by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP What is your reason…
I hear from so many photographers who are ready to go from “portfolio building” to getting their business started, and even from established photographers who know they need to make changes in their business. Well, it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing, but the big question is, “Where do I even start?!”
There is so much to do – marketing, pricing, selling, workflow, business management and more… so what’s first?
Well, you’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Yes, now you’ve heard it one more time, it starts with a plan. It astonishes me that we will plan a party, plan a trip, plan a date or a lunch with a friend, but we don’t plan for a profitable business! Which is more important?
In early 2000 I decided to purchase a building for my first retail studio location. It was recommended to me through my bank that I go through the SBA (the US Small Business Administration) for my loan. The SBA required that I supply a business plan before they would consider working with me. I have appreciated that (then dreaded) requirement so much over the years! After writing that first plan in 2000, I have revised my plan yearly – asking myself: “What worked for me last year?” and “What can I improve on?”. I learned that a business plan is a living, breathing document. It can and should change and evolve. Just as a trip that you planned might change directions and even destinations, it never would have gotten the start without a plan to go. Don’t let fear stop your planning. A plan is just that – a plan. It can be modified and adjusted as you go, so write a one for your business and see what happens once you determine the direction that you’re heading. Start there.
Need help with your plan? Find out more about one-on-one or group coaching with Lori HERE.
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