Growing a business out of infancy

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Arizona Photographer, Notes from Rich, Photographing Arizona, Photography, Portrait Work, Prescott, Prints, RLC Design 2 Comments


I’ve been away from the blog too long once again.  What can I tell you?  We’re hitting our stride here, and it’s something to see.

As of October R.L. Charpentier Photography has been in business for 3 years.  The business is now moving into its fourth year of life and I can tell you for a fact that we’re walking and talking.  I’ve heard small business ownership is like raising a little one.  But until you experience it first hand that might not mean much to you.

The sea change that’s occurred here started in September and there are no signs of slowing down.  One major change that’s really helped the business is the portrait and commercial side of the house.  Honestly it’s taking over and consuming all of my time.  I’m glad I finally made the decision to go in this direction.  It only took 2.5 years of self abuse to get myself to give it a whirl………

Changing the business model to save the business

In the case of my business I had to change gears in a big way.  From the start of the business I depended on print reproduction for artists and gallery sales of my own work.  That wasn’t enough to pay me, only to pay the business bills.  Personal savings were depleted just to keep me fed, and the business covered itself with an occasional injection of cash from me on the bad months (July & August).  I knew changes had to occur, and I’ve spent the better part of this past year making those changes.

Offering quality portrait work and commercial photography has been the key this year for survival.  And it’s already gone beyond survival.  I’m seeing growth!  Things that are on my mind now?

  • A part time assistant to field calls and schedule appointments.
  • Warehouse space for a larger studio.
  • A few more Alien Bees for studio lighting.
  • Movement away from fine art reproductions for the general public.
  • Focusing on my high end artist reproduction work only.

There’s more to the list, but that’s off the top of my head.  The point has been hit where the upswing is starting.  Of course, it might not last but that’s not what I see on the near horizon.  What I see in the next few months (through May) are bookings already scheduled, deposits taken, more commercial projects, etc, etc.

All good.

Of course all of this has kept me away from the blog.  Sorry about that.  I’ miss blogging and I do have a ton to share in the coming weeks.  Just gotta make it through Christmas and then I might have a little free time.  Keep watching and I’ll try to keep up with the posts.  🙂

For the moment, I’m happy to say that my “toddler” is off and running.  How it grows from here will be interesting to see.  Hope you’re along for the ride and as interested in what happens next as I am.  🙂

Comments 2

  1. Post

    Thanks Mark. I could swear somewhere along the way in the process I fell off a cliff, bankrupted myself, and was totally vegan……. But now I awake to a real live business.

    Got any free helpers to send me? I’m so busy (real business).

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