Class Introduction


Legal Survival Guide


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

We're going to give birth today and tomorrow was a man I will never have that privilege, but I have birthed many a business in my life as a lawyer and is a business owner and we're going to start a real business and we're going to focus on a create creative businesses and we're going to focus on creative businesses recognizing the harsh reality that a lot of our businesses don't last very long, so if I do my job, I'm going to help you start a business that's gonna last longer than a year and we're gonna talk about some scary averages that face us as creative small business owners, and we're going to to look at those and try and overcome some of the challenges that are associated with running a small business. Now a lot of what you're going to hear today and I'm gonna tell you what you're gonna learn in a few slides, I'm gonna tell you what we're gonna learn, but some of this is going to freak you out. I mean, I've taught this class for years and people walk away from the short version ...

of the class saying, man, I'm doing everything wrong, I'm doing it the wrong way, it's just so overwhelming well, look, you've taken the step in the have taken a step in the right direction if you figured out what you're doing wrong that late least let you choose whether or not you're going to fix it if you're just wandering through the desert kind of blind and aimlessly hoping it's all gonna work out in the end and and, you know, looking up at the pink sky with the little rainbow unicorn shaped clouds you know, thinking man it's great to be alive that's one way to do business but you know, that's that's not what we're going to do today we're going to help you start a business that's gonna last longer than a year now that business needs to compensate you it needs to compensate you and it needs teo it needs to pay us more than we make is the greeter at wal mart okay, uh it really does not that there's anything wrong with that? Uh, there's nothing wrong with being the greeter a wal mart but if you're getting into business, you need to know that you're going to get compensated at a rate that is going to enable you to teo maintain the standard of living that you've you've set for yourself for your family because there's kind of a responsibility towards diving into a photography business if you if you have people that depend on you, I mean it may be your passion, but we have to make sure that your passion is going to take care of your responsibilities right so, uh, number one being able teo maintain your business to exist for ah period of time longer than a year to pay you what you need to pay in order to take care of your personal expenses and your family that's what we're gonna do okay, so here we go if you want to join the twitter feed apple studios, of course, creative life and legal guide live will get you in on the conversation, but I love to hear from folks on twitter if I can't answer your questions uh here today, I can try and answer them through twitter later on, so feel free to do that. What you guys can expect to learn is as follows now listen, I think if I do my math right at two hundred fifty dollars an hour today and tomorrow is a three thousand dollar value because if I were to give you private business consultation or to set up your business or to register your copyright or to help you set up your quick books and we were to do that over two days in southwest missouri where I'm from you get a bill at the end of that project for three thousand bucks and today you can dive in and if you buy now seventy nine dollars if you buy it today or tomorrow so I think that's a great value so we're going to start out and we're going to think about this concept of a business plan why a business plans important why do I need one that's just for big companies like coca cola? I don't need a business plan um we're going to explore that and see how that fits into your particular situation we're going to learn see how to do a trademark search now our class today is really going to be a lot more for the creative businesses correct? Yes I mean, these principles apply to two many businesses we're gonna focus on business is the create intellectual property that might might maybe be your painter or a graphic designer or a photographer or a new art director or, you know set decorator whatever you are in the world of creative businesses this will apply to you because it's very much corps sort of skeletal information it isthe that but it's specific information that applies across occupations in the creative field. Okay and when do you have any advice? Like when people are like the priest step to this do you have any advice? If you were to say I'm gonna give you some advice too before you before this step a ce faras thinking about their business do you ever give someone comes to you in a cocktail party and says, how do I even get started like is this that is this that first step we have to have a plan to make money, okay? And if you have a plan to make money, whether or not you've even made money that's the first step you have to have a plan by in a camera at costco doesn't necessarily mean that you're you're a business it, uh it means that you're preparing to go into business, right? So I think that the first step to starting the business will be to kind of have a plan to make money. Great, awesome. Well, we have everyone is just starting to kind of join us in the chat room. So again, if you're not there with us yet definitely scroll down and click the chat life of class participants take advantage of this, I really can't stress it enough. I know I watched creative life for a while and didn't realize the value