The Reality of the New Photography Business Model

A business model is a written description of how a business makes money. It is a broad overview of how a business creates and delivers its products and/or services. It can be broken down by market segment, location, pricing, competition, strategy, and financial planning. Perhaps the most important part of a business model is the Customer Value Proposition – a strong customer value proposition means your product or service helps to solve a problem or provide a benefit. The CVP needs to be clearly described because of its importance in the framework of a business model (Bloomberg Business Week, February 7, 2009). Every photography business should have a written business model that utilizes all seven components; it will provide a road-map for its success.

Recently, the photography business model has evolved with the development of digital cameras and the internet. The sudden increase of new photographers entering the profession has also resulted in the transformation of the entire business. With more competition, prices have crept downwards; new strategies have emerged to keep a business afloat. Niche markets have emerged as a means to focus on a narrower segment of the population. Reaching out to customers has changed dramatically with the advent of social network marketing. The internet has changed the way photographers market. For example, snail mail is no longer the preferred method of contacting new clients. Digital cameras and Photoshop have spawned new, innovative products, which could not have been imagined twenty years ago. Along with the increased variety of novel products, the delivery of products themselves has also changed. The photography business once operating in a studio or retail location can now be successfully managed as a home studio, on location, at customers’ homes, or as a hybrid. The changes in the photography business model are apparent in all seven components.

Perhaps the most profound effect on the photography business model has been the digital camera. The explosion of the availability of digital cameras to the masses has resulted in many new people joining the ranks of the professional photographer. As a result, the market has become highly saturated Just look in any area now and you will find dozens of photographers advertising their services. Added to this onslaught are the folks who have lost their jobs due to the recession, and have become overnight photographers. With more photographers spread out, it is more important now than ever to specialize and develop a USP. The adage “being everything to everyone” is no longer a viable business model. Diversification is still important; however, be sure that you still diversify to a degree so you can have multiple income streams. The key to being well-positioned in a photography business is to focus on creating value for a narrow audience and create unique, signature products for your market segment. Choosing a niche market will create more value and desire for a product line and ultimately more revenue. In summary, the digital camera has changed the photography business model from a general to a more specific market.

The internet has affected nearly all business, and the photography industry is no exception. First of all, the internet has changed how photographers communicate with customers. Everything from online scheduling to email marketing has drastically altered how photographers contact new clients. More traditional forms of marketing, are being replaced with social network marketing, emails, and websites. As the outdated mode of marketing becomes less effective, photographers need be educated on the new strategies of using the internet to get their word out. Becoming well-versed in internet communications using Facebook, Twitter, and blogs is a critical component of the new business model. Second, the internet has changed how products are delivered. Online previews are becoming more common in the photography industry. However, photographers should think very carefully about adopting this as a part of their business model. Forgoing the one- on-one contact of an intimate sales environment can dampen sales. Nonetheless, there are two schools of thought on this matter. One group believes they are saving time by having the sales process automated online and can therefore concentrate on what they do best – SHOOTING PHOTOS. The other group believes selling comes first and photography comes second. The emotional ambience that can captivate customers during a photography sales session, in which one uses numerous selling techniques, cannot be replicated on the internet. It has been proven that photographers who sell by projection make more money (PPA Benchmark Study 2006). The two foregoing examples illustrated aspects of the photography business model that have changed rapidly in recent years.

A photography business model can certainly vary, as each business has its own set of circumstances that will govern how their model should be established. What it ultimately comes down to, however, is how a person wants to run their business. Everyone wants to make money, but for some the passion of photography is the most important goal. Consequently, every business model can and should be different to reflect the personal inclinations of the photographer.

How To Start Your Own Limousine Service Business

It is not an easy task to start any endeavor; whether in education, sports, cooking, or the like. This same thing happens when you decide to start your own business in any venture. So to start for any business, you have to learn how to research your business opportunity, incorporate with other businesses, get financing, and start or buy an existing company. Starting a business involves a lot of work such as planning, making primary financial decisions, and completing legal activities for secured operation. As newbie entrepreneurs, you may consider templates to write a business plan, get business assistance, select a business location, finance your business, identify its legal structure, register it, get a business permit, and understand your employer responsibilities.

Limousine Service

With the advent of technology, specially the Internet, various business options are made available to people at different walks of life with various interests. Limousine service is one of these businesses which can be successful by threading into the right track. Starting a limousine service can be enjoyable, exciting, luxurious, expensive, and yet very rewarding. It could be a very profitable business provided that it is well-established. It can be a very lucrative business due to its varied big-time clients such as hotels, large corporations, and wealthy individuals.

