Starting a business is overwhelming – to say the least. Starting a business that is a representation of who you are, how you see life, and capture it, and what you think is beautiful is TERRIFYING! As if it isn’t enough to try and figure out how to get a legal business name, which website to choose, how to get liability insurance, LLC or sole proprietor?, how to collect sales tax, what my pricing structure should be, who should make my logo, what kind of logos do I even like?, is anyone going to even call me when I actually want money for this?
And THEN, on top of all that, people are constantly telling you “You’ll never make money doing this”, “The market is already way too saturated with photographers” or “Why leave a good job you already have?”. It’s enough to make a girl (or guy) crazy!
If you are a newbie photographer, or thinking you might like to be one, you’ll enjoy this “Getting Started” Series where we’ll cover lots of the hurdles new photographers face, and how you can clear those hurdles without doing too many face-plants! (ouch!)
Part 1 – MAKE A PLAN
My husband loves to make to-do lists. I used to make fun of him, and then I realized he was really on to something! (I figured that out after I forgot something one too many times!) Now, he teases me for having meal plans for an entire week at a time! Writing things down is POWERFUL. There’s something about putting words in ink that makes you commit to it. Okay, it doesn’t magically happen, but suddenly, you’re on the hook to do it!
When I first decided I was going pro, I made not only a to-do list to get my business open, but a goal list as well. I now have two cork boards on either side of my calendar where I update those lists weekly! Deciding to open a business is a big commitment and one you want to put a lot of thought into! Make a list of things you need “to-do”: registering your business name, opening a sales tax withholding account, building a website, printing business cards, etc. – these are all things you must do to be a legitimate business.
Your “goal list” is for items you’d like to see happen, but aren’t required to do before opening. Things like “Drop off marketing to local doctor’s offices by March 30th” or “Get 200 likes on my Facebook page by April 15th” are great examples of specific, measurable goals that you can aim for.
Having a plan gives you direction for where you are going and helps you stay on task when you see lots of shiny things on Facebook that you don’t need to buy yet. (Like that $2,000 lens that would be super cool but is NOT in your start-up budget!)
Speaking of start-up budget, check back in for the next part of our series when we talk about how to keep from breaking the bank to get your business going! Click here to download a free business bundle here at Pretty Presets. It includes: Daily Tasks, Weekly Planner, Monthly Planner, Brainstorming and Ideas and a Order Sheet.
View the other posts in this series:
Shannan Painter is a newbie photographer who has spent the last 5 years working with the left side of her brain helping small businesses organize their accounting and taxes. She decided to take the big step and pursue her dream of becoming a professional photographer in 2013 after adding a third boy to her house that was already full of super heroes, trucks, and sports equipment. She and her husband, who is a local TV meteorologist, play pick-up games of basketball in their free time and like to take road trips to Lake Minnetonka with all 3 boys, and their dog Growler. Visit her on Facebook!