One of the most important parts of your role as a wedding photography business owner is to create strategic plans to help you succeed throughout the year. But, sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly where to start and what you need to focus on. Here at ShootDotEdit, we provide wedding photography editing services to help free up your workflow to focus on more important items in your business – such as your business plan! To help you find success this year, we reached out to Matt and Carissa Kennedy of The International Academy of Wedding Photographers to gain their insights to help you with your business plan this year.
When I was a young adult, I worked in a financial firm with one of the top financial planners in our area. One of the things I valued most from that job was learning how to create a practical, solid business plan. Every year my boss would sit down with me to go through his business plan for the next year. We would look back at how that previous year went, then we would review our goals for the next year. At that time, it gave me an incredible amount of motivation to achieve the goals for the business, and it wasn’t even my business! Writing a business plan does not have to be an intimidating process! It is the chance to reflect and dream. Dream big! You may have shot 40 weddings last year or maybe you only photographed one or two. Either way, if you have the desire of making your photography an actual business, it is time to treat it like a REAL business.
Why take the time to write down what you are planning to do this year? Of course, you can still accomplish your goals without a plan, but that is like trying to get across the states without a roadmap. Having a business plan for your business, or even your personal life is like your road map. It gives you direction. It allows you to see your accomplishments or see where improvements need to be made.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream” – Dave Ramsay
In the Business Course at The Academy, we give our students a sample detailed business plan to work from and show them the areas that can be very helpful to include. They also submit their own personalized business plan for review. We do this because having a business plan is a great foundation for a business. Everyone can do this. Here are some great questions to start with.
1. What Do You Need to Do?
What are 5 things you need to do this year to call it successful?
– Book 10 wedding clients
– Improve turnaround time to 2 weeks
– Have 3,000 likes on Facebook
– Take every Friday off to be with my family
What has to happen this year for you?
2. What Are Your Financial Goals?
How much did you make last year? What is the minimum you need to make this year? What is your target goal financially? What is your ideal goal? Write them down! Keeping track of your financial goals can help you know what direction you need to take this year.
3. How Can You Achieve These Goals?
How are you going to achieve these goals? What is your marketing strategy?
You wrote out what things need to happen for it to be a successful year. Now, what steps do you need to take in order to make those happen?
– Book 10 weddings
– Focus on referrals by spoiling my clients with a quick turnaround, 2 thoughtful gifts during the planning process, and connecting points throughout the process
– Spoil vendors through personally meeting them on a regular basis, giving them images to work with, and giving them a sample album to use with their clients
NOW is the time! Look back at last year….what are you proud of? What things could you have done better? Then start dreaming….what do you want this year to look like? How are you going to make a difference this year in your business and with your family and friends? WRITE it down and don’t forget to review your business plan throughout the year to see your accomplishments and get re-focused!
What is the first thing you will do based on the tips listed above? Take the time to answer the questions and find out what your business needs to find success this year.