If you’re thinking about starting a home-based photography business, then you’re in the right place. We’ve put together 15 simple steps that we think might help you to cover all the basics.
1. Decide what type of photographer you wish to become, for example, do you want to work with individuals or businesses?
2. Decide on what you want to take pictures of? For example, if you want to work with individuals then you could specialise in family portraits, lifestyle, or even pet photography. If you want to work for a business, then you might be taking product imagery, real-estate or indeed sport related pictures.
3. Create a business plan. The plan should outline the services you offer, how you’ll differ from the competition, financial projections, and marketing strategies.
4. Determine your pricing structure. Your pricing should take into account the cost of equipment, supplies, and travel.
5. Decide on your business structure. The easiest and lowest cost option is to become self-employed, however, creating a limited company (LTD/Limited) will offer greater protection of your assets should you run into legal problems.
6. Create a business name. What will you call your business and what will become the brand image? For example, if you are going to work with individuals then you may wish to call the business after your own name, or if you want to work with businesses you might wish to call it something that sounds professional. Select a name that fits the type of photography work you will be doing.
7. Check that the name already doesn’t exist – you can visit Companies House website to do this and ensure it’s not protected by a Trademark by visiting Gov.uk.
8. Register for VAT. When your business income reaches the VAT registration threshold, you will need to consider whether you need to register for VAT. For example, if your VAT taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 for the twelve months to 31 August 2019, you need to register for VAT by 30 September 2019.
9. Launch your business. Once you have your business name and set up your business structure, you need to obtain business licenses or permits as required by your city or county.
10. Open a business bank account. This is pretty self-explanatory.
11. Purchase or upgrade equipment and supplies. You may already have some equipment if you’ve been doing photography as a hobby, however, you will need to make sure your equipment and camera are going to produce quality work to get paid. Along with a decent camera, you’ll also need lenses, flashes, batteries, quality photo paper and packaging, lights and screens to control lighting.
12. Decide on a photo editing and sales software. A good editing and sales software can save you hours of time.
13. Quality marketing materials. You will need business cards, brochures and flyers to give out to clients and prospects.
14. Obtain references for your website and ask permission from your clients before posting their photos online.
15. Build an online presence. Build a website and set up social media accounts on networks your target market can be found.
Finally, market your business. Go networking to spread the word about your new photography business. Attend trade shows and annual events that are geared toward your niche. For example, if you want to do pet portraits, go to Crufts shows. If you want to do wedding photography, attend the Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers shows (SWPP).
For information on our start-up packages for new photography business please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.