The Only 7 Assets Your Photography Business Should Strive For

I recently wrote a post 13 Ways To Make Sure 2013 Doesn’t Suck For Your Photography Business. I’ve been doing a lot internal planning with my own business for 2013, and I used that post as a trigger for all of you to start thinking about what you want the New Year to bring into your own lives. In order to stick with that theme, I’ve decided to run a “13 Days Of Photography” feature throughout December to help provide you with a ton of ideas and tips on things you can do for your own business starting on January 1st. Here is 7…

The Only 7 Assets Your Photography Business Should Strive For

What does a healthy business look like? Lots of customers. Lots of sales. Lots of profits. There are many different ways of looking at it.

But some things matter more than others.

What if you were suddenly forced to shut your doors and move 2000 miles away to a place you’ve never been before? And you were only allowed to bring seven things with you. What would those seven things be?

All you would really need is the essential foundations of building up your business. You need the assets that turned your business into a successful venture.

Assets are the foundation of a healthy business.

And while there are many things that could be lumped into the asset column of your business, different assets have different priorities in your “take” list. Yes, your camera equipment may be an asset. But cameras are replaceable. If you lose it today, you can buy an identical one tomorrow. And the moment you purchase it, it begins to depreciate in value – meaning it won’t sustain you for the long term.

So … what would be on your asset list to take with you across country?

In my mind, your real business asset are the things you’ve built yourself and have complete control over – no one can ever take them away from you.

1. Your content

Your content includes a variety of things. It includes your portfolio of images. It includes the letters you’ve written and the brochures you’ve created. It includes the content on your blog posts and the articles that have been published about you in the local newspaper. Your content is what defines you and what turns you into you.

2. Your list

A business is only as good as the people on their lists. It may include your past customers. It may include people that follow you in your social sites. It may include vendors that you’ve worked with in the past or would love to work with in the future. The more thorough the list, the more successful your business will be. [Read more…]

100 New Photo Clients Just For You

What would you do if tomorrow morning one hundred people were lined up outside of your doors, credit cards in hand, ready to sign up and do business with you?

Your first reaction is hopefully, “YES!”

Your second reaction may be, “Oh no, now what?”

When one client calls, emails or stops by and wants to do business with you, you can handle the situation with ease. Even if you don’t have everything in place, you can usually muddle through and accomplish the transaction.

But with 100 people lined up, things change. You have to move quicker, think less, and have things in place to make the entire process run smooth.

Think it out. No matter what your reaction was when you read the first sentence above, your mind has probably started thinking of tasks by now. Don’t stop the ideas from coming. Instead, spend some time taking it all in, and writing down a list of ideas. You’re best ideas come when you face a task from a different perspective. I’m willing to bet most of you have only dealt with one client at a time, so the pressure was off. By looking at your business through a different set of eyes, you’ll quickly find where your problem areas are. For instance, maybe you spend quite a bit of time customizing and writing up a contract for each wedding client that comes in. But if you have 100 wedding clients waiting, there is no way you could customize each contract. How can you automate it? Can the contract be saved as a document that is 95 percent complete, with just a few clauses that need to be modified and changed? If that’s the case, type up as many of the clauses as you can and store them in a separate word file. Then its just a matter of copy/paste, and the contract will be ready in seconds. [Read more…]

8 Things A Photographer Should Never Do

Trying to run a successful business? Unfortunately many photographers think of themselves as photographer’s first, business owners second.

If you’ve started up your own business, your business is everything. Your niche, or what you specialize in, just happens to be photography. Business is business. If you want to be successful, you have to make sure your business has key characteristics in place before you grow it to the next level. Yet that can be hard for some. Take a look at these 8 things, and see how many you are currently doing.

1. Hold checks and bills until “payday”

Do you ever find yourself holding a bill back until a client comes in with an order? You have a cash-flow issue.

Many businesses go under not because they are low on clients, but because they don’t have enough cash on hand to pay current expenses. Start a savings account now and build up three to six months of cash-flow. If you normally spend $2000 in a month, have $6000 to $12,000 on hand. This will help you during downtimes and slow periods.

2. Do everything for the first time

Do you find yourself typing up the same email again and again? Do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over? You may be lacking a system.

Chances are you repeat yourself a lot throughout the week. “Do you have this date open?” is a common question emailed to wedding photographers. Sit down and come up with a great email for both answers – yes and no. In the yes email, you can describe your services, ask for more details like where the event is taking place, and lead them to different portions of your website. In the no email, you can refer a friend that may have the date open. If you create a great email upfront, you simply copy/paste, and change a few of the details.

For every instance you find yourself repeating your actions, sit down and create a perfect system. Then use it again and again. It will give you more time to do the important things in your business. [Read more…]