Insourcing vs. Outsourcing
Insourcing verse outsourcing so I want to talk to you quickly about some things to consider as you're growing your business as you're coming up with the scalability plan when we talk about an accountant a bookkeeper legal right? Yeah, sure you can go by legal forms, you can play an attorney and start copying things, but ultimately these are the parts of your business you should consider outsourcing so accounting book keeping legal postproduction album design, printing anything that is consuming massive amounts of time that can be offloaded you have to at least consider outsourcing them because they're stopping your business from growing here's the reality as photographers the places where making our money is shooting if we're not shooting, we're not making money that's where it comes from and to get to shooting we have to be marketing and so those air to task that me internally I look for that's what I'm doing anything else I'm trying to find a way to, you know, outsource when possible...
when you're looking at outsourcing here's some of the goals you should have. All right, you should be looking for a partner whoever you're gonna outsource to haas toe, understand your business and be partnering with your business if not, you're just another number to them you're just another account to them, so I'm looking for someone who's gonna partner with my business someone understands it most importantly though someone who can grow with it the attorney we used today is the same attorney we used when we started our business seven years ago the account we used today is the same account we used when we started our business seven years ago that person has grown with our business it's very very important that you find these partnerships early on I think whoever you're partnering with should be somewhat local where it makes sense right because I won't have access when it comes to my accountant don't jump on a phone call with somebody I want to be able to go there in their office have a conversation with him when it comes to my my lawyer I want to be able to go there have a conversation with him have him come to my office invite him go out have a drink with him network with him these air things I want to be able to dio and ultimately when you're outsourcing like anything else you get what you pay for and so just like weeds photographers right you get a photographer for five hundred dollars you can probably get um an attorney for a hundred dollars right so you've gotta understand that you are going to get what you pay for here right so these things are very very important but your time has to be spent shooting and marketing everything else has to be at least a candidate to be outsourced including web devin graphic design that's, the other one, right? How many of us, jules think we're web developers and we're going to keep doing this and procrastinating and procrastinating, and it never gets done, so outsource it if it's just sitting there not getting done, outsource it. I can say I have not done any of our web sites, even though I work for microsoft, I am a programmer by nature, I can absolutely create our own websites. I did not do it, and I know what the hell I'm doing. So what I wonder is how if you don't really know what you're doing and you gotta html book sitting on a shelf, how you really believe you're going to create a website that can do what you needed to dio it's really not practical, so you've got to consider that a source of outsourcing or is an option for outsourcing. You can save money in the long run with your accountant, so if you hire the right accountant, they're going to save you money. We're gonna save you money through tax credits. They're going to save you money through giving you guidance planning, uh, here's something that was worth every penny illinois tax laws for wedding photographers. Turns out that I don't have to charge sales tax on the entire wedding package, so for example, if you're in live in the state of illinois and you have a wedding package that includes a cd of images and album and product, right along with service turns out according to the laws of illinois, you charge sales tax on lee on the part of the package that is product based, right? Because you don't charge taxes on services typically. Well, illinois has this law that I had no idea existed in my accountant pointed this law out to me and that's, how we collect sales tax now on a percentage of the package. Well, it's a huge competitive advantage, because over in st louis, those clients would have to pay full sales tax. Well, now, when they come over my wedding clients, a majority of which are from st louis come over, I point out some I go hey, guys, just to give you perspective. While this package may cost this much ultimately here's, what your sales tax is going to look like, and they're blown away because they see what they're paying for sales tax on all their st louis vendors. So is a huge competitive advantage worth every penny tohave, an accountant that understands those tax laws also understanding end of year as we get into november, my accountant can quickly look at things and say hey f y I here's where you're at income year to date if you need new equipment, go buy it now because if you spend x amount of dollars on new equipment it'll reduce your tax rate by x amount of dollars so I'm actually saving money by spending money who doesn't love doing that? Okay that's where having an accountant and outsourcing not is world worth it? Can you guys go off do your own bookkeeping and do your own ten ninety nines and you know whatever it is you're however your businesses set up of course you can but ultimately pay somebody who knows what the hell they're doing it's worth every penny legal worth their weight in gold look, you can go out to like legalzoom and incorporate I would not recommend if you're gonna incorporate your business doing a template based form it is going to be riddled with issues and let me let me give you some perspective I come from a family of attorneys okay was going the law path myself before I went off and worked for microsoft here's the thing any good attorney laughs when they see these forms set up and I'm talking about forms that are like model releases um contracts things like that because they're so generic in order to appeal to everyone in every state because of that a real attorney will just destroy those contacts are contracts so those will ultimately hurt you in the long run so god forbid anything goes wrong in your business and you don't have ah riel type contract in place these attorneys are a real attorney is going to destroy it. So what's the point, then what's the point of having a contract it's a false sense of security so make that investment hook up with our military? What about lab labs are a partner? Labs are you outsource, right? I mean, how many people really today are printing their own prints for fulfillment? Not many people I know, so you're depending on a lab one former fashion. And so you should be looking for a lab who gets your business, who gets our industry who's innovative, right? Because we need new and better products in order to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We've talked about that already. They understand quality, their leader in the industry and of course, customer service because there's no lab you're gonna partner with that is not going to make a mistake. There's no lab you're gonna partner with that isn't going to ship you the wrong print by accident that isn't going to ship you something that was damaged in transit thes air things that are gonna happen right? The lab doesn't own fedex right, so fedex is going to destroy your package. Ups is going to destroy your package, and it can be totally by accident. But ultimately you want good customer service on the back end these air very, very important things to be considering what about post production, as most of you know, I own a company called evolve edits? I didn't always own them acquired them, right? So last year I became really clear that having a partner that I understood my business, that