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    1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 12, 2010 7:05 PM by UncleLeon

    Starting New Business with a Partner. Where to start??

    lunakahuna87 Newbie
      It has come to my time to start my own business. I am wanting to start a business with a partner. I have never owned or started my own business before. This is a photography studio in a high end area with home starting at $504,000-1,200,000. I have some idea where to start, business plan, operations contracts and partnership contracts. What do you guys recommend? I contacted SCORE to talk to someone who might be able to give me more insight. Any help?
        • Re: Starting New Business with a Partner. Where to start??
          UncleLeon Scout

          I owned a mid-level photography studio for over 30 years. Perhaps i can help you, step by step.

          First question is why do you need a partner?

          Second is advice: IMMEDIATELY. join your local and state PPA affilliate. (Professional Photographers of America. If you can afford it, also join the national PPA . Go to the PPA web site (PPA.org) where all affilliate organizations can be located. (If I knew wherre you were I'd tell you directly where to go.) Tell one of the officers what you are doing and ask for a refferal of a possible mentor. All of us were (at one time) where you are now, and we are both morally obligated, and honored to assist others that come after us. GO TO THE EVENTS. Just belonging is not enough.

          Within your planning (Business Plan) you must determine (among other things) What type of photography you want to do. If you ae to be a typical "Portrait Wedding" studio, what type of portraits do you want to do? Are you going to specialize or generalize. If you're going to specialize, what will your specialty be? Babies / Children? Business Portraits? Women? Couples? Families? etc.

          Will you, initially attempt to do everything at the studio? If not, will you send out your files for printing? Will your studio do the preperation "in house"? Will you also do "Retouching" in house? Who will do the computer work, you or an employee, a contractor, or ????

          You must learn to create not only beautiful portraits, but ESPECIALLY very FLATTERING ones. The old cliche' is summed up in an ad: Your portrait made: As you look - $10.00; As you think you look - $100.00; As you would like to look $1,000.00.

           

          More important than you portrait skills is your business skills. Far more studios fail due to lack of business skills than due to lack of photography skills.

          Be very nice to your clients. Love them (REALLY). Win their hearts. Make them love you. - Not just for profit's sake, but for REAL. REALLY learn to LOVE your clients. There's another old cliche' that states: If they love the photographer, they'll love the photography. Of course that's not totally true, but it surely helps.

          There are two rules for handling complaints: After honestly and intently LISTENING to and expressing your understanding about the clients complaint, the first rule is: "The customer is always right!

          Then the second rule - (See rule #1).

          An unhappy client can do great damage for a long time.

          However, if you sense, before beginning to work for a client that she will be unreasonably to satisfy (there's always a few), avoid the job. It''s more profitable to NOT work for some clients.

          Shat's the difference between you and all the other photogrpahers in your area? why should your potential clients come to you. I'll discuss with you how to analyze your assets and liabilities in our future email contacts. When you determine your Unique Selling Position, SELL THE DIFFERENCE.

          Contact me by email if you would like additional advice.