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The Business Plan

Lesson 5 from: Wedding Photography Bootcamp

Sal Cincotta

The Business Plan

Lesson 5 from: Wedding Photography Bootcamp

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

5. The Business Plan

Next Lesson: Marketing Plans


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Introduction to Sal Cincotta Studio


The State of the Wedding Industry


Legal Entities


The Business Plan


Marketing Plans


How Brides Find Photographers


Lesson Info

The Business Plan

we are to the business plan this is it is a part of me telling you about so get your get your pen on get ready to start writing um and so I don't make the business plan painful look guys I went to business school this is what I went to school for um you know in the class that comes back I'm going to tell you this is a strategic management class that I was in college and it was probably the most fun class that that I was in my entire college career this was really really cool but part of what we had to do was create a business plan so we did this if you go to business school you do this is part of your curriculum you're not graduating without doing it but just because you've done it doesn't mean you're probably not diligent and doing it in your own real business so in college we ran a sneaker company this was really cool this strategic management course I was in this shape to me fundamentally from a business perspective so they were probably seventy to eighty people in the strategic man...

agement class that that I was in and our first day we're broken into groups five or ten people per group okay and each of us got this right this great team name team a team b team c okay and we got a floppy drive this is about this high tech man back in the in the early nineties we had a three and a half inch floppy drive and what we did was we all ran shoe companies okay so every team ran a shoe company and what you would do is you would go home okay that week and you would submit all the variables first you had to put your business plan together what kind of shoes are going to sell think about it not every shoe companies made the same summer high fashion summer sneakers some are low and sneakers right you could be the fruit of the loom sneaker or you could be the nike high end sneaker right so which are you well we had to put our business plan together then every week we would adjust variables how much we're spending on marketing this week did we hire a main endorsee right who's who's endorsing our products and you would submit this floppy disk I don't know how they did it I still know the professor would download all the variables in the one program and so these teams would compete with each other and then every week the reports would come out on which team had the most sales based on these variables and the variables would change every week so he would say you know we to your rubber supplier okay just raise prices by twenty percent adjust your business plan accordingly think about it is not kind of real world what we go through today your competitors are selling on groupon book your wedding for seventy nine dollars and get ten hours to cover all day coverage right or whatever it is how do you adjust this becomes very important so that strategic management course has shaped everything we're going to talk about today so you have to understand that this is founded in rial business principles so again don't make it painful make it fun and so that business school class I was telling about it was very competitive because if you didn't finish in the top ten you didn't get in a right so the grades were determined by who finished where in that class that's all it was about there were no test there were no written exams and all of that stuff it was all based on how you could grow your company we finished second it right I wantto wanted to finish first but it was it was just shaped me and I'm a very competitive person so you have to find that competitive spirit inside you so here are the key concepts and if you've downloaded that form online what did we call the form online it's called the business the blueprint my business plan is what the document says but well take a look and I think if you downloaded it's called like the business blueprint or something like that I need you to open that form ladies you haven't hear these air all the key components so I'm giving you the blueprint here on what each of these sections mean and as we're going through this even online at home uh start jotting down notes right you can complete this later on today but I want you to just get a sense of the spirit of what each of these sections are so let's go through it key concepts mission statement vision statement critical successfactors right executive summary market analysis organizational structure marketing and sales strategy service or product line all right what are we doing what are we covering and then your financial projections yeah dude we got to be accountable we can't run a business and just go out I'll make however much I make nonsense is a real business you've gotta have projections out there what are you trying to make now like I said don't don't start panicking on me don't make this painful I promise you this is super easy to do so first and foremost your mission statement I got her to ninety percent of the photographers out there do not have a mission statement in place right you don't even think that way so your mission statement should highlight the fundamental purpose of your business what is the purpose of your business here's a sample an x y z studio our mission is to offer our clients the best wedding and senior portrait photography available to create artwork and lasting memories for our clients that will be cherished for generations and to leave a positive and lasting impression with the families we interact with how is that for a mission statement this will shape your company right notice we didn't say at x y z studio our mission is to offer photography uh at x y z studio our mission is to offer digital negatives anybody have that as a mission statement that's not gonna work this will fundamentally direct your company where you're going what you're doing by having this mission statement here I want to offer the best wedding and senior portrait