As creatives and business owners, it’s hard to accept help in our business. We can feel like it’s cheating our clients when we aren’t hands-on with every image we shoot – from start to finish.
But when your time is limited, it’s not always possible to be involved in every detail – from start to finish. When you reach that point, the best thing you can do for your clients, business, and craft might actually be partnering with a specialist who will help you deliver the best results to your clients, while also enabling you to stay creative.
You’re not at your best when you’re maxed out on time and running on empty. Trying to manage every aspect of your business likely means longer turnaround times for your clients and sacrificing on client service. By partnering with specialists who help manage particular areas of your business, you’ll find the focus you need to be successful.
Here are a few areas that are prime candidates for entrusting to a partner:
• Post-Production (Of course!)
• Image Fulfillment
• Studio Management
The first step in setting your business up for success using partners is to give yourself permission to do it. You may be accustomed to trying to manage everything yourself, so it’s a paradigm shift to trust specialists to manage various aspects of your business.
But you’re not the only one who will reap the benefits of working with specialists to manage certain areas of your business. Here are three people who will not only give you their permission but will also thank you for partnering with a specialist:
1. Your Client
Your client is giving you permission to partner with a specialist for two reasons. When you work with an editing partner to do the bulk of the heavy lifting, your clients see the benefit of getting their images faster (which makes them very happy).
But time isn’t the only benefit your clients see first-hand when you work with a specialist. There’s also a chance that there are other people who can perform tasks in your business better than you can (gasp!). When you bring those partners into your business, your clients enjoy the benefit. Just as your client trusts YOU to be their photography specialist, you can trust a partner to be your specialist in specific areas. It’s like creating custom cabinetry for your home – you play an important role in envisioning the final result, but a specialist can help you make your vision come to life efficiently and beautifully! It’s the best of both worlds: a superior product in less time.
2. Your Bank Account
Ok, so your bank account isn’t actually a person but nonetheless, it will reap the benefits when you partner with a specialist. Outsourcing aspects of business that don’t directly make you money allows you to focus your time and brainpower on the parts of your business that do make you money! By entrusting others with tasks that aren’t increasing your bottom line, you’ll have more free time to build new industry relationships, talk to leads on the phone, or work on marketing materials – activities that directly increase your profits.
In addition to allowing you to focus on profit-generating tasks, outsourcing also allows you to enlist help that can scale your business without having to hire additional in-house staff.
The time you save on every project by partnering with outside resources will give you more capacity to bring on new clients without having to hire additional staff, which increases your profit margin and the balance in your bank account (making you and your bank account very happy.)
3. Your Hobbies & Loved Ones
As a small business owner, you’re well aware that your time is a finite resource. Every hour you spend on your business is time not spent outside of work doing personal things you love – with the people you love! No matter how much you love shooting, working with images, and running your business, the reality is that you’re on a path to burnout if you don’t take time away from work to do other things that you love. Being stuck at your computer for countless hours is only sustainable for a short time. So it’s up to you to get a long-term plan for managing the demands of running your business, while still living a life you love outside of work. Trust us, your loved ones (and your dog) will thank you!
If you’re ready to scale back on the tasks that don’t make you money and can be done by someone else, it’s time to find some trusted partners who can help you. If you’re not quite ready, here are a few more cases for making the transition to partnering with a specialist: