If you believe you’ve got what it takes to share your photography skills to the world and make a profit out of it, then perhaps a photography business can help you make a mark in the industry. However, a photography business isn’t all just about reaching out to clients and fulfilling requests. Rather, there are other aspects of forming a photography business that you should consider if you want to make it big in the industry – and this article will help you see just that.
If you’re seriously thinking about investing for a photography business, now is a good time to start taking your plans seriously. In fact, according to Zion Market Research numbers, the global demand for digital photography has been pegged at around $77.66-billion back in 2015, and it’s expected to be as large as $110.79-billion in 2021. Much of this potential is thanks to social networking sites and applications such as Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Photo Editor, and Adobe Photoshop. The projected growth may also due to the rather easy way for digital images to be edited, stored, printed, and displayed. If these kind of services are your specialty, then perhaps you can take advantage of the growing demand and form a photography business to showcase your skills and make a profit. Here’s how to start your own photography business:
1.) Create a business plan and stick to it: One of the most challenging parts of starting a photography business – or any business – is to actually create a plan for it. Not only does this imply you’re pushing through with your business, but it implies you’re pushing to make your idea something that is actually profitable. Transforming a business concept into something that actually works is a huge risk and needs substantial planning to pull off. Some considerations you should take into account include:
2.) Try to create your prototype budget: If you have a rough idea on the kind of photography business you want to make, try getting a piece of paper or set up a spreadsheet with two columns. On one column, enumerate the expenses you can think of – such as a studio, photo equipment, insurance, or even business licenses. On the other column, enumerate the kinds of services you’re planning to provide. Don’t limit yourself to skills you have, but actually try to go for skills you think you can get training on, or things you can hire people for.
3.) Values matter: If you have a basic assessment of the services and expenses you’ll need, try to reach out to other businesses or business analysts in order to ask for a quick rundown on the expenses you’ll expect for your business – and how you can set up your services. These don’t necessarily have to be too specific for now, but getting these values set up will give you a rough estimate on what you may or may not be able to achieve.
4.) Start securing your funds, assets: In this context, when we say “assets,” we pertain to essentials for your business, such as a studio, your equipment, or even personnel. If you’re dead-set in setting up your business, try as much as possible to keep your analyst with you and at the same time ask for advice as to how you could go about with your initial finances. If you have capital to spare, then that’s great – but loans and other forms of financial relief can be of help
5.) Create a brand and help it grow: When you’ve created the rough draft of your business plan, it’s time to start the creative aspect of your business – actually building your brand. Your “brand” is the entire identity of your business. Regardless if you’re providing a service or a set of products, your “brand” defines what kind of business you are and how you do practice. Think of your brand as your voice or your personality – and like how developing a personality as a person can be challenging, so is developing a brand. It’s not impossible, though:
6.) Establish your identity: While setting up the bare basics of your business in terms of finances, try setting up your brand. Perhaps the best way to do this is to go about making a logo for your service first, as this can help define the kind of voice, tone, or atmosphere your service may be providing. Logo design, brand naming, and deciding on your “voice” are all a matter of creative taste. Stay tuned for our specific guide for this.
7.) Start applying your branding to your services: When you’ve decided on how you want your logo to appear, try to get integral elements such as font type, color schemes, and iconography applied to various aspects of your business. This can help give the impression that your business is starting to be “alive.”
8.) Create a website: When you’ve established your brand, it’s time to create a website in order to “scream” your brand. Merchandise can come in later, as the way you layout your website can pretty much help establish the kind of merchandising you may be able to offer your customers.
9.) Create a presence in the industry: Once you’ve made a brand and business plan, it’s time to start building your presence as a company. This can be challenging from the start, as you’re literally starting from scratch. How do you approach building clients? How do you approach actually providing a service?
10.) Establish connections: Regardless if you’ve started operating or not, try to establish connections early on. Tap into contacts you know in the industry – be it competition, other providers, suppliers, or even influencers – and inform them of your presence. Starting off on the right end may even help boost your initial reputation to clients.
11.) Try establishing a client base: It can be difficult acquiring sales on the get-go as a new business, so you might have to spread the word out there. Part of this is to start personally contacting people and clients who might be interested in availing your service.
12.) Create a blog, establish socials: Another important element in creating your business is to spread branding online – this means not only setting up a blog, but also creating various social media accounts. This allows you to have easy access to your customers for feedback, and the other way around.
13.) Create opportunities to grow, evolve: One of the most difficult aspects of creating a photography business is the one you do the most – actually working. This is because your business is in a constant cycle of growth and evolution if you want to thrive in the industry. As such you always have to make sure your business has a lot of opportunities to expand:
14.) Don’t provide everything: A common mistake people make in businesses is they want to be the end-all, be-all for their industry. This is dangerous because this can overwhelm you as a new business and set yourself up to failure. Instead, tap into your strengths and start providing those to your customers first. This allows you to see and test whether or not you can expand towards other aspects of the industry without the fear of “downgrading.”
15.) Be on the lookout for technology: Another integral aspect of evolving in your industry is to always be on the lookout for technology and other innovations in the field. Tapping into them the right way can boost your appeal to your consumer base and even increase sales in the long-run.
16.) Continue partnerships, establish new partnerships: Don’t frown upon the idea of expanding through collaboration and partnerships. While it’s true that you should focus on your own growth and sales, it’s important to establish good connections in the industry in order to expand more options to conduct better business. Promos, collaborative events, and other offerings can actually be extremely appealing to customers.
The Takeaway: Preparation Is Always Good
If a photography business has been something on your mind for a while, then perhaps acting upon that plan is something that’s thrilling to imagine – especially if you know you have the resources to at actually form the business. However, before you do so, it’s important to see if you’ve actually considered the various factors we’ve explained above and if you’re ready to commit to your business in the long term, as this will likely mean you’re going to devote your time and energy full-time to seeing this business push through and grow.
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