Starting a photography business can be a highly rewarding experience that gives you a lot of freedom to do something you love. While many people start out in the photography world with the best intentions many of them fail to get their business off the ground because they don’t put in the necessary work to start a successful photography business. At the beginning and even throughout the lifespan of your photography business you will not just worry about taking amazing images, there are a number of other details you'll want to make sure you take care of at the beginning phase to grow your business from the start.
- Business plan
A business plan can be a tedious amount of work to write and many photographers skip over this all together. Creating a business plan, however, will give you more clarity on where you want your business to go, your goals, finances, expectation and more. Your business plan will be a complete summary of your business and is necessary if you are planning on asking for any type of loan to get started. Some of the key areas your business plan will include are:
- Your mission statement.
- Start off budget.
- Financial forecast.
- Target audience.
- Marketing plan.
- Future expansions.
A majority of the items that follow should already be included in your business plan and are vital for establishing a successful photography business.
- Bookkeeping for tax purposes
A huge mistake many beginner photographers make is not setting up a proper bookkeeping method. This is vital not only to ensure that you get paid what you are supposed to but is necessary when tax season comes around. You want to make sure you take into account the amount of taxes you will most likely owe in regards to the money you are getting paid. You also want to keep records of the equipment you use or any business purchases you make for tax write-offs. Additionally, you need to keep careful records of travel expenses and any other business related expenses. For this, you might want to consider working with a financial adviser to ensure you keep everything properly and well organized. We hire a professional accountant to do our taxes for our photography business. This saves us loads of time, plus, their tax preparation fee is also a tax write-off.
- Bank account
To keep you personal and business spending separate you want to set up a bank account specifically for your business. This will also make things significantly easier when it comes time for taxes.
Knowing how to set up your pricing is important to build a successful photography business. While you may be tempted to charge lower than what other photographers are charging in your area this often will not result in more business. To properly create your pricing list consider just how many hours you want to dedicate to your business each month or week. This should include the time you'll spend editing, traveling, shooting and consultations. Then figure how much money you realistically want to make. This will give you a general idea of how to price your sessions.
Creating a portfolio of your best images will be a primary focus when you just start out. While you don't have to have hundreds of images you need to have something to show potential clients what type of photographer you are. Click here for tips on how to create a killer portfolio.