Do you have a camera that’s laying idle? Do you want to learn how to make extra money taking shots with your camera? Then here is a sample business plan template on how to start a photography business from home and make money.
One of the easiest ways to make extra money is with a camera. Most people own cameras than radios, and if you must know, photography is the probably fastest growing hobby in the world. In fact, we all take shots every day just for the fun of it. Yet, most people are ignorant of the fact that their camera serve as a source of extra income. With a little imagination, a flair for showmanship, and the hustling spirit of an entrepreneur; an average man or woman or even teenager can easily make an extra $300 weekly with his camera. You can become a professional photographer and make money shooting pictures at weddings, parties, events or as a freelance.
You don’t need to have one of the popular, more expensive cameras or a lot of high priced attachments and equipment. In fact, a Polaroid or other “off the shelf” camera will suit the purpose perfectly. The only special piece of extra equipment you may need to invest in would be a tripod for mounting the camera in certain situations. So if you are ready to learn how to make money with your camera, then read on.
How to Start a Photography Business from Home – A Sample Business Plan
Hone your “shot taking” skills
The first step to starting a photography business from home is to hone your shot-taking skills. You can also invest in learning how to add creativity to pictures using graphic design software.
Hone your entrepreneurial skills
You may be the best photographer in the world but if you lack the ability to market yourself effectively, if you lack entrepreneurial skills; you will achieve nothing. To succeed as a photographer, you must know how to sell your skills and control your finances. You must know how to negotiate business deals and contract; and most importantly, you must have strong emotion control. Running a photography business entails meeting different people with different characters, so you must have people skills and know how to deal with complaints.
How to get started and market your business effectively
Look for busy environs with creative backgrounds
One of the easiest ideas to getting started is to visit a children’s clothing store in one of the busy shopping centers, or the children’s department in one of the large department stores. Sell the manager or store owner on the idea of your setting up in a corner of the store or department, and taking pictures of the shoppers’ children. He can even strike a strategic alliance with you and promote the fact in his advertising campaigns that you’ll be in the store taking pictures for special prices during certain hours; perhaps on Friday evenings and throughout Saturdays, thereby attracting customers into his store you.
Create an eye catching background or wallpaper
You’ll need a sheet or plain piece of material, or some sort of imaginative set for a background. But this can be easily made or built yourself. You should also have an eye-catching poster that calls attention to what you’re doing and the prices you’re charging. Unless you’re a commercial artist, you should spend the money to have this sign made for you by a professional.
Create a print coupon or receipt
The next you will need is a two-part receipt or coupon. This can be a simple piece of paper about 2 inches wide by 5 inches long. On the left side, you will draw lines for your customers to fill in their name, telephone number and address. You might also want to add space for additional information such as the child’s name and age and number of children in the family, for future efforts, but keep it brief and simple. On the right side of this coupon, you can insert your business name, address and telephone number, plus a quick outline of the different kinds of photography work you handle, and perhaps a business slogan such as “Satisfaction Guaranteed or You don’t pay.”
To add a little bit of class and style to this coupon, you should take the basic outline of this idea over to an instant print shop. Tell them what you want; show them your outline; and have them typeset everything. They will insert a fancy border around the coupon and have it printed on colored paper. The best color is a “dollar bill” shade of green. If you want to give it even more class, you could have it printed on green, lightweight card stock. You should also make sure that you divide the “information” side of this coupon from the “business card” side with a dotted line and perforations.
If you layout this coupon properly, you should be able to get six of them on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper or card stock. This means that the printer can print and cut 6,000 of them for about the same cost as printing circulars or flyers. On your printing needs, shop around for the best deal, but in the end, it shouldn’t cost more than $60 – $100 for all 6,000 coupons which will come from those 1,000 sheets of paper or card stock.
Now, when you take a person’s picture, regardless of whether it’s an “in-store” set-up out on a golf course, or along the street; you give your customer one of your coupon-receipts and tell them their prints will be ready either immediately of in a couple of days. They fill in the information part of the coupon and give it back to you, retaining your “business card” portion of it. When the prints are ready, you can phone the customer and remind him of the picture he snapped.
