How To Start A Photography Business
Make a Business Plan.Your business plan will help you decide what your goals are, who your market is and what your operation costs will be. You’ll need to start by deciding what kinds of clients you’d like to cater to. Who is your ideal client? Ask yourself:
- What type of person you want to market to
- Where he or she lives
- How much money he or she makes or is looking to spend
- What his or her interests are
- What his or her tastes are
- Your business’s products and services
- Why your clients need your services
- The structure of your business
- Your marketing strategy
- Your anticipated revenue and marketing costs
Choose a Business Structure.Your business structure will determine what paperwork you need to file to start your business and pay taxes, as well as your personal level of liability. Choose from one of these three business structures:
- Sole proprietor. Though easiest in terms of tax filing and business licensing, you’ll also be personally liable should anyone sue you.
- LLC. This slightly more complex business structure offers you more personal legal protection, and may not complicate your taxes much if you’re the only person involved.
- C-Corps and S-Corps. You probably don’t need to become a corporation to run a small photography business, but it might be advantageous depending on your situation.
Choose a Business Name.Choose a business name that’s unique and easy to remember, but that hasn’t been trademarked by anyone else yet. It’s a good idea to protect your name with a trademark. Buy your domain name, and set up social media accounts on all the major sites as soon as you have chosen your business name. You don’t need to do anything with these accounts just yet, but you should establish them as soon as possible.
Get Equipped.The final step in establishing your photography business is getting your equipment. You’ll need cameras and camera accessories, editing software, studio equipment, computer equipment and more. Make sure you have backup storage both on and offsite. Establish relationships with professional printing labs and album creation sites. Establish a web present and get business cards, packaging materials and rack cards. Now you’re ready to start working with your first photography clients! Treat each client like they’re your most important client, no matter how much or how little they spend, and you’ll soon find your small photography business thriving.
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