Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't tell me it's a "Down Economy!"

I regret not posting a lot on this blog over the busy summer. I had a ton of senior and wedding business, and it's just now slowing down to the point where I can reflect and post on it.

It's been a busy year for our part-time photography business. We exceeded our business goals for weddings and seniors, and have almost exceeded the 2009 business plan, and it's only November 1st. We have a strong backlog for next year already.The business has remained debt-free, we upgraded out equipment and have a good war chest for the winter and next year.

We have remained active in many of the charitable organizations that we support, and have donated several sessions for charity auctions.

And in the middle of all that, I had a heart attack.

So I'm slowing down a bit, and watching my physical exertion, as well as changing my diet. But I'm not backing off of the business. I'm blogging about my cardiac recovery at my Round 2 blog.

Our company is not feeling the "Down Economy." We have lots of inquiries and considerable bookings from them. Yes, some people are shopping based on price, but I don't mind losing some of my consults to someone who is cheaper. The customer will get exactly what they pay for. I'll be raising my prices this winter, and I'm confident we'll be getting more business, both from word-of-mouth, and from our web presence, which attracts now more than 50% of our calls.

I know we're not too expensive. we have many customers ordering the high-end packages, and we get very few comments about the pricing being too high. In fact, some of our customers and potentials tell me that we're quite affordable.

Don't let the media fool you into thinking you can't make money in this economy. I know we could easily double or triple our revenue if we were full time. There are market segments that we could tap into tomorrow that would greatly raise our business level. We are not pursuing them now because, as a part time business, I need to manage my workload to stay sane (and healthy).

If you are a new or potential photographer, get out there and generate awareness and business. It's not hard - but you will have to put the camera down and work on business and marketing plans and other "not so fun" stuff. But it's worth it. If you can run a business that goes head to head with the "big studios", and you can offer more value and more creative solutions then they offer, you will win some customers...probably enough for you to grow at a pace that is debt-free and comfortable for you.
And get a checkup!

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