"My 'Words of Wisdom' for a photographer just starting out is multi-fold. Make sure you know how to run a business. This means learning how to market to get clients through the door and pricing your work profitably. Do you understand Cost of Goods Sold? Or, even if you are working out of your home, you have overhead costs that need to be recouped in your pricing. Things like equipment investment (computers and cameras don't last forever), software upgrades, insurance for your business including equipment and liability, phone, vehicle, time selling to the client, hiring a CPA, your salary and vacation, retirement and more.
What do you need to have for your state? If you open a business you are responsible for collecting sales tax if appropriate and forwarding that to the state in a timely fashion, which brings me to the bookkeeping and record keeping you will need time to do or hire someone for the job. Oh, and if you have employees there's a whole new bag of worms.
The point is I'm not trying to scare anyone from getting into business, just that you do so with your eyes wide open so you have a chance to make it work. A very large percentage of businesses don't make it past the first couple of years because they skip this part. I don't want that to happen to you….
So, long story short, have a business plan and then work your plan."
Looking to see more of Bob Coates work? Check out his blog for professional photographers and his fine art page. Also, check out his commercial website or contact him directly, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images copyright Bob Coates. All rights reserved.
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