photography available I want to create artwork I don't create images I don't create snapshots don't create digital files I want to create artwork and lasting memories for our clients therefore everything we do in our studio is driven by this mission if I find my team off on a tangent doing something that doesn't map to this mission we're having a whole different conversation what do you guys think about this now if you have a mission statement like this nobody wants to say yeah there's lot knows being sure what do you think about this is a detailed is it to detail detailed enough it's not too detail right okay all right let's keep going questions about this from you guys you have ideas what's your mission statement I'm putting pressure on you right now right now right now come on paraphrase form you work with me we're having a live workshop here what is your mission saying stop looking at this the bride's best wedding and destination photography uh to provide artwork on the walls of my clients and um have them talk tio have them re for other clients is there you know because there that's not a thing this right I'm putting trust me you are on the spot in front of a lot of people right now so yes and I love it right because you hit it but to have them refer you is not part of your mission okay I want them to be that happy create lasting memories that will lead to those things happened okay but your mission statement is what's driving your client we all want our clients to be happy by the way so that doesn't need to be part of your mission statement that's I'm assuming that's we're doing right I don't think anybody has a mission statement like dude our mission is to piss everybody off right that is not your mission statement so I like where you're going your mission statement and you should be jotting this down right right your mission statement is to create wedding artwork for your wedding and senior photography now it's two sentences and as we go through these five days I expect you to go home and expand on that right but I like where you're going what is your mission um just put bullets together start forming thoughts what do you want your mission to be a klutz wedding important you want to go after wedding and portrait's very generic very broad so what you gonna try and get a little more specific without right what's portrait attire because your dogs well it's senior but seniors ok so weddings and seniors right what else give me some keywords um definitely creating artwork and so because everybody in my area wants digital oh files and it's trying to get past that so good man does everybody here see how this mission statement starts dictating everything else you do with your business you can't create our work here if your clients and handle what hand over a digital native you can't do it I'm not saying we don't give them a cd of images we do that for clients right I don't want I don't want anyone to misunderstand but that can't be part of my driving force of the mission off my company everybody with vision every gets a little confused with mission statement envision statement the's are two different things while your mission is going to dictate the purpose of your company why does my company exist my company exist to create lasting memories for my wedding and senior clients that is why we exist if I know why my business exists then it should be easy to create pricing to create products to create imagery that mats in my vision but if I don't know my mission if I don't know what my mission is though I'm walking around in a dark room looking for a light switch right maybe I find it maybe I don't this is gonna help you find that light switch so your vision is going to take the actions needed right you said you were starting to talk about actions in the beginning we're not there yet right we just want to know why does your business exist in the mission in the vision what actions knee are needed to become the company you want to become it has to be your framework so here's some examples our vision serves is the framework for our road map and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable quality growth is actionable people be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the very best they can be there's nothing that's that's the kind of company I want to be out right if I have great people around me we could do great things right if I have great second shooter's if I have great training this becomes your action plan your portfolio bring to the world of portfolio of quality beverage brands and we'll talk about whose vision state and this is that anticipating satisfied people's needs desires people's desires and needs partners nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers together we can create mutual and enduring value you've heard me talk about multiple times what's your scale ability point who's gonna help you grow your business you're not doing it on your own by the way I know I don't I don't have a million dollar brand and I did it on my own people think I did it on my own but I did I've got a network of people behind me whether it's my wife whether it's my studio manager whether it's my support team with my legal team all these people accountants the labs right the album manufacturers this is my support network these are my partners planet be responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping building support sustainable communities productivity or profit maximized long term long term return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities right look we're in business to make money there is nothing glamorous about being a starving artist nothing I make no apologies to anyone for wanting to run a successful business and make money and I know how you guys are his artist we always feel bad when we're making money right you're smiling on me right now you feel bad I can't charge that much money I just want them to be happy I want him to have everything yes yes I'm calling you out right now okay yes I want my clients to be happy too but I need to make a living I need to retire I want a new camera I want new lenses I want new stuff and so I can't get there okay if I don't make a profit we exist as business is to make money it's ok productivity's be a highly effective lean and fast moving organization one thing I know my