I called it Fast Food because you're artists. The time you spend on ideas to run a better business are often on the back-burner.
There are very few of you who want to get involved in the operational side of the business. It's not that you don't respect what you need to do to build a successful business, just that your heart is more focused on the creative side of life. You'd much rather discover a better way to light a portrait than put together a direct mail piece....and the list goes on and on.
Well, we're down to the wire with just a few weeks to go for 2018. Hopefully, you're busy with holiday orders, but that doesn't mean you can ignore things you need to do in the future.
Today's "blue plate special" is on the lite side of the menu in terms of anything you need to implement. It's about four ingredients in your business future - dreams, products/services, profitability, and fun. It's fast food and just requires you to think a little about your business and the future.
Building a Foundation for Success
Because if it's not excellent, it won't be profitable or fun,
and if you're not in business for fun or profit,
what the hell are you doing there?"
Dreams: There's no reason ever to let go of your dreams, and that includes pressure from loved ones who don't understand your passion as an artist. That doesn't mean you don't have to modify them here and there, but if you let them slip under the umbrella that life is a compromise, then you're only going to replace your dreams with regret and sooner or later, growing resentment.
Products: There is no room for compromise delivering anything that isn't "excellent," just like the quote above. There's a standard of excellence in photography, and mostly it boils down to exceeding your client's mindset. You're living in the most competitive time in business history, and every consumer needs to know they made the right choice. Think about how many photographers they had to choose from!
Every product and service you offer has the same goal - exceed client expectations and make yourself habit-forming!
Profitability: Loving what you do, but eating macaroni and cheese every night eventually grows old. Going into the new year, look at your costs, ALL of them. Invest in marketing. Pay attention to consumer trends in your community and price your services appropriately. There's a ton of information out there to help you and even more educators who have focused on the topic.
Earlier this year SCU diner offered a Friday special on pricing, which included a terrific video from Sal Cincotta. If you missed it, it's just a click away!
Fun: I gave "fun" it's own paragraph. It's the most important word in business today and also the most forgotten. It's not a crime to have fun when you're working. We all have the same challenge - we get so caught up in the pressure of the day in day out business we forget to have fun. Having fun is critical to your success as an artist and a business person...make it a priority.
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
If you're not familiar with the product, check out the video below featuring Suzette Allen as she put Excire to the test searching for various images.
You'll also find a wealth of information to help you raise the bar on the quality of your work with a visit to Suzette's blogs and YouTube channel. She's always sharing outstanding information as one of the industry's leading educators.