The vital 4 ingredients for business growth.

Dec 13, 2008 | Business | 3 comments

I want to share these concepts with you. They are widely regarded as the 4 vital factors needed to achieve growth in a photography business…

1. Your sales have to exceed your expenses. A lot of people start a photography business with expensive business cards, a nice studio, a lavish website and yet they don’t have any customers. That’s a formula for disaster. No matter how established your business is, keep your income above your expenses.

This random background in the Rocks area of Sydney. It is one of the rare urban semi derelict sites that I have come across that are being preserved in their current condition.

This random background in the 'Rocks' area of Sydney. It is one of the rare urban semi derelict sites that I have come across that are being preserved in their current condition.

2. Collect your dues. There are a lot of photographers, especially commercial ones, who go out of business with other people owing them money. My brother Harley Lovegrove was one of the unfortunate photographers who fell foul of bad debt. During the recession of the 90s he was in the unfavorable position of having just four architectural practices as clients. They all went under and owed him three months of fees at the time. He simultaneously lost all his clients and his previous three months earnings. That was never going to stop Harley and I am happy to say he is now a very successful international business consultant based in Belgium and an inspiration to me.

3. Take care of your customers after all, they pay your bills. Never forget the fact that you work for your customers, not for yourself. All the money you’ll ever earn as a photographer is in their hands.

I was amazed to see the size of an Australian phone booth. If it wasnt in the picture and I was asked to draw it I would have made it far smaller. This picture taken in Perth uses a zoomed in SB800 on a Nikon D3. The Flash was camera mounted.

I was amazed to see the size of this Australian phone booth. If it wasn't in the picture and I was asked to draw it I would have drawn it far smaller. I took this shot in Perth and used a zoomed in SB800 on a Nikon D3. The Flash was camera mounted and the ambient exposure was dropped by 3 stops.

4. Take care of your team. Your team comprises any immediate staff and your wider network of suppliers including your lab, album maker, picture retoucher, framer, accountant, web developer etc. They all need you, and you certainly need them.

Damien.

3 Comments

  1. Michael Hemmings

    Great advices as usual, stick to the basics and never let the money pot go empty.

    When it comes to advertising be careful what you spend. In my experience it is better use of resources to get free editorials by offering prizes for competitions. Also knock on the doors step out of your comfort zone at least once per day and your business will reap the benefits. Remember a good business is never run from the desk, get in front of the people.

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  2. Mark Byrne

    All valid points but I feel the first rule is the most important – how easy is it to go mad with expensive start up costs trying to look the photographer when all that energy and effort should be directed into being the photographer.

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  3. Wing Liu

    Great Advice.

    1st advice you gave I learned with my first photography teacher (he is also an Olympic pro and fine art photographer) at high school in Holland.

    4th – some photographers seem to forget, it is also me me me photographer which is wrong! Team is so so important.

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