Let’s be real: owning your own business is HARD. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it – I’ve been running my own photography business for over 20 years and am just as in love with it now as I was back then! – but it isn’t the instant freedom and fun that a lot of people think it is. Without other people to guide and help, it’s up to YOU to diagnose problems, find solutions, and grow at the right pace.
So what exactly should you be looking for when you do a business check-up? What are the key signs and symptoms of a business in need of some major TLC? Here’s the big three that I always recommend photographers look for:
Your Effort and Income DON’T Align
You spend every weekend shooting.
You stay up ’til midnight retouching.
You check your email 24/7, even on vacation and holidays.
And after all of that, you check your accounts and realize you’re STILL not making a profit – and you might not even be breaking even. What gives?!
In my opinion, this is probably THE biggest sign that your business needs a major makeover. It might be your first instinct to up your work load, and it’s in our nature to think that we need to be doing more, but to run a successful photography business you need to have that perfect combination of shooting less but earning more.
Want the scoop on how to do just that? Check out some of my previous blogs, where I share my money-making secret that doesn’t require long hours at the studio and ten shoots a week: artwork sales!
- Positioning Yourself as a 6-Figure Photographer
- How to Hit Your Profit Goals
- Selling Newborn Photography as Artwork
You Start to Doubt If You Really Want This
No matter how many precautions you take, burnout is inevitable. Though it hits us all at one point or another, the key is making sure that burnout is something that doesn’t completely end your biz! But if you haven’t been taking the appropriate time to rest, recharge, AND re-evaluate what led to your burnout in the first place, you’ll never break the cycle.
Though there will be a small percentage of you who, when you step back and evaluate, really don’t want to continue in this business, I think the majority of us are actually seeking a better way to make the business work. Do you REALLY want to give up your lifelong goal of being a photographer, or do you just hate how long it takes you to retouch? Do you want to stop working with sweet newborns and fun families, or do you just wish you had a better way of running your sessions? Most of the time, doubt won’t be about the work itself, but about HOW that work is getting done. Which leads us to the final sign of a business that needs a makeover…
You Have Big Dreams, but Don’t Know How to Get There
Do you ever sit and wonder… what if?
What if I changed the types of sessions I offer? What if I invested in a studio space of my own instead of shooting on-location? What would happen if I changed my prices, or offered different products? Or even something small, like, what if I changed up my scheduling or invoicing workflow?
If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, big OR small, that’s a big ol’ sign to take the plunge! Although this is a sign that your business needs a makeover, it isn’t a negative thing at all. In fact, it’s a positive sign that you are growing and changing and are ready for your business to grow with you! A lot of people think they just want to reach a place of comfort, but where you’ll REALLY see your business take off is when you challenge yourself. Stepping outside of your comfortable box might seem high-risk, but I guarantee, it’s also high-reward!
So now that you know the signs and symptoms of a photography business in need of a major overhaul…. you’re probably hoping for the CURE. And I’ve got great news: I won’t leave you hanging! I’ve got SO. MANY. tools and tips for photographers just like you who are ready to cure burnout, make big business changes, and start working less but earning more. For now, here’s some great places to start:
- The Blog, full of free advice for your photography business, from lighting techniques to sales hacks to personal stories from yours truly
- The Shop, featuring digital products for you AND your clients, like Posing Guides and What to Wear Brochures
- Coaching Options, for new or seasoned photographers looking to grow their skills and focus on the details
AND, if you sign-up for my weekly newsletter, you’ll be the very first to know about my next big launch, coming in the new year. I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but it’s going to be just the thing to cure so many of your photography woes. Get on the list HERE!