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6 Min. Read

How to Write a Successful Photography Business Plan? A Guide

How to Write a Successful Photography Business Plan? A Guide

Are you looking to write a picture-perfect business plan for your photography business?

A business plan is a key step when you’re embarking on your career as a business owner. Whether you’re starting a business in the construction industry or a small bakery, your business plan is a road map to success.

When it comes to starting a successful business, so much hinges on your ability to structure and plan. That’s not to say that your plan can’t change, but if you don’t have a plan in the first place then things can become distorted very quickly.

Not all good businesses start with a business plan. But that doesn’t mean there aren't advantages to be had in creating one.

Many business founders find a huge amount of value in taking the time to really hone in on their idea. It's also incredibly useful to thoroughly research the market they’re hoping to enter.

They’re a fantastic way to entice investors, partners or even employees. They are also a great way to set long-term goals to keep your business viable.

But how exactly do you write a business plan? We’ll take a look at what a business plan is and the steps you can take to write a thorough and detailed plan for your photography business.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is a Business Plan?

Why Should I Write a Business Plan?

How to Write a Successful Business Plan

Key Takeaways

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a mission statement that a business owner puts together to describe their idea. It is seen as the blueprint for what you want your business to be, and how you envision yourself getting there.

A good business plan will have a high level of detail and will answer almost any question that an interested party may have.

Why Should I Write a Business Plan?

Starting a photography business is a costly endeavou. So it’s important to get your idea in place and start making plans on how you are going to be able to fund it.

You’ll often see business plans associated with getting a business loan or bringing on board an investor. This is because any potential investor will want to evaluate the feasibility of a business before investing any funding.

How to Write a Successful Business Plan

There’s no one size fits all way to write a business plan, but most will include these steps:

1. Executive Summary

Your executive summary will serve as a preview of your business plan. This is where you will define the objectives of your photography business and detail your mission statement.

This space should be used to talk about big-picture goals and details - what your speciality will be, for example. You should also give an idea of what you believe sets your business apart, or what your USP will be.

2. Company Description

It’s important for you to have a vision for your business. It’s even more important to be able to communicate that vision to others. That’s what your company description is for.

Here you will outline how you plan on structuring your company. That will include whether you’ll be a sole trader, a limited liability company or another form of organization.

You should also include how you want to do business. Will you mostly be working in a studio? Or do you see yourself travelling around, moving from set to set and shooting on location?

3. Market Analysis

One of the most common reasons that a new business fails is because the owner neglected to properly research and analyse their market.

For example, you’re planning on starting a wedding photography business. But once you’ve done your research you see that there is a large amount of pre-existing companies. Or maybe the last five wedding photographers have gone out of business in the first three months.

Then your market analysis would show that becoming a wedding photographer may not be viable in your area.

Your analysis should show the reader what gaps in the market you will be aiming to fill. It should show that you have a detailed level of understanding and you fit into the structure of the market.

4. Goods & Services

Here you should expand on the services you plan on offering. Are you purely sticking to photography? Are you also going to offer an editing service?

Are you mainly going to be shooting commercial gigs or are you a landscape photographer?

5. Marketing Plan

This is an important part of your plan. It’s all well and good creating a niche business that fills a gap in the market, but if nobody knows your business exists then you won’t get very far.

Your marketing plan should be a comprehensive examination of how you plan to sell your photography. The things you’ll want to outline and highlight may include:

  • What mediums you plan to use to market your business - ie. Instagram, Facebook, newspapers, radio or tv adverts etc.
  • Your engagement - how to not only attract potential clients but keep and develop them into a customer base.
  • Your brand - you should have a clear and detailed brand that makes you stand out and be instantly recognisable as a photography business.
  • Your audience - who is your target market? What does your ideal customer look like?

6. Financial Plan

Arguably the most important component in your new photography business, creating a solid financial plan is key.

The first thing you should outline is the start-up costs. This would include your overheads such as equipment rental, rent if you’re basing yourself in a studio, website design and domain. Essentially everything you need to get your business started.

You’ll also want to start to get a realistic view on your financial statements once you’re up and running. That may include your balance sheet, projected cash flow and income, and any other estimated costs that you may incur.

If you are unfamiliar with the world of finance, you may want to seek some expert advice. Poorly managed funds are the number one reason that small businesses fail. So it’s in your best interest for your finances to be as organised as possible.

Key Takeaways

A business plan is no small feat. It will take time, effort and a lot of planning.

Most business owners will see a business plan as a labour of love. It may seem like a daunting task to begin with, but further down the line you’ll be happy that you took the time to make one.

The photography industry can be a tough nut to break. So the better prepared you are, the more likely you are to succeed and take your place next to the other professional photographers.

Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices?

Then check out the FreshBooks Resource Hub.