Starting a business most certainly isnt for everyone. It requires bridging the gap between two fields, as well as your own specialization and entrepreneurship. This task is far from easy, and many aspiring entrepreneurs are faced with failure in the first couple of years down that road.
As difficult as it might seem, its not impossible. In fact, there are many exceptional entrepreneurs who were to make this combination work. If you asked them, theyd you about how it requires a lot of planning, constantly enhanced skills, and a clear head that knows how to play the game. By following in their footsteps, youll be able to pursue your passion and make a living out of it.
Heres everything you need to do to start your Photography and Videography business:
Create your business plan
The first mistake that many aspiring entrepreneurs make is to jump right into creating their businesses without having a solid plan
. They like to rely on their talent and skills, which are essential; theres no doubt about that. However, these alone wont prepare you for the business world. A business plan will act as your guide throughout the journey. It will force you to research the market youre about to delve into, analyze your competition, and build a better understanding of the kind of business youll be operating in the process. Youll be surprised by the amount of knowledge youll gain from creating your business plan, way before you start on your operations.
Once you start researching business plans, youll become overwhelmed with all the information you need to add to a comprehensive business plan. However, you dont really need to create a 100-page plan; you only need to tackle the points youll need down the road, and then add more if you need to.
The main points youll need in your business plan are the following:
There can be no business plan without first specifying the goals you want to achieve out of this business. Your goals can cover many aspects. For instance, you can make goals about the kind of customers you want to serve, the size of your team, expanding into new fields, the number of clients youll acquire, the profit youll make, and the new equipment youll get out of the profit.
Your goals should be SMART; meaning theyre:
Your business plan should be as specific as possible to act as your guide in your journey. This is why you should specify the target segment youll be serving, and this segment will be your niche. If you want to establish yourself as a wedding photographer and videographer, your whole plan will be based on this niche. It will completely change if your focus is on providing B2B services.
What kind of services will you be providing? Its obvious that youll provide photography and videography coverage, but you need to specify it even more. What exactly do your services cover? Will you take on any project, or do you only specialize in certain services? For instance, you may want to specialize in products or live models only. Do your services come in packages? Do you give offers to recurring clients? All of these questions help you in building an accurate image of how your work will be going. In this section, youll also breakdown your pricing strategy for every service you provide.
This field is quite challenging; youll be faced with very strong competition. In order to position yourself and find your competitive edge, you need to study your competition and analyze them. What are their packages and services? Whats their pricing strategy? How do they deal with their customers? Why are they successful?
Your key resources are the ones you cant operate without. For instance, theres no way youll be able to provide your services without a quality camera. If your business is composed of different departments, then youll need to build a team of specialized individuals.
Cost structure & revenue stream
A very important key aspect of your business plan is your finances. Your first step will be to calculate your cost structure: everything that will require spending money and the most expensive resources. The second step will be how to make the most profit out of your business, which means looking at all the sources from which you can gain revenue, analyzing them, and choosing the ones that suit you most.
Create an operational plan
A business plan will give you a general idea about all the aspects of your business and how it will be managed, but youll need to further break it down into an operational plan. This plan will give a down-to-earth idea about your operations; starting from preparing for the launch of your business and down to the day-to-day operations. Your operational plan should cover the following:
You need to build a clear idea about how your production will be carried out. This will include everything concerning setting up the shooting scene, hiring certain specialists for lighting and audio, getting an extra set of assisting hands, and all the operations included in producing a photoshoot or a film.
Theres an important question you need to ask yourself, and its whether or not you want to register your business legally just yet. While its important down the road when you want to expand, you dont have to do that right now. You can continue operating as a freelancer or as a group of freelancers. In case you want a legal entity, youll start considering your options of starting an LLC company or having a sole proprietorship. Whatever the course you choose to walk, youll sometimes face legal needs to get licenses, permits, or other legal documents for your production. Its good to be well-aware of the legal needs before you find yourself facing issues that couldve been avoided from the start.
Your operations will vary greatly depending on the team youll hire. If youre a one-man team, then youll be handling all sorts of operations yourself. In that case, youll opt for hiring assistants for one-time jobs. You may need to outsource some tasks every now and then. If youre starting a media production agency, then youll either hire employees working full-time or part-time, or youll hire project-based freelancers.
