Day 3 Bonus: "Planning"
Today I'm going to share five of the things that I wish I would have done differently when I started my business and then some of the things that I want you to start thinking about as we're planning and designing the perfect business for you so we're going to go through an entire list of things that I want to make sure I get planned in my business and I also want you teo you know get the juices flowing for the things that you actually need to get on your schedule that you need to plan for and that you need toe really be thinking about as we go through this siri's so let's talk ng about talk about planning your plan zig ziglar says to get more done it's not about more time it's about direction and commitment it's about focus and my husband who is retired military always says singleness of purpose is what gets things done so let's think about everything is you know one thing at a time let's focus on one thing a lot of time multitasking we feel like we're getting more done but really with...
that singleness of purpose that's what's going to get us to the finish line all right so let's talk about those things that you shouldn't be doing in your business there are five top things for me that I wish I would have done differently I want to share those things with you the first is failing to plan that's what this whole segment is about is planning for your business planning for your success and that failure to plan you've probably heard the statement that says, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and wow, is this true? For small business owners? We have to plan for success. We've gotto right that business plan, even though it's, tedious and it's a lot of work, we've got a plan every single day for the success of that day, no daily task lists are very important in the morning. Get sit down and write out what needs to get done that day and the things that aren't done. Put it on the list for tomorrow, and those things will keep you focused and keep you moving forward in the right direction. Number two things that I wish I wouldn't have done in the beginning was be too eager for a studio space, and I went about five years before he actually opened up a studio space, but I was brand new two winterset, iowa, where I live now, very small little town of about fifty, five hundred people in the midwest, kind of in the middle of know where we are, about forty five minutes to an hour outside of des moines, and the point is where I pull most of my business from and so considering that I should have just been super happy working on location and going to my clients that's very valuable to the client but back in two thousand we moved to winter said in about nineteen, ninety nine and I was determined that I was gonna have a studio space so I jumped into it I got a small business loan and opened up my first retail location I bought a building and you know, that's now looking back I think and that was crazy I was not planned and prepared for that and we'll talk about that as we go along about when is the right time for retail space or is there a right time? And so we'll walk through that, but I don't want you to be so eager for a studio space for a retail space that you don't see the benefits and the value of where you are right now. The next thing I wish I hadn't done it was to hire employees without job descriptions and wow, that was a huge mistake for me in the beginning I got super busy super fast in my studio and I just needed help and so I put it out there, you know, help me please and start hiring people and there were no job descriptions and so what happened was I pulled together this great group of people, but we ended up being friends and you know, kind of hanging out, and I was still doing all the work, and so I've really learned the hard way that clear job descriptions have to be put in place before I can bring somebody new into the business, so we'll go through all of that together next is giving away the farm, and that is something that we all go through, you know, especially in the beginning, we want everyone to have are pretty pictures, and, you know, we don't feel like we can charge because we're not a professional yet or we don't have that portfolio built yet, or maybe we don't feel like we're is good as photographer, a b or c on the street, and especially now, when we khun blawg stock and, you know, really stock these other photographers that we love and admire in our own towns and cities, and we think I'm not as good as them, so I shouldn't be charging well throughout this series. I want to talk to you about charging what you're worth and valuing your time first and most of all, but really seeing the value that you have to give tio other people, you know, all of us want to make people happy it's kind of just human nature, but we have to believe that we are making people happy by providing them with the capture of their memories in their life and their stories so think about that value and what what that's worth and you know don't be willing to give away the farm there were many, many years where I said yes to everybody you know, family and friends of family and friends of their friends of family and you know and I was of course photographing for free next to nothing and you know, it took a while to get to that place where I said, you know what? I can't do this anymore I'm taking time away from my family I'm taking time away from the things that are important to me and I need to charge for my time and so you know that that step is really important to me and hopefully will you know, communicate that throughout this siri's and well really think about what we can charge and what our time is worth and then five is thinking like an artist instead of a business person and wow that's a tough one to swallow because we all feel like, you know, we're photographers were artists were doing what we love or following our passion and it's so hard to think like a business person but I'll tell you what when it comes time to charge and to put our business name out there our brand out there and really start tryingto reach that target client and build our businesses you have to put that business hat on and in fact I tell kids now young young people that are excited about jumping