Growing your own business is very challenging, especially when it is a small business. Photography business is no different to that and growing this business requires lots of marketing, whether its networking to build your referral client base, traditional marketing or digital marketing.
Also most photographers, I know thrive off referrals, but often that might not be enough. Many people think that owning a business is a glamorous thing of earning profits however never give a thought on the cost and responsibilities that come with running a small business. So being aware of what these responsibilities would help you swim through them:
Time is the essence of life and for business owners, managing time is the essence of profit. Business owners find it difficult to manage time. You can never take a day off whenever you want 100%. You still have responsibilities to show up to encourage your staff and photographers, problem solve things and come up with new ideas every single day. You need to look into expenses, profits, enquiries and have an overall idea on the everyday walk-ins and wedding/ event enquiries.
Expenses do refer to the investment you make and the profit you derive from the business. The business owners have to look into investments like Studio rents, wages for staff, bills, electricity, internet, web hosting, paper, inks, insurances and much more. Managing such expenses on time is a key responsibility of owning any business. You need to have the expenses recorded and tracked is key to an efficient business environment.
This is the most difficult part for any business owner. Managing people is much harder than selling an idea or a product. Once you are emotionally attached with your staff, that's usually when things start to go down the drain.You need to learn how to be a nice boss instead of being a friend. Making your team perform and track their activities would help you access your profits and strategically plan your growth.
Photography is a very saturated industry and every other person you meet has a DSLR and thinks he/she is a photographer. So it is not an easy thing to make a living from photography but with consistent work, you would be able to market yourself and this will be key to survival. Also Building your online presence, should be a holistic approach, from having a website/online portfolio, to being active on the top social media channels.
Managing your customers and the service you offer makes you look good at business. Especially when it comes to photography, everybody wants to look good and a timely response and commitment is important. Being able to personalise the service like to outdoor shoots and timely deliver them to customers is very important and equipping your team to do the same will help you double the scale of your business. Customers would need a testimonial of your work and so building a portfolio is also important to make you outstanding in this competitive business.
So as business owners, you will need to arm yourself with the knowledge and know how to do these things, but also having the right tools to shoulder these responsibilities and make it a success.
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