cameras, and a couple of pieces of gear up to a certain number of dollars. Do you have business liability insurance to fend off those client lawsuits? Insurance should be part of your back-up strategy. If something goes wrong, you have to have insurance in case a light stand falls into a priceless piece of art, or falls into a kid in a portrait shoot and the child gets hurt, or something gets damaged.
Forgetting About The Winter Slump | Photography Startups
Rookie photographers don’t often spend much time to create a business plan in the first place, let alone follow the plan. Do YOU have a business plan? A real written plan providing a frame of reference for your studio, defines your goals, and acts as a road-map for success? Being prepared for situations like the winter slump will help you avoid a scenario in which the bottom falls out of your business and you have to hock camera (and maybe unessential body) parts on E-bay.