into the industry, you know, I'll get phone calls and I'll get e mails and they'll say, you know, what's, the best education I could get where should I be going to school? What should I be studying? How how can I better learn my camera? And my advice is always you're gonna learn your camera, we do that by practice, we do that by, you know, repetition, and so we want teo, you know, make sure that yes, you're going to learn all those things you're gonna learn your camera, but there is no better education than a business education if you actually want to turn this hobby that you love into a business and you know, if you're like me, I didn't go to school for photography or business. Um, I was actually an english major and I never graduated, but I have, you know, read and studied and had business coaches and, you know, learned through the school of hard knocks, and so I want to encourage you to put that business hat on when it's time to plan and design your business instead of thinking like an artist, especially if you're thinking like a starving artist. So let's, talk about designing your business and the steps that it takes to do that planning and the things that you need to be planning. We talked about the things that you don't want to be doing so now let's talk about the things that you do want to be doing, and we'll be doing together over the course of this siri's throughout the siri's, we're gonna be talking about designing your business. But first, I want you to think about designing your life because if we don't have a life plan first, that our business can fit into our life is going to suffer and your personal life will suffer. And I'll tell you, I can say that first hand know, back in two thousand, when I opened up that first retail space, I got super busy superfast I went digital that year, things were a crazy, crazy mess, and I even started hiring people before I really needed to be hiring people. I was just I just needed help, and so I put it out there, you know, come on in, I need to hire if you hire people help, and I didn't have clear drop descriptions in place and, you know, really got myself into a you know, a bad situation with being very busy, very fast and really sucking the life out of you. Myself and my family and the people that are were around me, and so I learned the hard way that I have to think about my life plan and what I want out of my life first, before I planned my business, and so I would really want to encourage you throughout this, you know, we're talking about your business, but I want you to make sure first that it fits into what you really want for your life. And, you know, what are your goals and dreams and hopes and wishes for, for you and for your family and where you want to be in a year and in five years and in ten years, you know, do you wanna have a vacation every year with your family? Do you want to make sure that you're at your kids every ball game? You know, what is it that is important to you and make a plan for those things first, and then allow your business too fill in the spots so that you can do those things, and if you plan your life plan first, then the business is going to make a lot more sense and it's going to make a lot more sense that if I've got a goal of making, you know, grossing one hundred thousand dollars or one hundred fifty thousand dollars, if that's my goal what really is the purpose? It can't just be that that's how much I want to make it needs to be I want to make this much so that so think about what you're so that is and plan your life plan first when we talk about planning, I want to talk teo about goals and setting goals for yourself, for your life and for your business so we'll go through a little goal setting exercise together but, you know started thinking about that start brewing what those goals are for you, for your life and for your business and when you've got those goals set, you're going to want to start putting action steps in place and that's step two after you set the goals were going to set the main goals and then put the steps in place to make sure that we get there and reach those goals. Once we've got your goals and your action steps in place, then we'll be putting together systems and strategies to make sure that those action steps get get taken care of systems and strategies are so important to the final outcome of your business on a day to day basis if systems are in place a lot of times it's easy to veer off path are going to get sidetracked and with systems weaken stay on path and it also makes it very easy to bring someone else on board when it's time when you've got that system in place, there is a book called the e myth and that was a book that I read very early on back in about two thousand won or so and I tell you, when I read that book, I was in tears that most of the way through it because it just hit home so hard for me the book talks about a girl sarah, who learned to bake pies from her aunt and all of her life she spent time in the kitchen with her aunt and she learned the passion and the joy of baking and, you know, all the life lessons that her aunt taught her through that and it really became her passion and she decided, you know, that's what she really loved to do and everybody told her how good she was at it and she knew it made people happy and she opened up her purse, her first bakery, her first pie shop, and throughout that time she was excited and people lined the streets for her pies and we're so excited, teo, you know, come in and tell her what a great job she was doing and how amazing the pies were and she was doing a great business and, you know, it didn't take long, you know, months into it and she was just burned out and stressed out and she was you know, doing the bookkeeping and mopping the floors and trying teo manage employees and you know all these things that it takes to run a small business and she didn't like baking pies anymore and you know when I read that book and I just thought that's me you know, I love photography and I got into this business because I love photography and I love making people happy and being able to tell their stories and and that was something that was really important to me and all of a sudden I opened up this retail space and got crazy