Spending less and charging more is what we all would like to do. If this was easy, everyone would be doing it. However this is too simple a quote, as it is probably fairer to say that ‘if a close eye is not kept on matters, then the margins in place to make your business some profit, gradually reduce’.
Suppliers can incrementally or inadvertently charge more, or you can feel the need to buy more expensive kit because of market fashions. Relationships with customers can get cosy and you gradually offer them friendlier prices.
Whatever the reasons it’s important to regularly review contracts with suppliers and the pricing on your products. The prices you offered in the first place will need to reflect the existing costs your business entail.
Building the business – part two follows neatly on from, yes, you’ve guessed it Building the business – part one.
So you’ve survived year one and your business is just about profitable. You’ve got a part-time assistant who mucks in with everything and helps out with shoots on location. The finance company you outsourced your invoicing and accounts to have nearly caught up on the backlog of outstanding invoices, and the tax issues have been dealt with.
The studio you’re renting is full to bursting with four desks, a hired large-scale printer, a vintage studio camera you thought would make good as a piece of interest, your dog and a drawers full of materials and half-used items.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. We love a good quote here and this one is attributed to self-help author Alan Lakein, and is now part of business (and life) lexicon. It works because it applies across human activity and is completely intuitive to the modern world.
Work schedules and event calendars have been discussed in previous blogs as critical to ensuring a solid sales pipeline and unified marketing plan. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, or spent a number of hours planning how to get started, you will know there are other areas that need careful planning in order to have a successful working operation.
If you’ve worked within the photographic industry for a number of years, you will most likely have heard the objection ‘you’re too expensive’ at some point in time. Your first reaction may be to feel offended or to rush into justifying your fees, however sometimes clients have a valid reason for thinking this way – mainly because of preconceived notions about the industry and the value of your services. Before you go off in a huff or rush to find a defence, take some time to uncover why your clients feel and think that you are too expensive.
The first thing to realise is that price is considered a reflection of value. Clients consider your fees a ‘great price’ when the value is higher than the price, however it’s considered ‘overpriced’ when the price outweighs the potential value. Getting the delicate art of price/value balanced can take quite a while, but the main thing to be aware of is that clients can go to Google and find twenty photographers that are cheaper alternatives so if you are charging a premium rate you have to be offering a premium service.
However, you should never lower your rates just because you hear ‘you’re too expensive’. If you offer a lower discounted fee just because someone makes a comment, they will automatically believe that they can negotiate a discounted rate by pushing you harder. This is why it’s important to take the time to find out the real reason why your potential clients are apprehensive towards your prices.
With Christmas just around the corner we wanted to make sure that no one missed out on being amazing this festive season. So here’s a quick recap of all our Christmas posts so that you can be ready for a flurry of bookings and orders.
P.S. We hope you had a successful Black Friday!