until until I started seeing it, but so we have one question, a few questions piling up, but cadie says, I've been photographing for about fifteen years as a hobby. I know I don't know what to start just charging and I don't know where to start. Can I charge before I even have a contract set up for business in place? You can have a contract today don't do anything until after today, yes, just eight more hours. Yeah, by the end of the day today you'll be in good shape, you'll be ready to charge people is much is your market will bear? I mean, pricing is a kind of a different conversation there's some art to it, we're not going to get in super in depth on pricing, you know? We'll talk a little bit later about how did how to dive into that. What you don't want to do is say pick me on the cheapest um, that's that's probably not what you want to be known at and you're in your market as being the cheapest we're going kind of discuss that, but yeah, you know you can you can start charging people all you have to do is have the ability, teo, put your hand out and get the cheque or the cash for doing the work we're going to pick a name gotta have a name, right? You know you're thinking about being doria schubert photographic ce photograph photographer photo queen we're going to talk about that we're gonna look about we're going to talk about doing a trademark search for those of you that are super knew that don't even have a domain name, we're going to show you how to set up your website we're just going to do a quick tutorial on how to buy a domain name and what that entails we're going to show you how to set up a new limited liability company and get an e I n number that's an employer identification number we're going to give you some ah background on accounting system go over some accounting basics actually set up uh your company on quick books and give you a little bit of introduction we're gonna talk about tax considerations and deadlines and there's great bonus materials to helpyou calendar those things so they don't miss them we're going to an actual riel copyright registration every photographer, every creative, the rare photographer creative actually registers their work we're gonna actually do that so you can see how easy it is we're going to cover contract basics that are going to protect you and learn how to shield your personal assets in the event something goes horribly wrong and you create some liability and somebody's coming to take your car, your boat or your dog uh we're gonna make sure you get to keep those things so that's what you can expect from me now, here's, what I need to expect from my creative live audience okay, you're gonna get your going to get legal, you've got to get on your own legal advice for your own personal situations, right? So it's not like I'm having a conversation with my in studio audience here and we can talk about something specific things that affect your situation and I could kind of give you some general advice and I can certainly tell you what the law would be in missouri illinois but if you need some specific advice on your specific situation you need to get a lawyer in your state to kind of advise you on that you also like I also need to expect from everybody that you're going to get tax advice from your own account in sepia because every tax year people bring baggage into their tax returns maybe we've done something in past tax years that we've got to deal with this year I don't know what everybody's situation is so we're taking ah new business and we're going to run towards the finish line with it but you have to understand there's no one size fits all solution for everybody's personal situation so you have to agree with me that you understand that and we're going to move forward with those understandings I'm not giving you specific personal legal advice I may be in your office or your den or your bedroom or on your iphone right now but I'm not giving you individualized personal legal advice I am not your attorney if you want me to be your attorney call me we'll work it out uh but for today's purposes we're just kind of talking about general concepts for educational purposes okay so we're photographers were creatives what do we do? Why are people tuning in? Why do people want to do this? Well, let's see, there was a survey done by the international society of ah ah, professional wedding photographers and and this is what people think photographers do. We spend eighty percent of our time taking pictures, we spend fifteen percent of our time traveling to exotic locations, right? And we spend five percent of our times with gerry g jonas partying like rock stars on that what we d'oh well, there's some realities to what we do in the realities are what makes a photographer a professional photographer and not an amateur or a pro sumer we spend time marketing our business, we spend time networking every month we're goingto other vendor meetings and weird, we're talking to other vendors and we're trying to get jobs way have to keep up with our camera and run our backups and and deal with breakdowns and keep up with computer and issues we have to spend our time to an advertising and marketing and generating marketing pieces and going to a wedding shows and trade shows men we have to do print orders because hopefully we're selling our work and we have to actually send the orders to the lab and on package them and deliver them to the client we have to actually take the pictures that we sell or in the case of a graphic artist sit in front of the computer with pen in hand doing paths and whatever that strange stuff y'all do so well that I could never do then all of a sudden it goes away and pull your hair out I don't know how to fix that we actually