busy and was hiring people and doing the bookkeeping me and mopping the floors and, you know, taking care of all these things and I didn't even want to do it anymore you know, it was one of those things that I came to a screeching halt one day and said I either have to make this work as a business and you know, have fun taking my camera on vacation again or I have to stop doing it and, you know, do something go to a nine to five job where I can go home and enjoy my family at night and so you know, that book really hit home to me one of the eight things that the myth talks about is putting those systems and strategies in place for your business so that it basically runs on its own and when I first read that and first read the description from the email that says, you know, you should set up your business as if it were a franchise as if it were something that you could sell to someone else and you could completely walk away from that their systems and strategies in place so that it could happen again and again in the same way over and over without you even physically being there and you know, for a very small business owner especially an artist business owner that is a hard concept to swallow, but I really took that to heart and decided at that time you know, I do need to get those systems in place so we're going to walk through a lot of those systems together and help you put those systems in place for your own business. The next thing that we're going to talk about planning is your schedule and I want you to think about planning every part of your schedule not just booking sessions but planning when you're going to edit and when you're going to sell and even when you're going to be marketing and networking we're going to get all of that on your calendar together in your planning calendar will be scheduling everything everything from education whether it's you know, doing a state organization event or creative live you know, whatever you're doing to learn the business or the camera better we'll be planning on when you want to be photographing sessions instead of leaving your calendar wide open to your clients will be planning phone calls and editing and order appointments and even following up with your clients and everything in between. And then we'll talk about planning your workflow and you see, here are workflow envelope and I'll go over this a little bit more with you guys later, but our workflow envelope is gonna have everything every step that we take through the client experience and there's a place to check off each step along the way so we're going to date that we're going to initial it, whoever did that step of the process and we can really keep track of everything that way, and that really helps to keep the workflow moving along, and then we're going to plan our marketing. Um, we were going to talk lots about marketing and hopefully give you lots of great marketing ideas, but then we're going to take it a step further and actually put some of those marketing plans and campaigns on the calendar, which leads into planning your networking and networking is an extension of marketing, but with networking we're going to pull in other business partnerships and other individual partnership, so we're networking with other people to build our business, and we'll talk lots about that we'll talk about planning your client communications at what part of the process you're going to be talking about pricing at what part of the process you're going to be following up with clients when will be doing the consultation? So we'll walk through all of that and how you're going to communicate value throughout the process and educate your client on your products and your structure and do it all in a very positive way, you know, one of my rules and our businesses it's a yes for the client and I always want to find that yes for the client, but what comes first is a yes for my business and my family, and so that rule will follow as we work together and we'll find your yeses that is going to be absolutely we're gonna find that positive for the client, but first I wanted to be right for your business and right for for you and for your family, so we'll work through those together and then that plan for going retail or to not go retail. That is the question we'll make a plan for that, and if you're struggling with that, if you really wantto have a retail location, we'll talk about what you need to have in place before you make that leap and then we're going to plan for your income and we're going to plan your pricing I do believe that planning for your income comes first we're going to plan for what you need to make in a year and if we know what you need to make, we're going to figure out what you need to gross and then we're going to back it up from there and say if we need to make this much and grossest much how many sessions and what do they need to average to be able to get there if I know how many sessions I need to do or even can do physically in a given amount of time and I know what they need to average to reach my goal, then I can plan my pricing in order to lead client's right to that average that I need to make we'll work through a projections worksheet together so that you can look at your year at a hole glance and be able to see you know I need to do this many sessions in this month and this many sessions in this month to reach my goal and they each need to be averaging this much will walk there each one year product lines what kind of sessions that you're photographing and then figure out your session averages and how many you need to be photographing in each one of those categories and once we have your pricing established, you know you probably need to raise your prices so we'll make a plan for that a plan for raising your prices and a plan for telling your clients you've raised your prices, you know, there's a some ways to do that to make it a little bit easier on your past clients and make it easier on you to present that new pricing to your new clients, so we'll up walk through all of that and make a plan for that. So you feel very comfortable in the presentation of your pricing, so planning and preparing is the name of the game when it comes to designing your business, so we will be walking