Working on a freelance basis may not require a physical place to operate, but having a full team will definitely require one. In this case, will you need to rent an office? Do you already have a space that youll need to fix to be your office?
Understanding your operations is the founding step of creating an action plan. This plan will breakdown all of the operations into clear tasks within a specific time-frame to guide you through your steps.
Manage your finances
You start a business because you want to make money, but you need money to start a business. This much is true for all startups, and yours is no exception. If you already have sufficient capital to start your business based on your business and operational plans, then youre already one step ahead of the game. However, many aspiring entrepreneurs face a huge financial obstacle in the implementation of their promising ideas. The good thing is that youll have many options when it comes to funding your business; one popular source of which is getting a business loan. Your next step in managing your finances
should be to minimize your costs and expenditure as much as possible.
Preparing your gear
Its a common misperception that youll need to buy all your gear to start your business. You dont have to if youre still financially unstable. You can easily rent the equipment to do the jobs you get and earn a good profit. Once your operations start becoming stable and your revenue stream is profitable, you can then start considering investing in your own equipment.
On your line of work, these are the essential pieces of equipment youll need to operate:
This one is as obvious as the sun, but the real question is what kind of camera will you need. Based on your services and line of operation, you might need different kinds of cameras or opt for one that can cover your needs. For instance, youll need to invest in a professional video recording camera if youll be producing cinematic films, whether youll rent it or buy it. But if youre creating videos of average consumers, youll be better off to look for the best 4k camcorder
instead and using it to create videos of supreme quality. While they wont serve you well in taking photos or shooting cinematic films, theyre much cheaper than professional video cameras, they have longer video time-frames than photographic cameras, and they have superb lens capabilities.
Lighting & Audio setup
Youll definitely need good lighting and audio setups to ensure the quality of your video. Depending on the camera youll be using, your setup will require different equipment, so make sure that all of the connections, wires, and lightning works well with all your equipment.
PC and other hardware
Youll also need a durable PC or Laptop to transfer your data, backup your work, and edit your photos and videos once youre done. Other that than, youll need storage cards, hard disks, and batteries.
Create a portfolio
Lets be honest, you cant expect to get new clients or operate your business as you planned if you dont have anything to prove your skills. You need to showcase your skills, talents, and quality; which makes creating a portfolio of your work essential. In your field, there are some common practices that your competitors will be using to showcase their work. To make sure youre not falling behind, you should create your own portfolio on the following channels:
Behance is the go-to platform for photographers and graphic designers alike. Its the best platform where you can compile your best work of photographic art, creating a portfolio that enhances everyone who comes across it.
Vimeo & YouTube
While Behance focuses on showcasing your work in photography, Vimeo and YouTube are the platforms when it comes to creating a portfolio of your videography.
Many think that creating a website stops being a priority once you create your portfolio on other channels, but thats not true. The other platforms provide you the bare minimum portfolio requirements, and youll be able to start working without a website. But if you want to take your business to the next level of professionalism, then creating a website is necessary to showcase all of your work in one place, open a portal of communication with interested clients, and present all your packages to the visitors.
If you fail to promote yourself, youll stay confined to your current area of operation. Youll fail to acquire new clients, which only means that your business isnt profitable. You should focus on scaling your business and expanding your operation base, which places a huge need on promoting your work yourself.
To market yourself effectively, youll need to leverage the following methods to your benefit:
Social Media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. These platforms allow you to use paid ads that can target your specific niche.
Website, through implementing effective SEO strategies to target new customers and increase your traffic organically.
Word of Mouth is the best way to get started and expand in your local area, and thats where family and friends will provide the biggest support.
Business Development is the professional practice of actively reaching out to new clients; pitching your business and services to them and finalizing deals.
As excited as you are for turning your passion into a profitable business, you must ensure its success. This requires a lot of research and planning long before you start, after which you document all of into comprehensive business and operational plans. You can never skip on your financial planning and management either. Afterward, youll get your gear ready, placing a good focus of your choice of camera, lighting and audio setup, and other hardware youll need. Youll need to create a strong portfolio to showcase your work, and youll be able to expand your clientele base through promoting yourself effectively.