I am honored and humbled when friends and people I know through other people come to me for advice. The question I have been asked in the last week by 3 people is "I want to start a photography business, what do I do, where to do I go, how do I get started?" Everyone knows that I LOVeeeeeee to help and my intentions are pure, genuine, and honest.
After MANY days of research, looking at where to go from here, and evaluating a new market through professional sources as well as mentors and people I admire in the industry I have become clear on the "gold nugget" of HOW to be successful in your business and it's actually pretty simple if the following 4 principals are applied.
This truly applies to any kind of business, but for my example I am going to use photography because that is my field of expertise.
1. Do you LOVE marketing or are you willing to hire someone to pave that path for you? I don't care WHAT business it is, let's face it when you're a business owner it's about getting YOU out there. Sharing YOU with the world, and people falling in love with YOUR brand...which guess what is YOU! Are you getting my drift..it's about selling YOU!
2. Do you love the running a business, are you willing to hire someone to pave that path for you? I have learned a LONG time ago that to be successful you take the pieces of what YOU love and excel at and KEY WORD are MONEY MAKERS and you hire out the rest. YOUR time is your most valuable asset to moving forward and if you waste it you don't get it back! I'm just going to say this running an "under the table cash business" may work for a short while, but if that's the case you're not a "business" you're someone working under the table not following the rules and laws-not a good idea! Research your state and rules and FOLLOW them. Build credibility and be legit-your customers will appreciate you for that!
3. Do you like customer service...sorry folks, this one you can't delegate, you either win over your clients or you don't. Not EVERY situation is rosy, so will you rise about and WOW your customer when something falls apart. It doesn't MATTER if it's your fault or not....remember...THE CLIENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT and it's YOUR job to make them beyond satisfied when the ships sails in the wrong direction. Trust me, it will happen and you can overcome it!
4. Finally, are you WILLING to do what it takes to find YOUR place in the market? This takes time commitment and dedication to your craft. It's OK to say ...uhhhh NO I LOVE photography and I want to shoot it when I want how I want and forget all this other stuff, then let me be totally bold in saying this:
80% is marketing and 20% is actually the craft you have fallen in love with. I truly believe after talking to yet another person I admire in the industry that photographers get it wrong. They think shoot-shoot-shoot-..shoot everything, everyone, and let EVERYONE else run their business because guess what they're getting paid. When you don't have a PLAN for your business after time you will either burn out or fall out of "love" with your craft. Now why on earth does someone want to start a business that does that? Stay tuned, we will be chatting about loving your business in the next blog! What do you think? Share with me and have a fabulous day!