Opening a business with potential for growth

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Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 4:49 pm
For all women out there who run successful businesses, help me brainstorm.

I run a successful business. I'll give details and post anonymously, to enable me to get more accurate advice. I'm a photographer. I started out 6 years ago, and specialize in photographing newborns in a more lifestyle setting, as well as outdoor family pictures during the summer months. Right now, my pricing is on the higher end. I specialize in selling large art pieces, and heirloom print products, so the amount a client spends can vary greatly, but they all spend a lot (willingly, if I may add, before I get bashed for overcharging!), and I have made just over $120k net profit from June 2021 to May 2022.

I know that it's a very good take home wage for the photography industry, but honestly, I'm stuck now. I do 2 sessions a week, which means approximately 40 hours of work in total. It's lot of hours to work, for this money. I live in the tri-state area, and with living costs rising rapidly, I do not see how my business has potential for growth. I've tried employing girls to help me with social media, admin, editing, etc, but it never worked out. The nature of my work is very personal and specific, and as soon as I delegate, my clients get frustrated.

If I'd employ more photographers and run franchises, I'm afraid I'd ruin my brand. I'm familiar with photographers who have done this in the past and ruined their reputation.

Does this mean that the only way I can earn more is by significantly raising my prices? I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. I'm from the more expensive ones out there already. Is it wrong to want to earn more money? I have a large family to support.

If I were to switch tracks, and start a new business venture, which option would give me the option of one day, taking a step back, work less, and let the income grow. I'm not throwing my business out any time soon. The point of this post is more to springboard a discussion on the nature of businesses, frum women can expect a high rate of success, and most importantly, income that keeps growing.
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Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 5:00 pm
Can you explain 2 sessions = 40 hours?
I understand that the quality loses your personal touch when you delegate. I think the only way you can grow would be to specialize in another type of photography like girls graduation/yearbook pictures and at the time you begin with the new venture you can train someone who will learn your techniques and assist you.
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Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 5:02 pm
If each 1 hour session leaves you with 19 hours of editing, you need to start delegating the behind the scenes editing.
The way to make sure your personal touch is there, is to train someone in from the ground up. At the beginning that may mean 19 hours x 2 for both your time and the trainee's time as you do it together. That's ok.
Eventually you'll be able to take on more than 2 sessions a week.
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Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 5:12 pm
Fellow photog here.

To the poster who said a one hour session entrails 19 hours of editing, OMG! What about?

Speaking to inquiries who don’t book

Helping clients plan wardrobe

Helping clients choose their favorite images and how they want their products

Ordering the products

Checking each page of every album, and all wall art, for errors

Communicating with clients to pick up their art



Continuing education

Gear maintenance

Etc etc

OP, look into Megan Dipiero’s classes. Lots of people in her group have regular 10k sales. Nothing wrong with raising your prices and earning more $ with less work!
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Rubber Ducky


Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 5:29 pm
I agree with Amother DarkBlue that training an assistant from the ground up is a possible way to increase sales.

In my own business (kitchen design, residential planning, and cabinet sales) I delegate measuring and accounting (nepotism at work here — my adult son does the measuring and DH is a CPA). This gives me more time to concentrate on working with clients one-on-one and with the actual design work.

Are there different "packages" you could offer — perhaps a more elite tier? (I am not a photographer so am not sure what that would be.)
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Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 6:16 pm
If clients got frustrated from the ppl you hired then you didn’t hire the right ppl.

There are great photo editors out there and there’s no reason you should be doing it all yourself.

Scheduling and coordinating with clients and potential clients can all be done by an admin asst.
bookkeeping should be delegated- I assume you have a good system in place and it shouldn’t be hard to give that over.

I was hired by a photographer in a similar position to you and I was able to be trained and learned his voice and how he liked to deal with clients and I took over basically everything from once he made the sale to scheduling a viewing. This was a wedding photographer (lol you probably know him.) Others were doing editing and album design and I coordinated that as well. If you find the right person you’ll hit gold.

Your goal should be The most you can so you can spend time on what you do best- doing actual photo shoots!
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