In this article we’re going to discuss business goals, why you need them and what you need to know in order to make educated decisions moving forward with your photography business.
It’s important not to skip this step, even if you already have a sound idea of what you business goals may be, because the key here is to take those ideas and get them down on paper so that you have a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve.
So, Why Are Goals Crucial To The Success Of Your Photography Business?
Goals play an vital role, they help to define not only what we are striving to achieve, but more importantly what success will look like once we’ve achieved it.
Without this basic understanding, we have no way of truly measuring the success of our endeavours and can easily lose sight of what we set out to achieve in the beginning.
By accurately describing your business goals will ensure the clarity essential for creating a roadmap that is going to get you where you want to go.
Roadmap & Process
This process is all about building the perfect photography business for you, your family and the lifestyle of your dreams which is why it’s important to outline your goals in detail, as this will help ensure that you create a business that works for you and not the other way around.
Don’t get me wrong you can make course corrections along the way but by improving the chances of success in advance will reduce any heartache in the future.
The system I am about to walk you through in this article is dependant on you taking imperfect action and completing the steps I have laid out for you. Each step you take will bring you that much closer to your goals which is the premise behind why you choose to read this article… am I correct?
So, now that we have established the importance of goals…
What Questions Should You Be Asking Of Yourself?
The list of questions I’m about to discuss with you will guide you through the process of outlining the objectives of your photography business.
- What is your motivation behind starting or running an existing photography business?
- How much time are you prepared to dedicate to your photography business?
- Do you want to work part-time or full-time? What days of the week do you want to work? What hours do you want to work?
- Will your photography business be local, state, national or global?
- How much do you want to earn for an income per year?
- How much are you prepared to financially invest in your business?
- What are you going to sell? …What aren’t you going to sell?
- What type of work in your business do you enjoy and what don’t you enjoy?
- What deadlines are you going to set for yourself for each individual goal? What are your short, mid and long term goals?
Please also note that you are more than welcome to expand upon these questions if you see fit, keeping in mind that the answers you provide for each question are valuable and should be incorporated into your photography business plan.
1. ) What Is Your Motivation Behind Starting Or Running An Existing Photography Business?
There can be many reasons behind why you want to go into business and whether it’s to earn more money and provide for your family, build a better lifestyle, obtain job security or just to simply help people it doesn’t really matter as every reason is just as important as any other. Get clear about why you’re in business?
2. ) How Much Time Are You Prepared To Dedicate To Your Photography Business?
This is crucial, so be realistic… because the reality is a business can suck up a lot of your time and by understanding how much time you have available will enable you to build processes and systems that can be automated to give you back your time.
Then you can focus on the important aspects of your business that deliver the best return on your investment and fit in with your desired lifestyle.
3. ) Do You Want To Work Part-Time or Full-Time? What Days Of The Week Do You Want To Work? What Hours Do You Want To Work?
These may seem like obvious questions, but have you really thought about them? …as the answers will help shape your plan of attack as we dive deeper down into the rabbit hole.
4. ) Will Your Photography Business Be Local, State, National Or Global?
For most photographers the answer to this question will be local, but I’m sure there will be a few who wish to travel abroad or deliver a product or service that has a broader market…
Now of course if your business is entirely local you’ll need to assess whether there is a big enough market for what you are offering which we’ll discuss further in a subsequent article, as you may decide that it is worth supplementing your photography income by providing an additional product or service that are relevant to your marketplace, generating extra income for you and your business.
5. ) How Much Do You Want To Earn For An Income Per Year?
In my experience most photographers don’t set their financial goals high enough to be able to sustain their business and lifestyle.
In another article called “How to take the guesswork out of pricing?” we’ll take an indepth look into how you should determine price, but for the answer to this question make sure you don’t undercut yourself, as the number one business failure is low margins caused by under pricing.
6. ) How Much Are You Prepared To Financially Invest In Your Business?
Starting a photography business can require a rather large investment upfront as I’m sure you are already aware.
One investment that is often overlooked when starting a business is marketing. Make sure you include a marketing budget as part of your startup and ongoing costs for your business in the answer of this question.
7. ) What Are You Going To Sell? …What Aren’t You Going To Sell?
These two questions are crucial because they will help determine your business model, how you will position your business in terms of marketing, how you will differentiate your business and how you will price your photography products and services. Please be specific…
8. ) What Type Of Work In Your Business Do You Enjoy And What Don’t You Enjoy?
This question may be hard to answer if you are just starting out, but after a few months you will come to learn what jobs within your photography business you enjoy doing and what jobs you hate to do.
Why is this important? Well at some stage in your business you may decide to outsource the jobs you hate which as a result will instantly increase your personal enjoyment and productivity.
9. ) What Deadlines Are You Going To Set For Yourself For Each Individual Goal? What Are Your Short, Mid And Long Term Goals?
Without deadlines your goals will easily take longer than expected which will have dramatic effect on how fast your photography business grows into the future.
Even if you are unsure of how to answer some of these questions, please make a conscious effort to at least answer each question to the best of your ability.
The worst mistake you could make is not answering these questions as they are crucial to setting up a successful photography business.
When Outlining Your Photography Business Goals, Try And Avoid These Common Mistakes:
Setting your goals or objectives too low won’t help you or your clients, dream big from the beginning even if it’s above and beyond what you believe to be realistic.
In the beginning, things will take much longer than you think to complete, so be patient and in time you will gain momentum which will drive your business.
One important lesson I’ve learned working for myself is one can easily become distracted and in turn lazy especially if you run a photography business from home. Without structure in your work life, goals and deadlines will fall the the way side.
So, stay focused, reduce distractions and create a photography business plan.
Now that we’ve discussed why you need business goals and what questions you should be asking of yourself to best discover your personal ambitions, go ahead and leave a comment below, I’d love to read about your career goals in photography.