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October 28, 2011

Business plan made easy

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Written by: Lawrence
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As starting out photographers, don’t be discouraged from the business plans you find on the web after conducting your own google search with the words “Business Plan”. It’s really not as hard as it looks with proper guidance.

Proper guidance is my goal and I hope to be successful.

Please let me know if you have any tips of your own to share with your fellow photographers.

Again, if you aren’t planning on requesting venture capital or a loan from a bank for your photography business, I don’t think there is a reason to spend a lot of money for Business plan programs or paying someone to do it for you. Especially if you are just starting out in photography, you might want to spend your money on quality lenses and strobes.

Below I will detail the essential items of a Business Plan that can be applied to any business not just photography:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: (Recommendation: Write at the end)

  • Provide an overview of your company or business idea
  • Answer the four W’s and the H. (who, where, when, why and how) of your business.
  • Keep in mind this is the most important as it summarizes your vision and success of the business

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:

  • Detail what product/service will you sell/provide.
  • Call out your customers and the needs you plan to fulfill

ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT: ( To help with business structure check out how the IRS detailsthe structure.

  • Identify company structure (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, etc.)
  • Detail your background and years of experience
  • List employees with titles and/or roles.

PRODUCTS OR SERVICES:

  • Detail what you are planning to sell with prices and benefits compared with your competitors.
  • Make sure to include your sources and how much markup you are adding to your products and if you are offering a service include the hourly rate or what you expect to charge if uncertain.

MARKETING AND SALES:

  • Detail how you will grow your business through the use of Marketing.
  • Corporate identity Design (Branding: Logo design, website, business cards)
  • Advertising mediums (Print, Outdoor, TV, Radio, Bus, Online, alternative media)

MARKET ANALYSIS:

  • What are your competitor’s doing, charging, positioning themselves in the market?
  • Perform a side to side comparison of your products and services to your competitors.
  • In-depth research of your market is key

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

  • Numbers numbers and more numbers. You will need to get down in dirty and detail every single cost to determine what is necessary to run your business.
  • List every expense for the next 4 years
  • Detail your financial forecast
  • Set financial assumptions like your tax rate
  • How many days you’ll allow customers to pay your invoices (e.g. Net 30 days)

FUNDING:

  • This section is key if you are looking to obtain a loan.
  • Outline how much you’ll need.
  • Where will the money be allocated to in your business?
  • Detail any future expected business developments that can impact the loan.

Once you complete the sections above for your photography business, as a photographer you will have a better idea of what your photography business is about and will have guidance for your next steps to a successful photography business.

If you would like to complete this process via an online service, then check out Enloop which is free for the first business plan.

There are also a lot of templates available online that you can find doing a simple google search but what is detailed above should provide you a good understanding on who you are in the photography industry.

If you do plan on obtaining a loan to fund your photography business, I would recommend purchasing a software like Business Plan Pro to provide a more detailed business plan to present to your prospective investor/bank to help fund your photography business.

Let me know if you have any tips by commenting below.

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About the Author

Lawrence
Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for http://www.PhotographySILO.com, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.




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