As you all know, this is the time of year where you look back and asses the past 12 months of your life.
What were some of the highlights? Mistakes? Lessons learned? Then, from all of that, you formulate some resolutions for the new year.
To be honest with you, I have never actually made a new years resolution for myself. It would probably be a good practice for me to start doing on a personal level. But, I always make sure to set resolutions and goals for my photography business at the start of the year.
This time of year also coincides with your photography business slowing down in-between seasons. It is the perfect time to do an assessment of what you have learned and what you plan to do moving forward.
To help get the ball moving, here are two important questions you should ask yourself about your photography business:
Where is your business currently at?
Where do you want your business to be by the end of the year?
This will help paint a picture of what direction you plan to take your business. In addition, I have listed below some more in-depth questions for you to ask about your photography business to make sure you have a good idea of how to achieve the goals for your business:
Do you have any legal loose-ends to tie up?
I’ve been over this lots of times before, however it is such a vital piece to your photography business. Are you using the correct legal forms and documents to fully protect your business? Do you want to make a switch from a Sole Proprietor to a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)? What about finding adequate insurance for your business?
If you are unsure if you are missing any key elements to running a legal business and making sure you are protected, check out my post on starting a photography business.
Is your pricing where you want it to be?
This seems like the obvious topic photographers cover at the beginning of each year. I know I do!
How do you know that your pricing needs to change, whether it is an increase or even a decrease? Or maybe it is just a complete restructuring of your pricing? Did you fail to make a profit last year?
For an easy way to restructure your pricing and always ensure you are making a profit, check out my Photography Pricing Workbooks to help you out!
If you are unsure about whether or not to raise your prices, make sure to head over and read my post on signs it is time to raise your photography prices. Those signs work the opposite way, as well. If you cannot identify with many or all of the signs to raise your photography prices, you should keep your prices the same or possibly lower them.
What major purchases will you make?
While it is probably most effective tax-wise to make big, expensive purchases before the end of the year, you should also make a plan for the year of your big purchases. This is mostly due to figuring the amount into your budget and pricing. It will prevent you from making spontaneous purchases and overspending, therefore putting you in the red. Whereas, if you know exactly what you plan to spend, you can factor that into your time and pricing.
Whether it is upgrading equipment, a new lens, or a workshop, these are all purchases that should be considered at the start of a new year for your business.
What is your marketing plan for the year?
A few years ago, I visited a very generic and impersonal Sandy Puc workshop when they made a stop here in Minnesota. I honestly didn’t get much out of it, although it didn’t cost me much anyway. One of the main take-aways for me was the fact that her studio plans out their entire year of promotions and advertising at the start of the year. Basically, what specials/deals are they running each month and how are they getting the word out about them.
What about your brand and product packaging? Is it time for a logo change?
While you may not do planning to the extent a big studio would do, it is still good practice to at least roughly plot out your marketing plan for the year. This plan will fit into your photography business’ budget, as well as take the weight off your shoulders during your busier times of the year.
Are there workflow changes you need to implement?
Whether you see an obvious improvement to make your workflow more efficient or you want to implement something new, this is the time to assess if, when, and how you will make that change.
On a side note, I am in the process of coming up with a new and easy-to-use workflow tool for your photography business. Make sure to Like The Photographer’s Dream House on Facebook or Subscribe to the Newsletter so you don’t miss out when it launches!
Are there new products you want to offer?
Maybe sometime during the previous year, you saw a new product wiz by on Facebook or you pinned a cool product to your Pinterest board. You were simply too busy at the time to implement it into your product line-up. Well, now is the perfect time of year to do it!
To make pricing your new products and building new product packages easier, definitely take a peek at my Photography Pricing Workbooks to make this process smoother.
What about goals for your photography business?
- Do you have plans for any special photography projects?
- What major goal(s) do you want to reach as a photographer?
- What major goal(s) do you want your photography business to reach?
Make sure you follow these goals and resolutions!
How do you make sure you keep on top of these goals and resolutions and really follow through throughout the year? Here are some pointers to help you out!
- Write (or type) them out and put them somewhere you’ll see them on a regular basis.
- Make your goals and resolutions realistic and specific. For instance, you would like to do 15 more high school senior sessions this year or make an extra $200 in average print sales per session.
- Share them with a peer that will help you stay on track. You can help them as well!
What’s Your New Year’s Resolution(s) for your photography business?
Another way to help you stay on track is to share your goals and resolutions publicly. So, share yours below in a comment!
I’m still working on mine for this year, otherwise I would post them. With just having a new baby, things are a little crazy, busy, and hectic around here. 🙂