It’s a new year, and for many photographers, it comes with all sorts of wishes and wants for a better photography business model. If you’re just starting out (or if you’ve been doing it for years and just want to streamline your processes and procedures), you’ll benefit from the tips shared by our friend Rachel Brenke over on her blog. We love her four cardinal rules of business planning:
1. Have Non-Negotiables: “Business,” she says, “should come after life.” We wholeheartedly agree! Remember to take the time to focus on what matters most: when you give attention to yourself and your family, you’re better equipped to handle the issues that may arise in your business with a calm mind and a steady hand.
2. Set Boundaries: Rachel recommends having set work hours, or using policy sheets, automations, client guides, and contracts. One idea: Use your automated emails in ShootProof to remind clients about upcoming gallery expiration dates or about special promotions, so that you aren’t stuck sending emails manually outside of work hours.
3. Budget it All: “You must start with a time and money budget.” Rachel recommends including ALL yearly costs in your budget needs so that you can properly plan out the number of hours you need to work or the number of weddings you need to shoot. Don’t forget that time is money: look into systems that can speed up your work processes, such as simple lab-fulfillment of your client orders, which streamlines your workflow and requires way less hands-on time for you.
4. Plug Leaks: “See if there are any leaks of time and money,” Rachel says. In her post, she gives some great suggestions on how to decide when to get rid of a prop or piece of equipment, as well as a foolproof way to monitor your off-task habits.
Comment below: What are your business goals for 2016?