A Wedding Photographer’s Business Plan For Growth
When you first thought about how to get into photography and how to start a photography business, you may have considered hiring an assistant. Once you attempt hiring one, you may realize it is time-consuming to teach someone all of the knowledge you have about your business, and your stress is still high. So how do you find a way to make your business scalable where you can work ON your business rather than IN it?
This involves streamlining operations, automating tasks, and delegating responsibilities to ensure consistent growth and long-term success. Here, we share examples of how to become scalable in your wedding photography business and provide insights on creating an effective plan that will set you on the path to achieving your business goals and dreams.
“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn how to delegate.”
– John. C Maxwell
DETERMINE THE TASKS ONLY YOU CAN DO
Just like you have a wedding photography checklist to ensure you know all your responsibilities for the wedding day, create a list of all your tasks. Make sure to take some time with this and write out everything that you do. This list should be as detailed as possible to be effective. Planning for growth involves creating the systems ahead of time to sustain it. Document every step that is involved in each process so you have a thorough list of everything that goes into your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. This includes small tasks you work on and the large projects that take more of your time.
Being as detailed as possible gives you the opportunity to determine what steps are actually necessary to complete certain tasks and which steps can be eliminated. Try to make each task as streamlined as possible – remember, wedding photographers who spend less time working on tasks can dedicate that time to shooting!
“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.”
– Richie Norton
Once you have refined and simplified your process, it is essential to determine which tasks require you to complete and which can be delegated to others. If every step requires you, your wedding photography business cannot easily grow. As you work through this process, try to make a list of things that only you can do in your business. These are the items that take your priority.
In one of our previous guides that focuses on how to succeed in your photography business, we discussed how prioritizing your tasks is key to achieving success in your photography business. For the success of your wedding photography business, follow the steps listed below would be to:
- List the 25 most important things for you to do for your business to succeed.
Review each item and circle the top five that are most important to achieve your goal.
- Avoid everything else that is not on your five most important list.
Once you have mastered these five items, you can move on to the next five. Remember, there will always be something you can do for your business, but focusing on the most important tasks is what will ultimately lead to success.
Suggested Read: 5 Steps To Take When Starting A Portrait Photography Business
BRING IN HELP
To prevent feeling overworked and stressed, you must have a plan for your wedding photography business, especially when it comes to hiring people. As your plan is developed and you have identified the tasks that only you can do, make a list of items that can be done by others.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs
While it can be hard to let go of tasks and trust someone else to do them, this is a crucial part of your business plan in order to grow. Whether it be an in-house assistant or an external partner, you must delegate tasks that are not worth your time. The key to this step is bringing in the RIGHT help.
As you grow and the demands for your time also increase, a specialist can help you deliver the best results to your clients while helping you stay creative. You specialize in wedding photography; you have a niche, vision, and brand built around your passions. Remember that, just like wedding photographers, companies and people that have chosen a specialty have that same level of passion and expertise in their chosen field.
They have spent time training in these specialties, and, chances are, they are better at it than you are. More importantly, they can partner with you to make your business faster and more efficient, which leads to growth. For example, by outsourcing your wedding photography post-production to ShootDotEdit, you will optimize the speed of your post-shoot workflow. It can be hard to let go but give yourself permission to trust others with your business.
“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.” – David Ogilvy
Suggested Read: Tips On How To Build Wedding Photography Portfolio
Decide Which Tasks to Delegate
Bringing outside specialists into your wedding photography business to help you execute your growing list of tasks can save you time, prevent headaches, and even improve the areas where your output isn’t the best. So now your question is, “What do I outsource?” The answer for many wedding photographers is:
- Outsource the things you can’t do yourself
Outsource the things you don’t enjoy doing
- Outsource the things that others can do for less than it costs you to do
Things you cannot do yourself could be tasks like accounting or bookkeeping. Certain tasks that you do not enjoy could be editing wedding photos, designing albums, blogging, or selling prints. As a wedding photographer, some of those items are just not your favorite, and that’s okay! Not all wedding photography business owners have to enjoy those tasks. Additionally, those are also items on your plate that others can do for less than it costs you to do. In the end, you have to think about how much it costs you in money and in time. Your time is valuable and needs to be split properly to ensure you achieve the goals you set.
The post-production portion of your post-wedding workflow takes an enormous amount of time (and money). Spending time editing photos means that there is less time to learn how to market your photography business to ideal clients or find out how to start a photography blog where you can share more about yourself and your images. With wedding photography editing on your plate, there is also less time to absorb knowledge for how to become a good photographer through advancing your skills. Other things that fall off your radar when you are sitting in front of the computer are posting on social media, meeting clients, or networking with vendors.
A specialist can take wedding photo editing off your plate and can eliminate hours from your workflow (and ultimately, prevent headaches and reduce stress). Not only is there a professional editing service, like ShootDotEdit, available, but there are other specialists for tasks like album and website design and blogging. Trusting others with your tasks doesn’t have to be limited to your business tasks; you can also reach out for help with your household tasks. Any tasks you can take off your plate by trusting a specialist is one less thing you have to worry about.
When you eliminate the tasks on your plate that take too much of your time, make you unhappy, or cost you, you can then focus on the tasks you are good at and you LOVE. These include taking pictures, meeting with clients, building your brand, or networking with vendors. Not only are these tasks you enjoy but they are also valuable and can help you increase your income.
With increased income, you can work toward new goals and desires. You can start thinking about the things you’ve always wanted to do for your business but haven’t had the time for, including updating your website, adding to your wedding photography contracts, creating photography business cards, or even building a photography business plan template to use annually (that way, you can save time each year and only make necessary adjustments).
You can also work toward a plan to expand your business. Whether you add associate photographers or provide wedding photography tips for photographers through photography articles, webinars, or workshops, an increase in profit (and time) allows you to think about other projects outside of the time-consuming, monotonous ones.
Suggested Read: Professional Photo Editing: Why Outsource As A Beginner
The main point here is you will have less on your plate once you delegate your tasks. With fewer tasks to distract you, you can focus on what you get paid to do – be a photographer – without other obligations getting in the way. Focusing on your role as a photographer (rather than spending all your time on bookkeeping, wedding photo edits, or album design) as well as the tasks that require you is a quick way to increase demand for your business. With growth, you can raise your wedding photography prices, bring in more income, and expand as you desire (as mentioned above).
The other tasks on your plate that do not need your attention can be assigned to an employee or outsourced to an expert. You can work with them to establish a healthy rapport as they work effectively toward your business’s progression. Keep in mind that when you plan for growth, you plan for your wedding photography business’s sustainability. Have direction and strategically plan the steps to reach your business goals.
A well-crafted wedding photographer's business plan is the foundation for long-term success and growth in the competitive world of wedding photography. It's no secret that achieving success demands hard work, dedication, and strategic planning. By mastering your systems, streamlining operations, automating tasks, and delegating responsibilities, you can foster rapid growth and expansion beyond your wildest dreams and focus on doing what you love – taking stunning photographs.
At ShootDotEdit, we offer expert photo editing services tailored for professional wedding photographers. Additionally, we share valuable tips and strategies to help you grow and succeed in your photography business. To learn more about how we can help you grow your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.