Photography Business is one of those business that are easy to start and operate from home. In fact the majority of world famous photographers like Steve Mccruy, Henry Cartier and James Natchey have built successful careers in photography while working from home. If you are planning to run a home based photography business, you are in great company.
The major disadvantage of running a home based photography business, rather than renting a place in town is you will miss out on walk in customers. In this article I will show you how to overcome that challenge and beat your competition.
10. Basics things to do before starting a Home based photography business
- Write a business plan
- Get a Physical address. It gives you credibility.
- Talk to your accountant. Just because you will be running your business from home does not exempt your from paying taxes.
- Have your hardware ready. You will require a camera, lighting and various other items.
- Get the right software.
- Study the local market and the competition.
- Pick a business name.
- Have a domain name and a website
- Have marketing materials. Flyers, Business cards and headed letter are important
- Advertise on local dailies and magazines.
Writing a Business Plan for a Home Based Photography Business
Photography business is a competitive industry and think the best way to have a good crack of it is not try and do everything but to specialize. Various niches are wedding photography, portrait photography, birth photography, pictures of young children or high school graduates. Your choice will depend on your market, competition, skills and passion.
Your written business plan doesn’t need to be fancy, a rough business plan with the basics will be more than enough to meet your goals for your business. A business plan can be drafted by a qualified business coach or you can do it yourself. Look online for templates/ samples to guide you in drafting a workable business plan.
A business plan includes everything from what you will charge for your photographs, to your finances, and marketing strategies.
Setting up your Home Based studio or office
It is important to remember first impressions count. Prospective clients will judge you by the appearance of your home office. If it is sloppy they might think you are sloppy in your work. So make an effort to keep the work area sparkling clean at all times, even when you are alone, you never know when a client might decide to walk in.
The essential areas of home office is a reception area where you meet clients and your work station where you review prints and conduct other in image processing business. The reception area should include at least a large table and at minimum two extra seats for prospective customers.
When you set up your space to start a photography business, keep in mind the services you’re planning on offering. The reception area of someone who plans to work primarily with weddings will be very different for someone doing headshots for aspiring models and actors, for example.
Studio for a Home Based Photographer
Setting up a studio is not cheap but worry not. If you don’t have the funds to equip a studio, you can still shoot outside or on location.
Cost and Expenses of Setting up a Home Based Photography Business
The start up capital for a photo business is very little. You just need a basic camera and you are ready to go. But for you to have a thriving successful biz I will advice you to spend some money in furnishing a descent home office with a desk, chairs and most importantly spend money in setting a website, marketing materials and adverting. The cost of buying furniture can be reduced by buying from a yard sale or timing your purchase at a time when stores are having a clearance sale. As for adverting the business, don’t make a mistake of seeing it as unnecessary expense, it is what keeps the big companies like Nike and Coca cola as market leaders. Remember this quote “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark”
Finding Customers & Marketing a Home Based Photography Business
When you have set up your office, equipment and you are ready for business, you’ll want to let the world know you are available for their photography needs.The trick in finding customers is to know where your potential customers hang out. Which magazine/newspapers do they read? which websites do they visit? answers to these question will help you razor target them.
To reach users of internet learn to use tools such as Google Adwords and Facebook Marketing.
Have you name included in the local business directory. You can never go wrong by advertising in the classified pages of your local paper. Other low-cost marketing strategies include, flyers, referral and press release
Setting up a Website for your business.
In the old days having a physical mailing addresses was a must because that was the only way to reach people. Today a lot of things happen online. People looking for photographers will use Google rather than flip through a businesses directory. A website will have your contact details and samples of your best work.
All the best