through all of these steps and putting a plan together for you and putting those systems and strategies in place so that you can feel very confident moving forward and planning the business of your dreams. We've talked to the five biggest things that I feel I should have done differently when I started my business, and then I gave you a list of things that I feel are really, really important to make sure that you have planned in your business. So now we're gonna talk to carly about what we're going to be planning together, and we're gonna work through our goals worksheet just a little bit. You guys all have a free business plan workbook that you can download at photo talk dot biz, so make sure you go over and grab that. But if you have purchased this course and you can follow along with us in your notebook as well and I just really think through all these things that you should be planning in your business all right? Carly, we're gonna work through this and I'm going to write some things down for you so you could just talk and I'll I'll do the writing so we aren't taking a lot of you know your time writing there, but I want you to think, you know, when you our thinking through all the different things that you need to plan for your business and the things that we need to put systems in place for, what do you feel like is your biggest struggle? I think probably my biggest struggle would be, you know, being confident, my pricing uh being able to price to be profitable so that I can spend more time with my kids and I was working all the time for nothing so proud my biggest number one all right, so those biggest soils are going to be getting your pricing in place which will do together and when you can see those projections on paper, it really does make a huge difference some excited to do that for you because I do feel like once you see it all, I'm black and white what it's gonna look like for the entire year for next year it's going to make you feel a lot better about being able to accomplish it and get it all done, so that would be a good thing to plan together, so pricing and really believing in you and, you know, getting that value communicated to the client as well as sounds like maybe some workflow. Yeah, um, issues that will need to work through and and workflow is a huge issue for everyone, you know, and so what I'd love to see you do is really get a calendar together and start thinking about exactly when you want to be photographing instead of opening up your schedule to your clients, and I think you do a pretty good job, but that now it's just that you're doing it every weekend, and you don't want to be doing it every weekend, and so getting that workflow on paper as well as getting your new pricing together and then thinking through your phone scripts and your communication processes with the client so that you are communicating that value to them, I really feel like defining your biggest struggles is a great first step to writing out those goals and really thinking it through. And so first, think about your top one or two things that you're struggling with in your business and go ahead and write those down really think about what you need help with what you need to be planning first and those are gonna be those those biggest struggles the things that are working for you you've got him working and so you can always continue to work on those things and those are gonna be the easiest and most fun to work on if you're good at it but if you think about the struggles putting a plan in place to make those work out better for you and for your business and for your family that's going to be the most beneficial to you so think about that first and write those down most of you probably have the same kind of struggles that carly's having it's all about you know, really valuing what you're doing and raising your prices and then being able to communicate that value to your clients so that you can charge what you're worth and communicating all those things along the way next after you thought about what those struggles are think about what your top three goals are in your business and it's probably going to be based on those struggles so think through what the top three goals are for next year so let's think about that together what are your top three goals for two thousand fourteen so I think my number one goal is probably send work family time anything we can do to make that better was probably be awesome my number two bull would probably switch too from doing the dvd and just stopping my sales in my communication with my client's pretty much there to selling prince and spending time helping them build something for their home and through all that maybe you know, having confidence in myself that would probably be good and third for my third goal along with selling prints instead of the dvd I think I know you need to raise my prices unprofitable okay? So raising prices and now that we have those top three to kind of break those down you know you've said the goal is more family time and that's a great goal it's very broad goal and so what does that look like for you? What is more family time looked like and and by that I mean, you know let's think about what the schedule looks like for you that you know, it would make you feel great about what you're doing in your business and the time you're spending with your family yeah see right now I'm shooting all the time and I try to do every other weekend let sometimes it turns into every weekend and so I'd really like to shoot for one wedding a month like one saturday a month and then shoot one weekend a month then if I have to fill in on weekdays a couple times, I'd be okay but I really want to try to do just a couple weekend days okay? And what we're gonna do together is go ahead and put those weekends on your calendar so you're gonna be able to see it all and that means when your client is calling, you're gonna actually be able to give them times that you have available instead of just well, yeah, sure, I could do with that saturday for sure I could do it that thursday night or whatever, you know and that's happening, and even now you're saying and I guess if I need to fill in on weekdays, you know, and I want you to really think that peru and instead