Starting a business specializing in portraiture

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
PenguinPhotoCo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,284
Re: Let's create a Semi-Pro Forum

Joe Pa wrote:

A business plan as you define it is a huge waste of time. 95% of businesses fail, most had a plan, but no one plans to fail, so oops, what do they do when things don't go according to plan?

You can't plan five years into an unknown future, you can't plan 1 year. You can look at budgets, how much you can afford to spend and how much you can afford to lose but someone that is just starting out doesn't have real answer to 90% of what gets input to these stupid business plan programs that exist out there. Gaining experience is the plan, learning by hard work first hand what works and doesn't work.

You all seem to ignore that there is a gray area for the transition that allows one to charge for their services yet does not require they be a "real" business as well. Even the IRS tax code allows you to make a certain amount of income from "outside sources".

"Transition' is called school, paying your dues, working as a second shooter or assistant. But nobody wants to do that anymore. They want to buy a camera and tomorrow be a "Professional photographer and business owner!"

You can probably cook a hamburger. So open a 'restaurant'. Do it on the side, out of your basement or from the trunk of your car at the local park. Invite people to your house and get $5/head for your burgers.

Transition is when you do something part-time to determine if it's something you 1) want, 2) like it enough to do it for a living, 3) are good enough to make a living at. Most businesses start out as part-time while they are funded from the persons full-time activities. No one just jumps into the water blindly unless they want to get eaten by sharks.

Not true. It's less risky to do it part time, but the 'transition' is really moving from part time to full time.

Do you ever watch Shark Tank, a huge portion of the people there started their business while working full-time.

I work with many start up organizations, I almost always advise them to not quit their main job until they are earning enough money in their business to afford to.

It's nearly impossible to earn a full time living from part time availability. To do anything on the side limits your income because you have only so much time.

To go 'full time' can be done by hiring employees and you remain management/investor. Most don't opt for this so they take option B- quit the day job.

Since my wife is doing this as i type, she has had a part time psychotherapy biz for the past 15 months. And a full time management job. She wanted to 'test the waters' and she likes it and is gaining the self-confidence needed to give up the 'security' of a 'real' job. (quotes because many of us know that security isn't real and working for yourself full time is a 'real' job in every way).

to replace her full time income, costs, taxes, health insurance, she needs to book about 30 hours a week of clients. She's doing about 30 a MONTH now. BIG difference, income wise. She needs to increase customers by 400% to be succussfully full time.

the question we face is can it be done and how long will it take. The first is a guess - there is no way to truly know is there? Her company spend $3.5 million to expand into what all their experts said was a growing area (youth drug treatment). the new facility has never been full (2+ years in) and is losiing money every month. Plan doesn't obviously equate to success.

There are things she can do that she can't now - so that should account for some additional income streams (aka possibilities). As she can't take on more work now she's got no reason to market and test these things out.

She has hired 2 part timers to start and take some cases and use her office when she's not using it.
This reduces risks as they are advertising on their own and paying her rent. No cost and increased revenue. Win/win!
But there is a limit to that too as they also have day jobs and there are only so many evenings and weekends out there and all day customers are being turned away.

We estimate, based on new customer calls alone (that are mostly turned away) it would take 4 months to reach full capacity of 30 sessions a week.

So if we are right between her quitting and then we need about $18,000 to replace her paychecks. $10k of that will come from her current patients and employees. If business increases each month added funds will be less. If however it takes longer, or never gets to full capacity, then we have a problem.

Part of the plan is to deal with that situation. And every plan needs to be flexible and re-evaluated as time goes along.

Sound like a good idea or some kind of joke?

A joke, right? And that's the issue we have with your suggestion - it's a cruel joke to tell people to do that and it's 'the path to success' - it's not. It's a fools errand.

I'd be happy to mod that forum and ensure all you dream stompers are providing constructive advice or get restricted from the threads.

Again, you and others have some kind of vendetta against me. READ THE POSTS IN THIS THREAD - and I mean READ, no assumptions and reading between the lines. Look at who is making the posts - it is not all me.
I'd be more than happy to post a list of blogs and sites that are more sugary than us here but say the same thing.
I think maybe I'll do that in the near future. And we all can just refer to that post on threads like this one.

I have no vendetta against you, I don't even know you. I'm sure we could have a drink and share quite a number of stories, maybe even a few laughs. I hate, yes hate, the way you come off here with your condescending and negative tones. The reason we have so much poverty in this country and people on welfare is because people like you constantly want to crush others dreams using fear.

You could do a lot of good here, you could be a mentor, but instead you constantly throw up barriers at most newbies that comes to this site seeking advice.

I'm not negative. And I take heat for it.
Want to see negative?

So what do you consider mentoring?

Yes, owning a business is hard, but it's the best experience one could ever have, it's the American dream to work for yourself. Encourage people with constructive advice, nurture them and you'll feel a lot better about yourself at the end of the day.

I can introduce you to people who've owned businesses that would very much disagree with your 'best experience'. A SUcCESSFUL business is the best one anyone can have. One that fails, brings in major debt, causes siblings to not talk to eachother for years, causes divorces are not such great experiences.

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Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

-- hide signature --

Don't seek advice from someone who is not where you want to be - CJ Lewis
My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value

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