Is it essential to think of a business plan for photographers? Of course, but isn’t it just good photography that’s all right?
With more than ten years in photography and 550 clients photographed in my career, I can say that it wasn’t just my photography that led me to growth.
Of course, you need to have consistent quality, after all, no one thinks of hiring a photographer with a bad picture, but this is just a must for any professional.
Offering quality today is not a difference but an obligation.
If you’re committed to your success, I have to be honest and say it’s not just about good photography.
You need to organize your career structure and plan yourself financially.
If you prefer to read some ideas on the subject, click here, photography business plan
The Business Plan for Photographers
Do you intend to have a photography business plan that is stable and lasting, or do you want to be chasing losses your entire career?
Whether you are a wedding photographer or not, a family photographer, or any other type of photography, if your goal is to develop a memorable career or at least get close to it, the photography business plan will make all the difference to your company.
A tip first of all. The business plan needs to be put into practice; it won’t make any difference in your life on paper. And also, dedicate yourself to the fullest because it can seem confusing at first. Do one step at a time and reach the destination successfully.
But what is a business plan?
Before we talk about a photography business plan, it is essential to explain its main aspects and what a business plan is.
It is a document to present the feasibility of a project from the strategic point of view, financial management, market, and operations!
A business plan aims to describe what a company is or intends to be. Perhaps the biggest issue in having a Plan is having numbers and information about the viability of your company; even before creating it, avoid wasting money and time.
Even if you already have a business and didn’t create a plan at first, it is recommended to do it as soon as possible. This happens a lot with photographers. First, we get our hands dirty, and then we want to identify the mistakes we make.
Don’t worry. It happened to me, too. I’m glad I identified this error early on and corrected this route.
Through it, your photographer will define all the steps and create strategies and actions to get where you want with your business in photography!
There are many details to be written, and many of them require attention, but in general, the business plan can be helpful to you in 03 ways:
With the business plan for photographers, you will be able to put all your ideas as an entrepreneur on paper and also add all the necessary information so that it bears fruit. Ideally, it should be before starting activities.
Expand the Business
It is highly recommended to create a Business Plan before starting the business, but it needs to expand. An analysis of the already written plan is carried out, and a new BP is carried out based on the first one, now focused on expansion projects.
This factor serves to analyze and carry out diagnoses to follow within the business plan you established at the beginning. It can also be an excellent opportunity to review and readjust your business according to the entrepreneur’s new market or new beliefs, in this case, your photographer.
I also recommend reading these articles to complement your reading:
A career in Photography Business Plan
Creating a Business Plan for Photographers
Now that we already know what a photography business plan is and its main characteristics, below I will list the complete structure in the elaboration of a photography business plan.
- Summary of the main points of the business plan;
- Entrepreneurs’ data, professional experience, and assignments;
- Enterprise data;
- Company mission;
- Activity sectors;
- Legal form;
- Tax framework;
- Capital social;
- Resource source.
Market analysis is one of the main components of the business plan, as it helps you understand the market you intend to operate (or already operates in the case of many photographers).
For all companies, including us photographers, there are 03 essential pillars to understand and analyze the market.
- Customer Study: It is important to know customers’ behavior and establish which type of customer (also annoying avatar) your photography business will reach.
- Study of Competitors: It is essential to know the services they offer, their strengths and weaknesses, and the prices they charge in the market.
- Supplier Study: Research, identify and create a list of “approved” suppliers to serve your business and meet your needs and expectations. Have listed your camera, card, hard drive, computer, and album vendors.
The Marketing Plan
In the Marketing Plan of a photography business plan, the critical essential of your company is defined in practical terms, including strategies and pricing.
At this point, you will need:
- Describe the top products and services: Exercise caution in this item. At first, we photographers intend to offer many things, which in practice, are not salable.
- Study and define prices: Prices are expressed in 02 main aspects. Study of competitors and their costs. To learn how to calculate your costs correctly, check out this course I’ve prepared, especially for photographers.
- What will be your promotional strategies: A vital point that must be very well defined. Where do you intend to invest to appear to customers? Internet, billboards, magazines, etc.
- Marketing Structure: How your products and services will reach customers. In most cases, in photography, we perform the services in person on the day of the event.
- The Business Location: Here, you will also fill in if you choose to work at home (Home Office), as it will be simpler to define the other points through this one.
The Operational Plan
- The layout or Physical Arrangement: Once again, define in the previous item if you are going to work at home or have a physical point of service;
- The productive capacity of the execution of the services: What will be your goals and the ability to execute, in other words, to photograph events. You also need to define the amount you want to shoot per month.
- Operational Processes: Here, it is essential to describe the entire process, from the day of the first service to delivery to the customer, going through processes with suppliers, such as albums, cases, enlargements;
- Personnel Needs: What will be the necessary structure of people to work with you, such as a second photographer, assistant, receptionist.
The Financial Plan
Unlike most photographers who start their business, it is necessary to survey the investment needed to create or adapt the industry.
- Estimate of fixed investments: Everything you need to buy for your business to work, equipment, furniture, computers, etc.;
- Working Capital: Another small item thought by photographers. Working capital is the financial resource responsible for running the company. One of the advantages is that in a photography business plan.
- Pre-Operational Investment: It is intended for investments made before the company starts its activities. Simpler for photographers who want to work from home.
After all this information, you will have a base of the total investment to start your business or restructure the existing one. There are still more details, as something wrong in the finances may be responsible for your business closing its doors.
- Invoicing Estimate: This may be one of the most challenging tasks for anyone starting in photography business plan, but a simple tip is to establish an average of events you want to photograph per month and multiply by the average sales value you intend to charge photographs.
- Estimate of labor costs: Here, it is necessary to add the values of the second photographer and assistant.
- Depreciation: This item is essential for us photographers as we think our cameras last forever. Great if so. Most photographers don’t calculate, and when they need to change equipment, they never have the necessary investment. I also teach in my course.
- Break-even point: Here is a simple account where you add up all your costs mentioned above and need to find the ideal amount of sales for the company to have a break-even point. PE is always 0, i.e., the sales required to cover all costs.
- Profitability: It is an indicator that measures net profit with sales.
- Profitability: It is an indicator of business attractiveness, as it measures the return on invested capital to partners.
The SWOT matrix is a simple and valuable analysis tool. Its objective is to detect strengths and weaknesses to make the company more efficient and competitive, thus correcting its deficiencies. FOFA is an acrostic for:
- S: strength
- W: Weaknesses
- O: Opportunities
- T: Threats
Business Plan Assessment
You need always to consult and analyze your business plan, evaluate all the results obtained so far, and check whether or not there has been a deviation in the route, if necessary, to correct.
Adjustments in some cases are necessary, as the business plan does not eliminate risks but reduces them. However, always focus on your goal and keep going.
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