of you know, well, maybe this could happen that you decide, you know, we're gonna put a calendar in place and you're going to decide and you can have side with ross, you know, let's sit down and do I work on tuesday afternoons or do I work on thursday nights or, you know, whatever is gonna fit for your family, then you put that on your calendar, and another thing with scheduling is I want you to schedule everything you know and you're going into in person sales, and so we know that your price or your averages are gonna at least double if not triple and quadruple once you meet with people, and I absolutely know this is gonna happen for you because it happens every time just by meeting with clients and making suggestions you are going to double triple quadruple your sales and so you know so you're not going to just schedule sessions you're going to be scheduling when you're going to editing when you're going to be selling you know when you're going to marketing you're gonna schedule all those different components of your work flows that you can see it all and you can see when you're gonna have that family time on paper and so khun ross all right and then um your goal number two taking your current product of the dvd and really promoting and selling the wall uh for the wall the wall groupings and uh what do you see what do you see as your you know like right now best case scenario what would your client five from you um best case scenario hopefully they will buy a wall grouping that so I'm gonna really push for um I've been leading towards campus but I kind of want to explore different framing options I could do as well because I really haven't gotten to do that yet so I wanted to really look around and see what would best fit me and my business so exciting and I will tell you that there is a local framer that I use and I'm gonna recommend him to you as well and that way a lot of times that's our excuse for not framing is that, you know, I don't know how to frame I don't want I want I want to have to take the time, you know? So I'm gonna pass along him to you and and I would encourage you guys, if it's time to start framing and doing something different for your business, look at the resources that are around you and we framed in house for many years, but we found a local guy who is willing to do are framing for us. We we purchase it all the prince, the frames, you know everything, and then we just take it all over to him he finishes it and delivers it back oh, you know, done and ready to go for the client and so, um, you have you have to make sure that you build that cost into your final sale, but he charges us about fifteen dollars, to finish a large print, and so we build that into the cost of the frame and it works out. We've got this goal now to go from dvd sales to wall products. And so I wantto put next a system in place to make sure that happens and really with your product, whatever it is that you want to sell, whether it's albums, image boxes, even the stupid dvd um longer things and whatever it is you know, putting a plan in place and actually making suggestions to your client is going to allow you to make that happen. And so our action step for this is going to be no writing out that script and really planning for making those suggestions, asking for those wall snapshots, building something and preview sending it over to the client and making those suggestions. And you know what I promised? I'll promise you, but if you make those suggestions to your client and you show them what can be done, they're gonna love it and so many times they're just going to say that's amazing that's great, yes, that's what I like and so your sales actually done before you've even shoot, so makes it fun and easy, then your third goal is just to get that confidence up in raising your prices. And I really think that once we've got those projections done, we've got your new pricing in place and you can actually see it on paper. Like I said, it's it's gonna give you some of that confidence, some of it's just going to be in practicing just doing it, and I really, really would encourage you to even work with your clients right now that you already have scheduled. With their old pricing, but just start introducing the idea that I've got some really exciting new products for two thousand fourteen, and I'd love for you to be one of the first people to see it, and then you're just getting that practice of planting the seeds and talking about it and getting excited about it, and you will see that other people will start getting excited about to is you present it to them and that's gonna help build the confidence. So it really is just all about putting those systems in place to make sure this is how it happens every single time. There will be some times where you'll have some resistance because you've been selling things very cheap, and so you will have some resistance from some people, but it'll allow you that practice. And I think a lot of times when we even tell our clients, you know, you're gonna be one of the first to experience this or this is brand new for me. I can't wait to show it to you. They're going to be excited and come along with you on those ideas because carly's goals revolver so much around workflow and scheduling and getting things on paper I'm going to now have her put together what is gonna look like her perfect week and so you've got a weekly calendar in your workbook I'm gonna pull this out and we're gonna work on this together but if some of your goals revolved around the same kind of thing you've gotta put those systems in place you want to put that schedule in place to make sure that you do have that family time and that you can can narrow down and streamline your workflow go ahead and take out that weekly calendar and just put your you know perfect week on the schedule right now all right so here is a weekly calendar I'm gonna give you this plan will work through this together but I want you to go ahead and think through you're weak and you're weak is gonna look a little bit different than mine because you want to shoot on weekends I do not want to shoot on weekends and you know and everybody is a little bit different but let's look and you know, look through this and see what the perfect