I can outsource to was instrumental to me growing. We had ten weddings in the month of october. I tell this story all the time, and I still wanted to hit that two week turnaround time. There was no way I could possibly edit ten weddings and turn things around in two weeks. It just wasn't possible. That's when I realized I had to start outsourcing. Well, that outsourcing started for me damn near five years ago, and I released everything. I released my weddings, my engagements, my seniors, and I've never been happier, and that has allowed me to focus on my business. Turn time. If you're outsourcing what's the turn time you're gonna want your image is back in a three to five day window, uh, for my clients, I tell them two weeks. That's very very important so if I could only so I can turn it around in two weeks for them I don't care what's happening in postproduction just get it to me in time so I can outsource gives you work life balance so once you start outsourcing suddenly you've got time back time backto work be with your kids, your family, your wife time to go do the things you enjoy or which I like to do and taylor just alluded to in the last segment I want to work more s o that gives me more time to shoot more time teo to market you want a next level your work when you're editing if you're not a photo shop expert and you're not looking at what trends are coming what's happening in magazines how do you next level your work if your work will always start looking the same but if you're working with a cutting edge editing team okay, this becomes really important and it's going to help you grow your business grow your look but here's the thing you when you're looking at a post production company, you want access to that team right? Do you don't want to outsource overseas? So if you're a us base for talk for the worst thing you could possibly do is work with a company that's outsourcing their they're editing overseas that's really important so with evolve at it they're all here us based you have access to them I have access to them and that's really important when you're dealing with these people because they're not just editors all the editors are actually photographers how important is that that your work is being worked on by other photographers? I think that's really important because if it's not it's just some random person selecting images not understanding composition not understanding emotion not understanding leading lines I want to know whoever's working on my job understands basics of photography and that's really important once your work starts going overseas everything is different cultures are different overseas they don't understand weddings here and we don't understand weddings there right? So weddings overseas are completely different what's happening in wedding in india or pakistan or things that kind of completely different than the culture of a wedding and why that's important not to say they can't headed images it's understanding the emotion and things like that that go into the editing and into this election process so I think that's important huge mistake if you send that stuff overseas and I want to give you some perspective so here's an image for me right out of camera okay so this is what came out of camera I'm totally okay with it what I would rather see happen though is I want to have that I want that image to have some pop okay so here's an edit that's going to give that some pop right? So that image now that's a three dollar edit and what I would typically do is I might pick five or ten images from a job and do something like this so this is a premium at it right it's been skin soften its been enhanced, its been toned and what any company is going to do is find a way to understand your style okay, you may not like their style and it doesn't matter I'm sure we all like skin softening we all like dodging and burning uh getting that kind of stuff that's what's being done to this image that's a three dollar at it I don't know how much time you would spend doing something like this but I'd rather pay somebody three dollars to do it same thing this is a recent wedding right out of camera nothing's been done to it at all but now I want that image to have a little more pop that's the kind of stuff I'm gonna do due to my images and I might do that from a wedding. I might do that from twenty to twenty five images from a wedding okay and not to me it just makes sense to give that image a little bit more of a vintage look and that any company should be able to figure out your editing style and match to it here's another one so this is actually a funny story this is a wedding they had a rolls royce there and the car broke down so they couldn't move the car there's actually pictures of me pushing the car into place with the other limo driver so that we can get this we're running out of time the bus was getting ready to leave the entire family was out there because it was a big spectacle watching south push the car into place right there like always a photographer but he's moving the car right it was just it was funny so now everybody standing there well how do I start yelling at people from the middle of st to get out of the way I can't but yet this is a very dramatic image for us so this is the before that's the after my competition can't do that and I can tell you what I don't have an hour to two hours to sit in post production and work on an image like that so here's the image before right south socks he's not a good photographer he is a genius right so that's the kind of stuff I want to be able to show my clients that's the stuff that's going to get me the big print sale same thing here here we are in d c at some of the monuments okay here's the uh here's the before image again right out of camera nothing done to it here's the after this is very important to understand the difference between look I don't care at the end of day you could take this in the light room and you could start jacking around with it all you want dodging and bernie and color correcting it's not gonna look like this this is the kind of image I want to show to my client that's going to get them to a big print sale this is going to be this actually did cell is a twenty by thirty to our client and so it's not because I'm just making stuff up if I don't show them this edit like this where we've got the sun rays coming in the hdr effect on the on the on the top there on the dome if I don't show them this this I'm not getting that sale there's no way around it so this is a signature at it this is something that's going right a lot of work is going into this right where we're looking the church were just ing skew hopefully that's what's up we're adjusting miscue we removed the people we're dodging and burning the image we're see peotone ian look this was there was a complete overcast aid had nothing to do with blowing out the sky there was no sky to blow out okay it was a complete overcast day well what looks better a blown out sky cover or images there also, we had to get rid of the people we had to get rid of the bus, we turn on the lights. Are these things I could do? Sure are these things I should be doing? No, this is the kind of stuff that has to be outsourced, and so I hope you guys understand all that. I hope you look into it and consider it so you've all that it's. If it's something you're interested in, check him out twenty percent off. They've got a couple of specials here, twenty percent off your next wedding order of two hundred arm or use code c l sow that expires august third. Or get to signature edits right getting one free, so by two signature at its get one free, and these are the signature at it. So if you want to go from this to this that's, a signature at it and that's the one they're going to spend an hour to an hour and a half working on. So if you want to build your portfolio, get ready for a bridal, show something like that or just take advantage of it for your clients. This is the kind of stuff you should be doing, and like I said, I do one per wedding to showcase for clients, so hopefully you guys were digging all that