New Habits. New Results.
She had a photography business before. Years ago. She brought in some money for her family but just never seemed to be able to hold onto much of it. Years after letting her first photography business go she decided to start again, this time with more experience, more knowledge and a higher price-point. She figured price would solve all the problems… yet when I met her she was right back where she had been years before.
The patterns were the same, so the results were looking to be the same : Late night hours for little to not enough money.
Have you ever been there?
The Patterns that had to change
1. Working all hours of the night.
2. Discounting packages & “emotional Pricing”
3. Dollars in, Dollars out.
Three steps we took
1. Rachel outsourced her editing.
Whow… say what?! I know, who wants to give up creative control. I know what you’re thinking:“What if they can’t do it like me?”
“No one can do it like me.”
“I don’t have the time to train someone. “
This isn’t a move for everyone, but Rachel took the time to train an editor to at least get the process started. They culled, they edited and Rachel had the final say so. Saving her HUNDREDS, HUNDREDS of hours. All for a $300 or so cost she could factor into her price.
*What is an activity that you are currently doing that someone else could do for less time, less cost OR that you just shouldn’t be doing? How can you factor this extra expense into your financial planning?
2. We repackaged her packages.
At the time Rachel was offering engagement sessions to all her clients. She didn’t feel comfortable raising her prices, so in order to create the margin we needed she had to figure out a way to cut cost. “What is one service you don’t feel your clients would miss”, I asked. “Well,” she said “I don’t think my lower package clients really see the value in the engagement session. Many times I have to chase them to even book it and sometimes it never gets booked.” Ding ding ding. An engagement shoot is a huge expense of TIME – travel to and from location, time editing and correspondence with client. Though this may not have saved a huge dollar amount, it saved Rachel tons of time!
We also decided to only include the album in the top package. While Rachel loved sending the album to her clients and felt her work was displayed the best in this format, this was a cost (and time savings) that she wasn’t willing to trade with every client.
However we did not take out the second shooter in ANY of her packages, even the smallest one. Why? Because we realized taking out the second shooter actually added pressure to Rachel’s work. It was worth the extra $500 or so dollars. Instead, we factored this labor cost in when calculating her price-point.
3. We made a money plan.
Aren’t you tired of getting to the end of the year and not having any money to show for all your hard work? Aren’t you tired of wondering where all your dollars went?!
THAT is why we created a plan. Rachel knew exactly how many packages she needed to sell (no more saying yes to everything for whatever price they would do it for)! Freedom.
She gave herself spending parameters. How much for advertising? How much for packaging & client gifts? How much for travel & business development?
You see its simple math really.
All expenses + your pay + saving for taxes (30% of your pay) = WHAT YOU NEED TO SELL.
You see, until we change the patterns, the RESULTS will be the same. I’ve worked with companies making $1,000 a year and companies making $1,000,000 + a year. The FUNADAMENTALS are what change the bottom line. A higher price isn’t always the answer, more sales isn’t always the answer.
MARGIN is the answer.