Tip – Guest Blogger Angela Pointon on Why Bother Planning For A Photography Business?
This week, we’ve got another post from guest blogger Angela Pointon. Click here to read her earlier post on marketing strategy. But today we’re excited that she’s talking all about the importance of a business plan.
Us creative types often enjoy lives full of way more spontaneity than the average small business owner. We see things we like or that spark a bit of inspiration in our souls and we’re off to the races, ready to try our hand at creating it.
However, having spent my early days of my professional career in event planning and marketing, I can see the benefit of some solid, efficient planning for a photography business. So while it may feel like the exact opposite of spontaneity, a solid photography business plan can keep you focused on your goals and prohibit you from going haywire and getting frivolous as soon as the newest cool thing comes on the market.
If that doesn’t convince you to set some time aside to do some photography business planning of your own, then check this out.
3 reasons why creating a photography business plan is a good idea
1. Good things happen to those that wait is the worst advice … ever.
Wait, what? So many people teach us that good things come to those who wait! How could that ever be bad advice? Well, the truth is that waiting is often going to leave you, well, waiting. And if you’re anything like me, you’re a bit impatient and crave being in control. So, rather than wait, why not work your butt off for what you want instead? It will probably come faster that way.
If you set time aside to work on your own photography business plan, you can use that same allotted time to focus on what you WANT in your photography business. Is it fewer shoots for more money per shoot? Is it breaking into a new niche? Or, perhaps, you need to plan out opening that photography studio that you always wanted.
Whatever dream equates to success in your mind, a photography business plan helps you set up the steps you need in order to one day make that dream a reality.
2. Plans can be a waste of time
You’re probably thinking, “huh?” I just told you to create a business plan and now I’m telling you they can be a waste of time. Yeah, the truth is they can. Putting a plan down on paper that’s full of superfluous business-speak and competitive analysis that is meaningless to you is a total waste of time.
Instead, strip down your photography business plan to only contain these super simple, extremely meaningful things. Here’s what I have in mine:
- A self-assessment of my strengths and weaknesses
- My ideal client (using super specific terms)
- My goals for this year that will get me where I want to be
- My financial goals for the next few years, based on healthy financial benchmarks
And that’s it. I cut out all of the clutter, reduced my plan to one sheet of paper and hung it on the wall next to my desk.
3. Use it or lose it (as in your dreams)
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a ton of other small business owners in my career, and one thing I noticed is that those who created a business plan and then used it were way more successful than those who didn’t. What I mean is, creating a business plan for your photography business is great. But if it never gets looked at and used, it will not be able to help you. That’s another reason why I stripped down my own photography business plan to the simplest format. It’s much easier to use and refer to that way!
How often do I look at it? At the end of every month, I “close out my month” and look at my goals vs. what I actually accomplished. I find that this is a great time to untack my photography business plan from my wall and look it over. And you know what? If there’s something on there I don’t like anymore, I remove it! And if there’s something I need to add, I add it!
A photography business is a growing and changing thing, so a photography business plan should be, too.
Do you want a super simple, super efficient photography business plan, too?
I created a one-page photography business plan template and recorded a tutorial video of me completing my own photography business plan.
The best part? You can download it and name the price you want to pay for it. So while the suggested retail price is $27, you can edit that price to be whatever you’re comfortable paying. Think you’ll get more value from it? Go ahead and reflect that in the price. Want to pay less for it than $27? No problem (seriously).