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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Why You Should Consider Profit before You Start a Photography Business

Each year over ninety percent (90%) of small business fail. This includes the photography business. I find this figure frightening. Most people in those statistics move on to another venture or start again and become successful either the next attempt or the one after. 
Many photographers simply throw themselves straight in the ‘deep end’ because they can already take excellent photographs and are remarkably creative.
There is a big difference between starting a profitable photography business and opening a photography business. You should read that sentence again!
1. It’s likely that you have a strong passion for photography because you are reading this. This is not enough. A strong passion for photography is different to a strong passion for succeeding in business. There are exceptions off course because some photographers have such a strong passion for photography they seek out advice or guidance to ensure success in their business.
2. Telling everybody - your parents, partner or your best friends - that you are throwing yourself into a photography business won’t bring success on its own either
3. If you’re on a budget,  as most people are, it is foolish to run out and buy state of the art camera equipment and other advanced photographic accessories when you are unsure you will use it in the earlier stages of your business venture. At the outset you should try to keep costs at a bare minimum.
4. There's no argument that you must still have a grasp on your profit and loss sheet and cash flow in order to succeed. Your balance sheet is a snapshot in time but is still important. Have a chat with your accountant. Accountants worth their value won’t charge you for this.
5. Some of these issues are understandable because the drive to earn a living from something we like is like pursuing utopia. Therefore, people rush in trying to make it all happen as quickly as possible. This often ends up a disaster with a lot of hard earned savings and borrowings being thrown to the wind.
6. The interesting point is that all this is easily avoided. It is so easily avoided that it is frustrating to see people reject the opportunity of advice or guidance when it’s so easily available, and then they wonder why they have crashed and burned! It is so easy to avoid all of the above. The fact is – it’s much easier to avoid failure than undertaking the risk of going through the above and still being successful. Why? Because knowing what to do brings confidence.
7. Often toward the end of a failing business many owners become desperate and do things they otherwise would not. Sometimes depression shows its ugly face. Then you have the difficult task of collecting yourself and your self esteem again and starting from scratch.
8. Here’s another little gem: Don’t even think about starting a photography business unless you are sure you can show persistence when required. Like with all small businesses, there will be some heart breaks and wins. When you lose a good client, don’t go to the nearest bar and whine to your friends. Take stock of why you lost the client and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Let go of your pride and approach your client with a solution and something a little more than last time.
9. The biggest dud cop-out is “I lost my business to a cheaper photographer!” Give me a break! If this is a concern for you, then beware, because there’s a chance you don’t have the solutions to run a profitable business. That issue will always be around. The highly successful photographers don’t concern themselves with that at all.
10. Only you know if you are a truly keen photographer. You are the only person who knows whether it would please you to earn a living from such an enjoyable vocation.You won’t find theanswer on the internet, in a book, or from your grandmother. Your own ‘gut’ will translate your desire. Remember this, if you decide to proceed, be smart and do it correctly the first time!
I hope this has been of some to you…

PS. You must plan to make a profit. Don’t be like so many and get taken to the cleaners …so to speak!

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