Constantly scrutinizing the prices you set for your business is a must for your success. In the competitive and ever-changing photography industry, setting the proper pricing for your products and services can help increase your overall profit and continue to grow your business. A common problem with wedding photographers is not charging the correct amount to make a profit at the end of the year. Is this something you have experienced? Even if you have pricing your clients love, you have to make sure you are profiting at the end of the day. If you are not paying yourself properly, how can you continue growing your business?
One of the first things you must do is look at your business and the goals you desire to meet by the end of the year. Even after you write out your financial goals for the year, how do you know if you are still charging too little? We have a few questions you should ask yourself to discover whether you chose the best prices for your photography business.
Are you including your time?
As you sat down to write out all of your current expenses, did you factor in your time? Knowing the prices of your products and services is very important to your pricing model, but your time is valuable and should be accounted for.There are many parts of your job, including prep, drive, and wait time that take up much of your workflow and need to be included in your prices. If you do not include your time into your prices, you are not paying yourself for the work you do. Think of yourself as an employee who needs to have a paycheck to continue being profitable. If you were in a different occupation, and you were clocking in and out, your time would be tracked fully.
Are you discounting your services?
If you noticed less clients were booking you at your current prices, did you begin to discount some of your products and services? Originally, you set these prices for a reason (most likely because it helped your overall profit). Discounting them not only decreases your value, but also takes away from the profit you will make this year for your business. If you are discounting your products and services, you are missing out on money you should be making to help your profit for the year.
Are you outsourcing your tasks?
Once the weddings start piling up on your calendar and your tasks become overwhelming, are you outsourcing to partners who can help? In today’s photography industry, you should outsource as much as you can to help you focus on being the owner of your business. Using a photo editing company or an album design company assists you in eliminating hours from your workflow. But, if you are not making enough to cover outsourcing, you may miss out on eliminating non profit-generating tasks which take your attention away from meeting new clients.
Also, if you are not outsourcing, you may also be unable to hire on additional help for your other day-to-day items, such as someone for accounting, scheduling, and other tasks you do not need to be handling every day. Properly pricing for your business means you can let go of the tasks that should be outsourced and worked on by others. You can then start working on the parts of your business which will assist you in increasing your profit.
Are you including other expenses?
When you decided how much you wanted to make, did you include how much it costs to run your business, shoot weddings and other events, create marketing campaigns, and the additional expenses you have? These are important expenses to document and prepare for, so you do not lose additional income if something unexpected comes up later in the year you were not expecting.
As you make a list of what you do as photographer and business owner, ensure you write down everything (even the things you may not assume are important to your financial plan). If an engagement session requires you to drive, pay for parking, and use your gear and time, those are important factors to include. When you shoot the wedding day, are you accounting for the prep time, how many hours you attended the event, and the assistant or second shooter you brought along? Also, creating a marketing campaign can be expensive and time-consuming. Create a specific plan which includes how much money and time you will need to dedicate to the process. The more detailed you are in your plan, the easier it will be to know exactly where you will stand by the end of the year.
Understanding the prices you need to be charging, and implementing them into your business, can help you increase your overall profit for the year. Once you start profiting each year, you can start to take on additional projects and bookings for your business. Download our Pricing Calculator for Wedding Photographers to find out right now if you are charging too little. If you are, make the changes necessary to create a profitable and successful business!