In this Episode
One of the questions I get asked the most is about starting a photography business. Running your own business isn’t for everyone, but if you are wanting to have the freedom and responsibilities that come with being your own boss, there are some things to consider as you get started that can really help you get off on the right foot. In most cases, people who start their own business think that they are alone, but the key to being successful in business is having great partnerships and partners that can support you along the way. In my own experience, I wish I had lined up a few of these key partners as I was getting started. I know they would have made a huge difference in the beginning. As you get started, there are a lot of forms, pricing, taxes, and host of other concerns that you might have never seen or heard of when you were working for someone else. In this podcast, I share what I think are the 5 key business tips to focus on when starting your business.
5 key business tips
I don’t think the order matters when setting up and thinking about your business as long as you at some point touch on all of these issues.
- Legal. There are a lot of little things that a lawyer can help you out with when you get started. From looking at contracts, estimates, copyright and invoice language to releases and even longer contracts. It is great to know that you have good and clear language in all your written agreements. In many states you can find legal organizations that offer courses, pro-bono or reduced cost services to artist. Such organization as Washington Lawyers for the Arts or California Lawyers for the Arts are in most states and are invaluable resouces as you get started. A quick search for your location, lawyer, and arts should turn up some good options.
- Accounting: You need a good accountant to help you make sense of your business income, expenses and taxes. I recommend that you find one with a background in working with artist. Also you want to seperate your perosnal and business money and have some system to track your business. I personally use Wave Accounting or Quickbooks, but when I started out it was a simple spreadsheet.
- You need to get basic business insurance and an inland marine policy on your equipment.
- Be frugal. Not cheap or free, but smart. Being frugal and knowing what expenses matter and where you can save and cut cost, spend to grow and how to price your services are all critical to have considered when starting out.
- Supportive partners. I have an amazing business and life partner, Lori, who I work with on creative and business projects. We also have a number of other people who we can talk to about the bsuiness and issues we are facing. Most of them are people who we trust and can offer experience, wisdom or a sounding board.
As you get your business up and running, I think you will be on the road to success if you get some of the basics of business handled by others. Let them focus on what they are good at so you can focus on what you are good at.
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