A couple of years ago I attended a local PPA meeting and this is where I had my eyes opened to what it costs to run a business. On any level! A single photographer shooting out of your home to the large boutique studio, you need to know on paper, what it takes to keep the doors open. I won’t sit here and tell you I have all the answers. I do not! I struggle with business and marketing. I’m learning myself as I believe we all are.
Understanding how your business functions and how it breaks down is crucial in understanding where you currently are at and where you want to be in the future. One example I learned after really looking at my business was cost of sales. What I was charging for a standard 8×10 was 50% less than I should have been charging to truthfully turn a profit. I was losing money on every sale and I had no clue. I do not own a studio or lease a space, my overhead is much less than it would be for these types of businesses. That being said, I still had/have expenses to cover and a baseline hourly rate I want to reach on each shoot.
Are you giving your work away? Are you priced high for the market you are in? What sets your products apart from your competition? Who is your competition? What financial goals do you have? Where do you want your business to be in five years? Ten years?
None of these questions can be addressed if you do not take the time to evaluate or breakdown your business. Remember… I said I do not have all the answers. But, I do have a couple of resources which might help you understand the bottom line of your business, how it functions, and what the true costs are.
How many of you have know of Creative Live.com? Chase Jarvis and his team came up with a great way to offer FREE courses/seminars to the masses. This coming weekend Tamara Lackey is going to teach a two day course about Taking Care of Business. Did I mention this was free?
The video above Creative Live has shared out from her first course. It covers the white board you see in the image above. It’s 2 hours long.. and well worth watching.
Hope to see you all on Creative Live this weekend. Drop in the chat room and say hello. My user name is Hatch1921.
Best of luck with your business!