One of the age old issues that will pop up from time to time when you have any business, be it small, medium or large is the dreaded drying up of sales. This article is an attempt to help you with that nasty issue should that ever come your way. Hopefully, your photography business will not be affected. Of course, one article will never be enough to solve all the problems in this area so I will follow up this article with a series of related articles with a view to giving you a number of potential solutions that you can implement. This first article will catch some of you by surprise and you may even feel that these first few tips are irrelevant to your photography business.
If you do, then read them twice because I assure you they’re not. These first few tips are the platform, the base. Especially if you’re starting afresh or trying to get your business back up where it should be – being fun and making money.
Time Must Be Your Friend, Not Your Enemy
- If you’re running your photography business on your own, sometimes you get so busy making money and trying to please everyone that you forget the fundamentals that got you there in the first place. Photographers are renowned for getting in a mess or disorganised and this chews up time. What is that suppose to mean? – you say. Even if you are the untidy type, you must develop or force yourself to get organised. One specific camera bag for the road, not seven. Your place of work (studio) should embrace the ‘fingertip control’ method. This means that every thing should be in easy reach from where you sit for efficiency. Especially the things you use frequently. Keep records but in the easiest way possible. Use reminders on your computer or whatever system you have in place so you don’t have to remember everything (this greatly reduces stress & helps make you more reliable in the minds of others). Have one place for work, don’t have it scattered across your home. You may think this information is unrelated at first but once you ARE organised, it will become a habit. You will then find yourself with more time. Now you have some room to move to pick up the business again and start the ‘ball rolling’.
- Use an electronic calendar on your computer and dedicate time to work of course but ensure you dedicate time to LIFE. If you simply just work all the time, it will eventually get to you through either sickness, tiredness, loss of enthusiasm or all of these. Reward yourself for your achievements no matter how small. Above all, don’t take this lightly! This must become part of your way of life and it will reflect in your personality when dealing with others (customers to be frank).
- Don’t purposely misinform people or mislead them, it will definitely reflect on your photography business and has the ability to become part of your personality over time. That’s a fact not an urban myth. When you’re spending time trying to justify your fibs or exaggerations, you will lose customers and wasted time just compounds.
- Remember, it costs more money and time to find a new customer than it does to keep your existing customers. So which one is more valuable? Of course your existing customer is more valuable. They are loyal. They can refer you to others. They can give you return business. This even helps you to gain more NEW customers (more on this in a dedicated article). The smart photographer goes to great lengths to keep their existing customers. You don’t have to go to great expense. Just think about it a little and you will come up with pleasing and warm tokens of appreciation for you existing customers. I will also help you with some of the things I have done previously in the next article. The most successful businesses are based on the customer. You must delight your existing customers.
Author Ray Baker. Ray often works closely with Photography Business and is dedicated to coaching on how to start your own business and places strong emphasis on profitability issues & guidelines. For brief reviews on basic services or equipment see http://www.profitable-photography.com/resources.php