Listen to the mustnÊ¼ts, child. Listen to the donÊ¼ts. Listen to the shouldnÊ¼ts, the impossibles, the wonÊ¼ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein penned these words that give us a glimpse of how powerful our thoughts and minds can be. In this day, it is even more important to use all of the tools available to us to bring us the success that we desire.
We are all aware that there has been tremendous change in the photography industry in the last 40 years. We have gone from brick and mortar studios to primarily location photographers working from our homes. From film to digital capture. As the cameras have gotten better, the barrier to entry in the photography industry has dropped, and now nearly anyone with a desire to photograph can achieve a certain level of success. In this new year, I challenge you to examine how you are doing business. You need to ask, â€œWhat is important to meâ€?
One of the best ways to gather your thoughts is to create a business plan. I know that this is a scary thought, but I know that you can do this. It doesnÊ¼t have to be anything more than how you want to operate your business, and what you want your business to provide you. There are five important tips that you need to consider before you start.
The first thing your business plan should do is tell a compelling story: who, what, when, where, how and why? Sounds just like all the stories you wrote in school, but you are the protagonist of this one. Who are you, what do you want to do, when do you want to do it, where are you going to do it, how do you want to operate, and why are you doing this?
Secondly, it should be focused and clear. For example, I know a photographer who only works on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He has 2 sessions a day available. You can have studio sessions or be photographed in a park near his studio for the same price. If you want him to come to you, the session fee goes up $100.00. He only photographs children and families–no seniors, no weddings, no sports. He works alone, and has priced himself at the upper end of his market, because he wants to minimize his overhead and provide a full-time income for his family. He defines everything about his business, so that anyone else reading his business plan would know exactly how he operates and what to expect when working with him.
It should define specific business objectives and goals. What do you want to realize from your business this year, in three years, five or ten? What are your goals?
A business plan should force logic and discipline into a business. If you have others working with you, they should know from your business plan exactly what the answers would be for any question that they might be asked.
Finally, it is a living document and should be updated regularly. DonÊ¼t do it once and put it away. Keep it handy to measure if you are operating the way you want to, and to evaluate what needs to be done to reach your goals.
The best way to know where you are going is to have a road map. Your business plan is that road map. For more information on how to write your business plan go to: web.sba.gov/busplantemplate/BizPlanStart.cfm
What is your plan for your business?