After being in business for several years now I can actually see the patterns. One pattern? September is one of my busiest months of the year. Actually at our old location September meant actual revenue, paying myself, and having hope that the business would grow more.
Glad you’re here September. I look forward to whining a lot at the end of the month that I can’t keep up. It’ll be a good whine. 🙂
Things that affect business
The AZ Best Fest is coming up in a few weeks. I’m still uncertain how it will really play out. Attending a meeting of business owners a few weeks ago things sounded extremely preliminary even though the event planners have been meeting with the city for a year now (their words). But as shop owner after shop owner asked questions (parking, crowds, lodging, shuttles, blocking off downtown to traffic) I got the feeling that not everything is worked out.
The other element that concerns me? Nobody outside of downtown business owners seem to know about the event. I’ve spoken with customer after customer and mentioned the Best Fest. They look at me and ask, “What’s that?” Now we’re expecting 30K people, but if the word isn’t out there, will it get out there? Is a media blitz coming up soon, or is this a “If we build it they will come.”
All I know is that parking for downtown employees will be available in the garage. We had to fill out applications, and I brought ours over to the Chamber of Commerce where I was told I could only have half the passes I requested. 6 passes requested, 3 granted. Nice. I wonder who won’t be parking in town. I wonder where the shuttles will be for those members of the gallery who don’t get a pass? And when I got the passes, the number of passes given to me was very arbitrary. The guy looked at the application and said, “You can have 3.” Why? No explanation given, he told me that was what I could have and no more. Glad the chamber is on our side. 🙂
Business Building Continues
The education on building a photography continues here. I’m trying to move to where portrait sessions and such draw more income than the printing side. It’s a daily chore. And it will continue to be going forward. I’m now reading the ASMP’s Business Practices for Photographers book. Another good read!
Along with all the paper media I’ve been scouring the web. My friend Bruce from Aiyana Studio sent along a great read yesterday. An article from the website Take Off Your Mommy Goggles. An amazing resource that I’m just digging into now.
The article Bruce sent along is about Photography pricing, and the article is actually written for consumers, not photographers. You need to take a read by clicking here.
Gotta say, the point is really made regarding photography pricing. A favorite excerpt from the post…..
We have a specific skill. If you are a chef at a restaurant, I respect that you have more skills and experience in cooking than I do. I can ask you what type of pans you like to use, and I can go out and buy the same kind of pans, and it doesn’t mean I will create a delicious complicated 7 course meal tonight. If you are a hairdresser, I respect that you have more skills and experience with cutting hair than I do. I can ask you what brand of scissors rocks your world, and I can go out and buy the same pair, but that doesn’t mean you should let me cut your hair.
Just because everyone can purchase a camera at a big box store doesn’t mean that photography is easy. It’s not. Like any other skill, it takes time, practice, experience – and a dose of talent doesn’t hurt either! The chef who has proven that he can cook incredible meals every night for ten years in a row probably commands more per plate at his restaurant – his expertise means that he doesn’t flip burgers for minimum wage. The same principle applies. You trust professionals to cut your hair, operate on your gallbladder, and do your taxes – and it costs many times more to pay them to do it than it would cost to do it yourself (and I’m pretty sure you can’t operate on your own gallbladder no matter what!) You’re paying for the talent and skills that person has honed. It costs more. Most things that are worth having do.
Now, as a photographer I have to say the whole article hit home. And I hope that if you’re reading along you not only go read this article, but also the rest of the website. I’ve bookmarked it, and in-between clients today I’m reading all I can.
As with anything we do and want to do well, every day is a learning experience. Glad to say I’m one of those people who can read something, learn it, and apply it. Well, except engine repair, I’m a lost cause there. So, the reading is paying off. And we’ll see how much gets applied to my own business model and if it’s successful. 🙂
That’s a wrap
Sheesh. Trying to blog between clients is hard. I lost my train of thought and believed the train was going somewhere. Maybe I’ll find it later and wrap up.
To everyone in Arizona….. The Best Fest in Prescott is in a few weeks now. Please get the word out and come on up. Blocking off the whole downtown from traffic is a little kooky, so come on up. Hoping for a busy weekend, not a shut down downtown. 🙂 Fingers are crossed.