Daily Business Tracking
By Judy Grann, Cr.Photog.,CBM, ABI, VP SuccessWare Inc.
In any business you must stay on top of operations. That means you must manage! We’ve already discussed building a plan (read more about preparing a business plan in Part One), pricing your products for profitability (read more about pricing in Part Two), and marketing (read more about marketing in Part Three). What remains is to implement and track what you’ve done, which will allow you to determine your business progress.
This is not something that you can delegate entirely to an employee or bookkeeper. Once you know how to manage business information yourself, it’s possible to do some delegation, but ultimately it is your responsibility to look things over and stay on top of them yourself because it is your business, and you bear the responsibility for its success or failure. Following is a list of the day-to-day business elements that need to be managed:
- Track marketing progress, clients, sessions, orders and expenses.
- Keep up with client interaction, reminders, personal notes, emails, etc.
- Keep track of orders, statuses and workflow.
- Pay bills and reconcile accounts.
- Run reports: weekly, monthly, yearly.
- Read reports; make decisions based on the information contained in them.
- Monthly and yearly: Interact with your business plan and actual outcomes to determine positive and negatives. This will guide you in making sound business decisions.
Running a business is not easy. If there were no challenges to running a business, then everyone would be successful. It takes a willingness to learn and understand what you need to become a success. You love creating images, you may love the art of manipulating images, but that is not what ultimately allows you to earn a living. You may not like the “business side” of running a business, but it is what helps you to survive and continue to do what you love. Over the years I have seen many young studio businesses. I have seen mediocre photography. I have also seen that mediocre photography improve once the stress of running the business is conquered. Taking the time to understand your business will allow it to succeed and your creativity to soar.
SuccessWare includes a host of business tracking tools and on-demand tracking reports. Visit SuccessWare.net to learn more.