After years of hustling to build Amanda Schoch Photography, I decided I needed to do some business maintenance this year. I’ve been evaluating and tweaking my pricing model, opening up new types of sessions and generally examining it from all angles to make sure that it is working for me so that I can work for it. I realized that building your business is bit like dating.
It is so easy to get caught up in launching your business.
The excitement of starting something new, the nervous energy around putting yourself out there, the hustle to get your first clients through the door, and that rush when you get your first order.
Starting my business was a bit like starting to date a new guy. All new and shiny. My head felt a little bit light and it was easy to approach each day with a smile and excitement to see what was about to unfold. But you know that as the days pass and comfort sets in, the shine starts to fade and the newness turns to comfort and all of a sudden you start seeing things in that awesome guy that, well might not be so awesome. That’s where so many relationships started to take a bad turn.
The excitement just didn’t make up for the the things that made us incompatible.
Because when you are just aiming for something shiny and exciting, you can end up with any old dude. BUT when you know what you are looking for and find someone who is compatible with what you want and need in your life, the relationship easily moves past the new phase straight into the “hell yeah this is right” phase.
Shiny and new is fun but “hell yeah this is right” is what you need for the long haul. “Hell yeah this is right” keeps your heart racing after kids and laundry and taxes and dirty dishes take their toll. “Hell yeah this is right” is what real love stories are built on.
Building your business should be just like looking for that long term life partner. In the beginning the sheer excitement and energy of starting something new is exhilarating and will keep you moving forward, but as the daily grind sets in and you are answering client inquiries, editing sessions late into the night, book keeping, and blogging, does your business have the qualities that will sustain you? Slapping an open sign on your website and taking on any session, and any client is kind of like walking into a bar and going home with any old guy. Might be fun for the night – but isn’t likely to become your lifelong partner.
So what’s a girl with a camera and the dream of a
lifelong marriage successful business to do?
Start with this simple question:
What do you want?
What do you want out of your business? How much do you want to work? How much money do you want to make? How do you want your business to fit into your life? Do you want it to be your only source of income or fit into a larger professional picture?
Before you can build a business your clients want, you have to build the business you want. If you don’t start with knowing what you want your business to do for you it’s bound to go the way of so many of those relationships built on the excitement of the new, and fizzle when real life kicks in.
So whether you are just starting to design your business, or you are years into it, take a step back and ask yourself if the business you are building, or have already built, is designed to give you what you want. If you start with a solid foundation, designing and building a business that is worthy of being your lifelong partner will be so much easier.
Now I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and let me know:
1. What do YOU want FROM your photography business
2. If you have a photography business, is it currently fulfilling your deepest business desires?