• 04-03-2008, 01:50 PM
    adina
    Business plan ~ do you have one?
    Okay, for those of you who are actually supporting yourself, either partially or completely, with photography, do you have a business plan?

    This is what I'm working on right now (will post with my ramblings on my life later) but I was wondering who's using one, how'd you get started, how is it helping...so on so forth.

    Share with me! Please!
  • 04-03-2008, 05:45 PM
    drg
    Re: Business plan ~ do you have one?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by adina
    Okay, for those of you who are actually supporting yourself, either partially or completely, with photography, do you have a business plan?

    This is what I'm working on right now (will post with my ramblings on my life later) but I was wondering who's using one, how'd you get started, how is it helping...so on so forth.

    Share with me! Please!

    Yes, several business plans. Really. They evolve over time.

    Specifically, there is a statement of intent (or business) that addresses the nature, type, and scope of the business.

    "A commercial business specializing in technical photography and providing related photographic, imaging, and design services to contract clients".

    I do privately take portraits, weddings, senior pictures on a case-by-case basis. For friends and by recommendation. That is separated from the other business. Any commission, fine art, or contest work as an individual is also kept separated for many reasons ethical, legal and professional.

    Secondly the business plans looks at monthly, quarterly and yearly activities (along with various financial considerations) and expresses details regarding goals and the minimum 'keep the doors open' necessities and requirements. The 'plan' can address operations (office space, staffing, utilities), legal requirements (like liability), and both what the business does and also does not do to generate income. i.e. I don't sell film or photographic supplies. I sell services.
    This is why I keep 'fine art' and commissions separate as that is a different nature of sale.

    If you are going to 'transfer' personal items (like cameras) state clearly that the new business will be purchasing the equipment as part of its start up needs. And actually borrow the money, write a check from the business to yourself, and leave the money alone for awhile for an emergency. You'll have one. Then be sure that the camera (or whatever) is really used for 'business'. Buy yourself another camera for personal use. Start from the beginning in separating personal and business. It is like a 'work' wardrobe. There are suits, work pants, protective gear, etc. that I save for when I need it. If I need to go to a 'dress-up' meeting or event, that black suit is ready (I've got two).

    I've worked in, run, and started or helped start a lot of different variations of business including some not very closely aligned with photos or imaging and there are lots of similarities in business plas as to day to day operations, when the business is targeted to show a profit, when investors (including banks that make loans) will be partially/fully reimbursed, etc.

    One part of a business plan that is overlooked or is discouraged by some is an exit strategy. This is not a policy statement about employees, this is a decision made initially to say, "O.K. this isn't working, now what?". It can be a statement "If the business XYZ is not showing a consistent quarterly profit in 42 months, a quarterly reevaluation of opertional continuation must be implemented to determine if additional funding should be obtained", it can be simple like "The business will close if not profitable after 3 years". This can be very important.

    The business plan concept is really to get down on paper a coherent set of goals, concepts, and examine the responsibilities and requirements of starting and being 'in business'.

    SCORE (Service Core of Retired Execs), the SBA, most commercial banks or divisions of banks, and even some law firms offer tremendous help in what you will really need to consider to put into the 'plan'.

    These plans often are required to obtain a business loan and to establish a line of credit. The lending institution may have a format of what they need in the plan (along with financials, balance sheets, etc).

    A mentor, a small business consultant, taking 'starting your own business 101 at the local CC or branch of UW, or just reading one of the multitude of "How to start your own Business" are all great starts or things to have tucked in your back pocket.

    Once you get your 'personal guide' (business plan) together and running, then you can work at what you want (making pictures) and know ahead of time that for example, the weekly books are going to need to be done, and not worry about it. So they take 3 hours, well, charge somebody.

    As time and work evolves you may need to add to or amend the original to be able to know if you are staying on task.

    That's a subjective start. What else do you want to know?
  • 04-06-2008, 10:44 AM
    adina
    Re: Business plan ~ do you have one?
    Thank you!

    I've been doing some reading, and have found some software that helps you write one.

    Technically, I'm in business, have been since early 2005. However, I've just been taking things as they come, and sort of drifting as needed. Now, due to space constraints, and what I like to call my early mid-life crisis, everything has been tossed up in the air, and I'm trying to catch what I want to save, and drop what I don't need. Have been tossing around school, studio space, whathaveyou. Both big commitments, and both need a plan. I've been working on the school end, and am trying to work on the photography end as well. Once I have a clearer picture of the next 4-6 years for both, I need to make some decisions.

    Thank you! This is a great start, I appreciate it.
  • 03-24-2009, 10:58 PM
    stabasit
    Re: Business plan ~ do you have one?
    Hi all,
    Writing a business plan for small businesses requires you to focus on following points:

    1. Industry Analysis
    2. Marketing Plan
    3. Marketing Strategy
    4. Marketing Mix
    5. Operational Plan
    6. Financial Plan and many other

    It is essential to provide complete details and analysis of your business to make it attractive for financial institutions like banks for obtaining loans. In my opinion, best solution is to hire a professional or a service provider who can write a custom business plan, according to the needs and requirement of your business. A professional writer or a service provider is a better option then writing a plan on your own because they posses expertise in the field, takes less time, and are more productive then any other. One of few expert business plan service providers is iSource Biz; we cover all aspects of business such as Business Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, Business Reports, and Business Presentations as per your business needs.
    Please visit:
    http://www.isourcebiz.com/BusinessWr...inessplan.aspx
  • 03-26-2009, 10:16 AM
    Ultra Magnus
    Re: Business plan ~ do you have one?
    See, all that crap posted up there? It's exactly the reason why I've never seriously entertained the idea of going into any business. No matter how much you may love doing a thing, there's a point where all that legal bureaucratic bs will eventually suck the fun right out of it.

    Maybe someday I'll change my opinion, but for now, I'll punch a clock, collect a paycheck, and let my employer deal with all that crap.

    BM
  • 04-16-2009, 05:58 AM
    Asylum Steve
    Re: Business plan ~ do you have one?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by adina
    do you have a business plan? I was wondering who's using one, how'd you get started, how is it helping...so on so forth...

    Adina, there are only two reasons to have a formal business plan. One, to give yourself a direction for your career and an organized strategy towards becoming more successful (and profitable). And two, to get financing...

    To answer your question, no, I have never had one, at least not in the precise and professional way needed to approach banks, lenders, or investors.

    I hate the business end to all of this. I'm very sloppy with it. Just a guess, but that's probably the reason I'm always broke and heavily in debt... :cryin:

    I'm trying to change things and make that a priority for me now as well, because I cannot continue to do things the same way I've done in the past... :cool: