Starting a photography business may, at first, appear simple, but its success will depend on your organization and preparation. It involves far more than pointing, shooting, and collecting a paycheck. Beginning with a business plan, you’ll need to determine what niche you will focus on, how you’ll market your new business, how you’ll set yourself apart from the competition, and how you’ll get paid. You will also need to figure out the costs involved with a photography business. Let’s start with the business.
Planning your Success
A business plan allows you to envision the path your venture will go from start to finish. In it, you will spell out your target market for your photography business. The business plan will also show how you will organize your operation once you get clients. Once you have an idea of how you will run things, you’ll estimate the costs that will be incurred and the amount of revenue needed to cover those costs. Your business plan is not set in stone, so it can be adapted as needed. Having a plan of action as you start and run your photography business will keep you on path towards entrepreneurial success.
In photography, there are many niches to choose from for your start-up business. Do you want to help people capture precious moments in their lives? Maybe wedding photography would be for you. Or perhaps you would enjoy catering to fashionistas by photographing models for catalogs or magazines. You may also want to combine your love for photography with your love of travel and photograph some of the world’s most renowned, or unknown, beauty. Whatever niche you select, do your best to become an expert.
Marketing your Brand
Without clients, your photography business will struggle. You must let potential clients know that you exist and why they should patronize your services. When marketing your business, it’s important to work within your budget. Start by getting together a portfolio of your work. Having samples available for clients to look at will help them decide if they want to use your firm. Also, get some business cards made. These are great because they can be customized, showing of your creativity, and they are portable. Finally, a website can go a long way to helping your business grow. You can showcase sample photos on the website while also providing a quick and easy way for potential clients to
Showing up the Competition
The photography business can be a competitive field to work in regardless of your niche. While some areas are more competitive than others, you’ll need to find ways to distinguish yourself from the competition. You can start by rewarding loyal customers with discounts or free gifts. These would be helpful if you’re starting a family-oriented photography business. For more glamorous photography clients, you may work out contracts for negotiated rate for a specified number of shoots. You’ll also want to show off your creativity in the backgrounds you use as well as in the way you arrange your shoots. Think outside the box and try to come up with various ways to show up the competition.
Costs vs. Prices
With every business, expenses are incurred during start-up and continued operation. Determine what all you will need for your photography business starting out. Will you need new cameras or lenses? Will you rent a studio or use some extra space in your home? What type of materials will you need to construct the backgrounds you intend to have? The niche you choose for your business will determine the costs it will incur.
Pricing your services comes from how much you need to cover the cost of doing business and the competition in your area. You don’t want to put yourself out of business by having prices that are either too high or too low. Maximizing your revenues is important to the welfare of your photography business. Research the competition to see how much they charge. Get the highest quality of supplies you need for operation at the lowest possible price. If you want to focus on just the work, hire an accountant to work out the numbers for you.
Starting any business involves a lot of effort and creativity on the part of the entrepreneur and it holds true for a photography business. In the beginning, you will wear several hats in order to keep your business afloat. Your stress level may rise as you determine the best marketing approach to attract new clients. Even with a plan of action, you may want to start off part-time while you work full-time elsewhere until your photography business becomes self-sustaining. If you love photography and want to work for yourself, give it your all and don’t look back.