week looks like for you, okay? All right as you're planning your calendar as carly is planning hers really think through that whole week don't just think about when you want to book sessions think about when you're going teo edit those sessions when you're going to be selling to those clients when the orders are going to be placed to the lab, and then when you're going to packaging those orders, you know, think through the entire process, you've also got a build in some time for client communication that's not going to be the same every single time, but maybe you set aside a time on tuesday afternoon thursday afternoon each week to make your phone calls. You know, it's it's always gonna be a little bit different for everybody, but if you think that through, I also want you to put time on your weekly calendar for family time. When is time that you know the computer is banned and your cameras even banned? When is that time that is, you know, just for you, but put that on your calendar and really think through when am I gonna, you know, spend time reading if that's something I love or, you know, working out or you know, whatever it is that you're into make sure that those things go on to your calendar as well, working for your business plan as well as your success planning in your workbook is going to take you some time, but it will be worth it if you get through it, so set aside some time. Today or in the next couple of days to work through those questions and really think about the direction that you want your business to go. And I do feel it's important to think about those things that are your strengths. What are the things that are already going for you that you can improve upon? And those are going to be the easiest thing is to do, and you want to make sure that you're kind of incorporating your strength into each one of these areas. So let's, answer that question together, and I'm gonna ask carly about your strengths. What do you feel like are your your biggest drinks? I think my biggest drinks as a photographer in a person or probably that I'm positive and energetic. Um, I think that having young children really helps me be able teo, work with other people's kids and bring out the best, and then I'm a people person. I think without having my nursing is a background of gavin nurturing person. I think those are good things. I definitely think that you are a nurturer. You're kind of a born mom. So and that's great to be able to recognize those things because they are things that you can communicate to your clients in a positive way you can let your clients know your kids are gonna be filled, you know, very cared for and we're gonna have a good time and when you know, if she tells you, you know, my kids are really naughty or, you know, they don't usually do well for the photographer, you can say, you know what? I love him that way and, you know, I I feel like that's one of my strengths is really being able to work with the kids and get on their level, and you don't communicate those things and that's great and as a benefit to them, we always want to think about what's in it for them, you know, instead of saying I'm super nurturing, you know, we're gonna let the client know that their kids are gonna be taken care of, and they're they're going to feel comfortable with us, you know? We're going to talk about that positive, energetic personality in the same way we're gonna have a great time together. Your kids are gonna have fun, so communicate your strengths as a benefit to the client and what's in it for them do you feel like you have any excuses that you're making for not accomplishing the goals that we've set out, I think probably my biggest excuse would be the fact that I share space with someone just giving the dvds easy. And, you know, I don't have any place to display the prince and the galleries of stuff that I want to sell people, and I'm really excited to be able to move and get my own place and have myself a stuff up on the walls that people can see it, see what they're going to buy. Yeah, showing what you sell is huge, and so that obstacle is being removed for you at, you know, as you move into your new place and and that's coming up soon, and I'm excited for that too exciting, but so is there anything else? What do you you know, showing what you want to sell? Definitely, you know, do you feel like you're gonna have any trouble deciding on what you want to sell him? What you want to display? Yeah, I think that is a big thing. I think that I really need thio work through what I want to sell. What I want to push what I think would look good to go with my style. You know, people could be confident the fact that I know what I'm talking about violet you know what I want to sell so yeah, I think that's a big thing okay, well good. Well e I think it's really great to identify those things because then you can work the room and decide how you're going to address those things and what you're gonna be communicating to the client. So so that's really great anything else that you feel is an obstacle for you I think probably the hardest thing in building my business and trying to get to go forward and be better is my own insecurities you know, every woman hasn't especially businesswoman, you know? So I think really getting over that and that's obviously something I have to do with my own self I think it grows with more experience I have in confidence in my work and what I'm selling and what I'm doing and maybe, you know, getting my schedule down and really knowing what I want will help me get over those insecurities. It will definitely help and carly's right insecurities, confidence being able to believe that were worth what we're charging. All those things are issues for all of us and so really having a plan and thinking things through thinking about what excuses you are making and making changes they're all of that is going to be beneficial for your business really think through all these things and use the tools that you have available to you. Tow work through to make your schedule plan things out, and really think about what those goals are. And then what action steps you need to be taking to reach those schools and really plan and schedule some time to make sure that you make it happen.