I talk a lot about starting and growing a photography business because I know that’s where the bulk of people reading this blog are. But what about when you achieve success? What happens when you have your first six figure year? How do you truly achieve wealth as a photographer? Take a look at these 7 steps – and use them as a guideline as you grow your business from wherever you currently are.
1. Change the structure of your business. Many photography studios are sole proprietors simply out of ease. But when you reach a certain level of business, it may make more sense to change the structure. Corporations and limited liability companies give you added protection and added benefits – check with your accountant and/or lawyer for advice.
2. Make sure you are covered by insurance policies. Do you have adequate business insurance to cover you in case of a lawsuit? Are you covered from long term liability in case you are injured? The more successful you are, the more you need to make sure you are covered from life’s unexpected moments.
3. Increasing your structure. As a single photographer, there are only two ways for you to increase your profits: add more staff to help you bring in more clients, or charge more for every client. Only you can decide what’s the best method for growth.
4. Plan for a rainy day. The one thing that sets more small business owners back is not planning for the future. Instead of spending your profits on new equipment, or taking it in the form of a paycheck, consider saving a portion every month as well. Think of long term growth, and save for big ticket items down the road.
5. Diversify. When we were earning a healthy six figure income from 25 weddings a year, we didn’t stop there. We began opening up other business ventures. We started a book publishing company and produced a couple of books. We started a marketing firm to help small business owners with their marketing. And we made personal investments along the way. The phrase “don’t put your eggs in one basket” rings true.
6. Create a family plan. Depending on where you are in life, your goals change. A newly married couple has hopes of family, roots and stability. A couple with children in college may decide to spread out and enjoy new options, such as traveling. While it may be hard to look far into the future, plan along the way. If you have a two year old, what would you like them to see before they turn 12? How about the age of 22? Set your goals accordingly.
7. Grow your list of advisors. Being wealthy isn’t about doing things alone – its about getting the best advice from people you can trust. If you don’t have an accountant, find one. No lawyer? Get one. A marketing expert? A necessity. The more you can rely on to do their job, the better you can be at yours.