have to add it our photos and into other computer related task tasks then we've got the bookkeeping and accounting side we gotta meet within communicate with our clients and do album design and production so there's a ton of things that we have to do to make us a business right beginning our head around this concept realizing that there's more to photography or graphic design that just taking pictures or editing traveling to exotic location in parting like like rock stars some of that you know comes with the territory but we have to step up to the challenge of actually running our business like a business so with that let's ask a question and I'm interested to hear what everybody says online as well but our photographers generally good at business take photographers out of it let's ask the question are creatives really good at business are we doria says story a says not so much why is that why aren't we good at business what do we do wrong what what do we uh why is it that we're not good at business? You hear this concept of right brain left brain everybody familiar with that the right side of our brain is where creativity flows from the left side starts with l that's where logic that's, where business that's, where calculations come from, that's our math side of the brain, and there's a line down the middle of our brain on actual line between the two hemispheres of our brain, and they really don't talk to each other all the time. Now, the super person superman, he actually is pathways between the right and the left side of the brain, and they can actually engage in both of those creative and logical tasks at the same time. So the truthful answer is it's difficult for you bosses, creatives who are right brain dominant to engage in those kinds of thought activities there in the left side of our brain, because we're just mechanically not wired to do it. So the first step to overcoming our obstacles there are difficulties is admitting what what were not what we're not good at, and so if that part of our business is suffering, were really struggling with we have great creative ideas, we're ready tto move forward with lots of creative projects, but we have to figure out, too, how to monetize it, how to grow our business and how to make sure that it's around for longer than how long a year, right? So that's so that's ah that's the simple question and you've got to give yourself a truthful answer to it on dh nick says, hell no and also two hands for his question l o l so we're getting a few of those and stanley says no, I almost failed out of business school so there is a resounding no as a general answer and you know, this is where we're at people are entering the field of professional photography faster than in the entire history of photography the barriers to entry are relatively low it used to be in order to take magazine quality pictures you had to spend thirty or forty thousand dollars on a hasselblad camera and you had to have ah thirty thousand dollar digital back and you had to have twenty thousand dollars computer to run it and then you could deliver the kind of well and then you had to have fifty thousand dollars and lighting and a twenty thousand dollar production budget. But photography has changed so much that those quality images could be delivered for for a fraction of what it costs just fifteen or to ten or fifteen years ago, so the barriers to entry to doing amazing work are relatively low those are the creative barriers, but the business barriers are still there you have to if you're going to make money with your work still run it like a business and if we think about that, you say, I'm not a business. What's, the I r s a. I mean, that's, really what we're going to talk about. I mean, this course isn't specific to just tax issues, but if you're making money from your business or you intend to make money from your business, you've got to do these things, you know, putting your head in the sand and saying it'll all work out and seeing come by eyes, not a strategy. That's. Hope, hope, it's not a strategy. It really is not.

Class Description

Ready to turn your creative side project into a thriving business? Join Craig Heidemann for an introduction to the business and accounting principles every creative professional needs to know. 

In this class, Craig will take you step-by-step through the process of setting up, running, and growing a small business. You’ll learn how to use QuickBooks to manage your finances, including managing client contracts and invoices. Craig will also help you navigate the potentially-confusing tax, legal, and copyright issues surrounding small businesses. You’ll also learn how to contract and/or hire people to do the tasks you can’t do yourself. 

Whether you’re just starting out as a business owner or you’re a longtime entrepreneur ready for a refresher course, this course will give you a roadmap to business success.


a Creativelive Student

I'm literally fresh off the boat, as the saying goes, having moved back to the US after decades of living abroad. I have the photography down (in some measure due to the instructors and courses here at CL), but being new to the business of photography in this environment I was rudderless. This course helped answer all my initial questions and put me on the way to getting established in my region... and beyond! Craig makes legal issues almost fun with his jocular, engaging style. Thanks so much to Chase and the people at CL for knowing what courses real working photographers need.

Andrew V Gonzales

This class is amazing (as is the Instructor). Funny, real, and to the point, Craig has a great way of making these aspects of business MUCH less intimidating. Still very applicable even in 2016. Loved it!