Many of the readers on this site are passionate photographers who want to ‘go-pro’ and turn that passion into a full time income, and ultimately, a 6 figure business…
So that describes you, then this article will be something to consider, but won’t be useful for a little while.
If on the other hand, you’ve been in the photography business for a while, and have built up a strong client base and steady income, but you’re looking to take it to the next level, then this is exactly what you’re looking for!
The Photography Ceiling
As you know, in any owner-operator type business where you are the owner, manager and employee, there’s limits to hours in a day that you’re willing to work, which can quickly put a cap on your earnings.
Sure, you can increase your prices, and that’s something I recommend and teach, but there’s limits to that too…
If you really want to expand, you need to find employees to do some of the work ‘in’ your business, while you spend a little more time working ‘on’ your business.
It’s obvious that if you want to earn more, you either need to get more jobs, or charge more money per job…
So here’s what to do so that you can provide your services to more photography jobs…
First, find someone skilled to do half the work you’re doing. This can be actual work behind the camera, editing photos or even the other stuff like answering calls and creating photo albums… You’ll halve your hours while that person takes the other half and gets an hourly wage. Make the wage high enough that they won’t want to leave!
Second, build your employees hours up so they’re working full time by focusing on your marketing in your spare time to bring in new clients. Then bring your hours back up to near full time shooting.
Repeat this process by halving your hours again and bring in someone new.
This system allows you to grow slowly without wasting money by not having work for your employees. Hire one at a time, and only hire another photographer when you absolutely must!
Won’t New Photographers Take Clients?
That’s a fair assumption, and you should take some caution to prevent this. Have all employees sign a document stating that they can’t take clients by offering cheaper photography jobs on the side, and anything else that you need to keep yourself safe.
It’s inevitable that eventually you will get an employee who wants to start their own competing business, but it will be impossible to compete if you have the marketing knowledge and they don’t… Check out my wedding photography, and portrait photography marketing systems to get way ahead of the pack.
Another thing to note is that many people would simply much prefer the security of working for someone else. They would never take the risk of going out on their own to start a business because of the chance that it might fail…
You are an action taker, you decided to turn your dream into a reality and you’ll reap the rewards!
You don’t absolutely need to scale up your business to employ other photographers, but it will certainly help you to grow your business into multiple six figures per year. Use this system to manage the risks, and make sure to focus on the marketing / client generating side of your business, as well as the photography side!