We know most of us start photography as a hobby, May be impressed by an amazing photographers around or if any family members already there in the photography business or we must have found potentiality within us. There must be numerous reasons to get in to professional photography but the question arises when we think of taking it for the long term. Most would decide to keep hobby as a hobby and most would consider converting hobby as profession.
We would have seen our friends or colleagues would be working as a freelancer on photography business. I am sure almost 90% of them would think at least once that they should have a studio of their own.
There must be reasons holding us starting a photography business, Before you take leap and open up a studio front, ask yourself these questions.
Things to know before starting Photography Business
1) What are your reasons or objectives to start Photography Business?
Put your thinking hat on and find out the reasons why you want to open a studio.
You hope it help you attract more clients (it may, but it’s not going to be dramatic enough in most cases to cover your new costs).
It will make your business appear legit to clients and other business owners (this is an added benefit but shouldn’t be the sole basis for which you make the decision).
You’ve outgrown your current space (a legitimate reason as well, but you need to look at how much additional cost you are taking on to have a new space).
It’s always been a dream of yours (not a good enough reason, but we’ll talk through the financial aspects in more details below).
2) Are you currently paying yourself a salary from your photography business?
Make sure you are paying yourself a salary from your photography business.
If not, then you need to wait to move into a studio until you are. A studio isn’t a magic answer to bringing in more clients or allowing you to raise your prices. In fact, it just compounds any pricing and marketing issues you already have.
3) Are your cost of sales currently at 25% or less?
Selling photographs cost of sale, Find out your cost of sales.
This is the benchmark to follow to be profitable as a photographer. If they aren’t then you need to get these in line before you consider opening a studio.
4) How many additional sessions do you need to do to cover your costs?
Get to know how many extra sessions you need to do to cover the additional cost. May be you have different cost sheet for different events (wedding, Baby photo shoot, Events etc) but do calculate how many sessions you must cover in a month or quarter to manage the cost.
5) What are your Marketing plans?
The Marketing plan as a freelancer must be different than being an owner of a studio so make your marketing plan clear before opening an office. you should know some advanced marketing tips to run your photography business. Make sure you have very good online presence to show cause your photography work so that you get maximum out of social media and search engines. Some zero budget methods such as Search engine optimization and YouTube promotions will help the business in a big way!
6) What do I know?
Study the area/location which you are planning to set up the studio, Understand the target segment or clients. Study the geography and the population, understand the demand around. A studio in a well grown city would get the clients automatically through walkins which would also cut down the cost which you may spend on marketing.
7) Do I Have a Plan B?
What if my plan A fails? Yes it’s a game plan which we must have in mind to cover the losses and losing hope. Its always good to have something as back up to be safer side. Along with photography alone in your studio you can also start up something in addition in your studio which will diversify your risk.
There are so many things to consider when opening a brick.. These are just a few to get you thinking on the right path to building a thriving, profitable photography studio.