They say the best time to start a business was 10 years ago. But guess when the second-best time to start a business is? That’s right, it’s today! Seriously, there isn’t a ‘best time’ to start a business, you just have to make the decision and do it. That being said, however, there are some things you need to consider and put into place before jumping in.
In this video, Julia Trotti walks us through her top three essential things that you need to start a successful photography business.
Julia recommends having some sort of branding in place that you can use to create consistency across all your branding materials, such as your website (yeah you will need one, don’t rely on social media!) and other marketing materials.
2. Sort out some sort of pricing in advance
You can always change it up later on if it isn’t working, but at least have some idea of your costs, how long things will take you, and how much profit you will need to make. There are many different methods of pricing for photography depending on the sort of work you’re doing. For example, a commercial photographer will not use the same pricing structure and methods as a wedding photographer. Do your research, find out what other photographers in your locality and genre are charging and see where you fit into that. While you don’t want to just copy them, you also need to be realistic.
3. Plan your shoots in a professional manner
For Julia, this means creating a mood board, or treatment for how you plan to execute the shoot. This is particularly useful for commercial clients. I’m not entirely sure this would be up there at the top of my list for when you are just starting out, but it certainly is often worth doing and makes you look organised and professional, and can really help convey what you are thinking about the shoot in a visual way so that your clients can understand it and sign off on it better.
Bonus tip: Research the tax rules where you live
Yes, death and taxes and all that. But it’s essential that you figure this side out before you do anything else really. There may be more than one option available that you hadn’t considered. Perhaps starting a limited company will actually be more beneficial than just being self-employed, depending on what you’re doing. Find some professional advice and implement it. Honestly, after figuring out this step, everything else feels easy, at least where I live in any case!
So don’t be put off turning your passion into a business, but do be organised and methodical about it. It’s easy to get carried away by the fun parts and ignore at your peril the boring side (like taxes and social security payments). Good luck!