Most stores, golf courses, bowling centers, and other retail merchants will be glad to handle the picture delivery for you, because it brings the customers back into the places of business, and provides another sales opportunity for them.
More ways to advertise your Photography Services
You can add an advertising circular with each set of pictures you deliver. This circular should explain how the customer can get more prints at an affordable rate, how he can get enlargements of his favorites, and details relating to all the other photography services you offer
Back to the original “in-store” picture taking, you can also set-up during evening shopping hours and on weekends for extra income. You can attract customers to your “in-store” set-up, and bring in more business with a few merchandising promotional ideas. In the following paragraphs, I will give you a few ideas that have worked well in the photography business. However, you should keep your eyes open to note additional promotional ideas that could be adapted to fit your new business.
More Marketing Ideas for your photography business
More ways to make money as a photographer
You can dress a helper in a clown suit, and take pictures of the kids in his lap or with his arm around the kids. You can put up a sandwich advertising board on a helper and let him stroll through the shopping center advertising the fact that you are in a Kiddies Clothing store taking pictures.
You can also start and promote a “Baby of the Year” contest where you can take pictures of the babies, display the pictures on a “show board” and offer $100 cash plus a merchandise prize in a big drawing at the end of the year.
You can also set up a booth in the mall and promote “Instant Snapshots.” Be a Roving Professional Photographer and take candid shots of shoppers and promote a “Shopper of the Year” contest. Work with a clown, have him get friendly with the kids, and ask if they would like to have their pictures taken with him. Build and inexpensive and portable set, such as an airplane, a race car, bucking bronco, hand-shaking scene with a famous person or “balloon figures” and take pictures of the people standing in or on these sets.
You can go out to the golf course and take pictures of the golfers teeing off. Get over to the bowling centers and take candid shots of the bowlers in action. Do the same thing wherever there’s a sports event taking place. Be on the spot and ready whenever there’s an opportunity to take team pictures. You can follow, or hire someone else to follow a Little League team through its season, taking candid and action shots. You then arrange the best pictures in a photo album with the team’s name and year on front. You should be able to sell one of these albums to each member of the team.
How to Start a Photography Business from Home – A Sample Business Plan
There’s also the idea of “just strolling through the park” on a Sunday afternoon. You can take candid and interesting pictures of couples, children and people in general spending time with their relatives. Keep tabs on the announcements of new births. Send advertising literature to the new mothers, and follow up with a phone call effort to set up photography sessions.
You should also keep tabs on the engagement notices in the weekend papers. Send your sales literature to the brides-to-be, and follow up with phone call efforts to take the wedding pictures. Set up a household and business photo inventory service.
With this idea, you contact the insurance companies and determine if they will approve and endorse photographs you take of their policy holders’ household, personal, and business property in loss claims. Most will, and from there; working either with the help of an insurance agent, the agency itself, or on your own, you can contact owners of property and sell them on the idea of you taking pictures of the household goods they have insured. You take the pictures; a pictorial inventory of everything they’re claiming or would like to claim on an insurance policy and then identify the pictures, giving one set to the property owner and the other set to his insurance agent or company. Picture inventories of household and personal property is still a new thing, but everywhere it’s been introduced, it’s definitely proven to be a super money- maker for the people willing to get out and hustle.
Check out a photography franchise
If the idea of starting a photography business catches your interest, you might want to check into a going franchise operation that gives you a complete business manual, operations guidebook, and ongoing consultant services.
In conclusion, once you decide that using your camera to generate extra income is what you’re going to do, you need to get out and use your camera. Start taking pictures, and allow yourself the opportunity to build, grow and make money doing what you love. Give yourself a chance, and you will quickly begin to think of hundreds of ideas for taking pictures, merchandising ideas for promoting your services, and sales angles for increasing your profits.
The important thing is to get started; regardless of how small your startup capital is because this is an idea that can produce new concepts for profit every day of the week. An idea that can be fun, as well as financially rewarding for you! Now that you have got the idea and the plan, the rest is up to you.