Starting a photography business in California, what do I need to do?

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
drh681
Forum ProPosts: 10,568
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Re: "small" business?
In reply to Starshot, Jan 29, 2013

Starshot wrote:

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

What is a small business? Since the average FULL TIME FULL SERVICE home based genl port studio/wedding photog rarely does $150k a year in sales we are ALL small businesses.
Many of your costs are the same as mine - gear, computers, software, eduation, keeping the books, insurance, etc. If that adds to $5k a year and I do 20 weddings and you do 3 you're not likely to ever make a dime in pay for your time let alone a 'profit' of anykind. (your cost is $1650 PER WEDDING just in overhead!).
Most marketing efforts can cost $500-1500 (or a lot more) The standard in gen'l port studio industry is marketing should run about 8% of sales...so if you spend $500 on markeitng (website, samples, biz cards, etc as well as advertising itself) you should see about $12 in sales for every dollar spend...$6,000 in sales, give or take a bit.
I'm a small studio and I don't get paid till I make $5k a month in sales - and trust me, $500 in marketing is essentially nothing.

Point being - you'll never get 'traction' at that rate. WOM is free and may get you a few gigs but little more. To get more you must spend, especially in the early stages when nobody knows you. YOu may have to spend twice or 3X as much as a 'known' business just go get known - get that traction you speak of.
Go read some marketing books.

http://www.amazon.com/The-22-Immutable-Laws-Marketing/dp/0887306667/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359429326&sr=8-1&keywords=immutable+laws+of+marketing

is very good.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me of course)

You're blowing this out of proportion. Do you ONLY do wedding photography?

Where is the overhead that I'm going to have to worry about? Practically none. I have all the gear I need to start with and if I don't, buying extra gear is just really adding to my hobby collection that doubles as extra business gear.

Education? Books? What??

Computers?? What do you think I'm typing on now..

You are not interested in business, you want to get paid for pursuing your hobby.

Classic GWAC.

You got some good advice from eperienced photogrphers. Your response was, "you're blowing it out of proportion"

No, they were not.

You'd know that the first time something bad happened during a shoot.

Stay out of the business, you are not ready to take money for photography.

You are lazy and immature, I have serious reservations about your intelligence too.

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Photons by the bag.
Gravitons no longer shipped outside US or Canada
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You got a camera, now go out and get a life; or at least a picture of one!

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