Financing Your Business

To get started, you need to prepare for a huge amount to finance your business. Your capital investment will vary depending on the equipment you use in operating your business. Among the necessary expenses you would need to consider include the types of cars you will procure, the office equipment you will use, and your rent space.

If you are quite uncertain as to your coffers, you need not to worry as financing can be obtained from banks and other financial institutions. You just have to prepare and present a clear plan of your business to assure lenders as to your capacity to pay off the loan.

Market Your Limousine Service Business through Advertising

You need to advertise your limousine rentals so that your business will be profitable. This can be achieved by offering promotions upon opening your business. This will help you compete with the existing and already established businesses in the industry. You may resort to Yellow Pages, electronic advertising, and advertising campaigns on magazines and newspapers. You may visit clubs, hotels, and corporations yourself. Creating contacts through your friends, relatives, and colleagues is also beneficial to your business.

Steps You May Take in Starting Your Own Limo Service Business

1. Start your business by writing a business plan that will surely be attractive to your clients.
2. You have to choose a company name that will fit into a Web address or domain name for easy access.
3. You should incorporate your business with big and established corporations so you will enjoy limited liability.
4. You need to compare your business concepts against your competitors by determining their strengths and weaknesses.
5. Create a great logo that clearly sets the present and tone of your business to impress your clients.
6. Have a simple and to the point Web site to market your service.
7. Find clients through advertising campaigns.
8. Keep up to date as to the developments and trends of the sector.

Women Empowered Through Business Ownership

Helen Reddy said it best in the 70s: “I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore…” The 70s may have had some bad clothes and disco music, but the 70s also opened the door for women, and in many ways, became the Decade of The Woman.

Women have become empowered over the last 30 to 40 years in wide variety of ways, but one of the biggest ways women have become empowered is through business ownership.

The statistics on woman-owned businesses are impressive and empowering enough on their own:

Women In Business:

  • As of 2008, there were 10.1 million firms owned by women. (Ownership is defined as owning 50% or more of a company.)
  • These businesses employ over 13 million people, and (as of 2008) had generated $1.9 trillion in sales.
  • Women-owned businesses make up over 40% of all privately held companies.
  • One in five companies reporting revenue in excess of $1 million is a woman-owned business.
  • 3% of businesses owned by women report revenue of $1 million or more.
  • According to score.org, 69% of women are more likely to seek business advice than their male counterparts. Only 47% of men will seek advice. (Does this really surprise anyone, give the whole “men won’t ask for directions” thing?!)
  • Women-owned business have been growing at twice the rate of all U.S. companies.

Women Of Color And Business Ownership:

  • Women of color owned 1.9 million businesses in 2008.
  • These businesses generate $165 billion in revenue annually, and employee 1.2 million people.
  • Between 2002 and 2008, women of color owned businesses grew more quickly than any other privately held companies.

Clearly, women are a very entrepreneurial group! Studies have long shown that women are capable multi-taskers, effective problem solvers, creative in approaches to many aspects of daily life, and are often the financial planners at home. These unique skills have lent themselves beautifully to the empowerment of women through business ownership.

Women often create successful businesses because they have identified a need through a specific set of circumstances. Women have created hair care products specifically due to the lack of products they want or need and can’t find. Mother’s Helpers and Home Fairies came about because women have long wished that “they had a wife.” Niche businesses developed for women by women are hugely successful simply because women identify with other women on a very specific level.

There are many opportunities in today’s market for an enterprising woman to develop her own business, big or small.

In an article by ask.org, these six start-up business ideas were marked as “Hot Markets For Small Businesses:”

  1. eBay drop-off sites
  2. Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing
  3. Performance Apparel
  4. Niche Health and Fitness
  5. Technology Security Consulting
  6. Service/Products For the Hispanic Market

However, the list for starting your own business is virtually endless. Take a look around you and see if there is a business need that can be filled.

Other ideas for women-owned businesses include:

  • Tutoring
  • Free-lance article writing for online business promotions
  • Gourmet Food production and sales (Think Mrs. Field’s cookies!)
  • Personalized Gift Basket Sales
  • Resume Writing
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Pet Sitters
  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Online Affiliate Marketing
  • Internet Marketing Mentoring and Coaching

Many of these business ideas can be started with little working capital. Not all businesses take a large investment for start-up costs. Many of the ideas listed above can be done from home with no employees and no overhead costs such as rent, insurance, additional utilities, etc. And, many work-from-home businesses are entitled to a tax break because you are using your home as an office.

If starting your own business is appealing to you, or starting your own home-based business is an idea you’d like to turn into a reality, then pick a direction, research what you would need to get you started, and join the millions of other women who have been empowered through business ownership!

There really is something to that “I am woman, hear me roar,” song. Thanks, Helen Reddy!