company's good at is moving quickly man you know his company start growing bigger and bigger they get slower and slower they can't react quick enough we react quicker than most companies out there and you guys all know I don't own just salvador's and convert rv I own other businesses those businesses arlene and they move quickly we can take advantage of opportunity in the market whose vision statement do you think this is and by no I mean when guess coke coca cola this is the coca cola vision statement house after a successful company and this is their vision statement so let's put your right vision statement into practice following these guidelines yes so a couple folks online are asking about if the's air things that are just for your internal use or if this is something that you would put on your website little bit of both I don't think there's anything wrong with put putting your mission or vision statement online okay so I think that helps your potential clients know what they're getting what they're getting into and so you you have to figure out your client base your brand what makes sense but in coca cola this is on their website all right they want the world to know what their vision is there's nothing wrong with your client's knowing what your mission statement is I like the idea of your mission statement being online so I love that good yeah how my lady's doing good so successfactors all right so go down on that piece of paper these air the factors or elements that are vital to ensure your strategy is successful I want to photograph fifty weddings a year how you going to do it is it training do you need equipment what market conditions need to exist for you to do fifty weddings you know I hear it all the time salome in this small town right I mean rural america I mean I mean a small town in another country how I can't charge ten thousand dollars wedding well first of all I don't necessarily agree with that I think you can still be a luxury brand but here's the thing that needs to be determining your successfactors because you might start putting this business plan together and realize there is absolutely no market for you to be a wedding photographer a senior photographer a baby photographer you can't be a baby photographer in a town that has no baby population that doesn't make any sense and so is you start putting this together you realize you can't do it it's not possible so think about how much time and energy you're going to save as you start putting together your list of successfactors your opportunity what opportunity needs to exist for you to be successful you might find that in order to be successful isa wedding photographer you have to be on the preferred vendor list of these top four hotels right sometimes true sometimes not depending on your market so if that's one of my success factors that I have to be on a preferred vendor list that is going to start dictating what I do and I hope you girls are getting the gist here and I hope everybody out there is getting just this dictates everything you do from a business perspective notice there's nothing in here that's probably going to say I need the latest and greatest photo shop actions that's not gonna help you accomplish your mission envision right so we got it we got to start thinking like business people we all have to put our ceo hats on so the next section is the executive summary and I know this must be boring to a lot of you right but this is core to you running a successful business yes we all love and we're going to cover the lighting flash posing that is the fun stuff of what we do but damn it somebody needs to be the ceo of your company no one is going to do it don't come in and do it for you so you have to start thinking this way even if it's loosely thinking this way but it doesn't have to be for very formal you can still put this together in a very loose fashion but once it's written down it carries a lot more weight for you and your business at least it does for me because I'm constantly looking at this now the executive summary is typically the most important part of your overall plan yet it's the last thing to be put together so it's at the very top I think of it is your elevator pitch I don't want to read ten pages of documentation two pages of documentation just to get to the core of what you're looking to do that goes in your executive summer this is the who what one where and why of your business it's a simple place for me to look right so you know and I'm paraphrasing of course salad or some kind of a ta ra fi eyes a high end wedding photography and senior for tigris studio basin o'fallon illinois the current market trends the average wedding photographs for thirty five thousand dollars are sweet spot is fifteen to twenty thousand dollar wedding eighty percent of our clients are local twenty percent of destination I'm just paraphrasing of what would be in my executive summary so that I could hand that to somebody I meet somebody new on my team hey guys you want to know what we're all about just read these two these two paragraphs and you'll see what we're all about in the executive summary so that's what they should be b and it's the last piece written does this make sense give me the executive summary for your business you guys didn't think you were coming to sit out here and let you get off this's fun executive summer uh brandy image photography based in st petersburg florida I um yes brenda where what what do you do bring I provide beautiful images to my wedding clients is that it we're just focusing on weddings yes okay who what when where why what is that why why's your business in existence what is the goal of your business he kind of said it beautiful wedding portrait she had generic got his own yes I want to get a little bit more you've got to get a little bit more specific right not just beautiful wedding portrait because beautiful is defined differently than two different people right so start thinking I want you to put phrases together the who what when where why that start getting you a little more specific so that you're taking steps here's what I want when you walk out of here I want you taking specific steps to this business plan and if you speak in these nebulous terms it becomes very difficult to execute right so I'm gonna force you to get a little bit we're grand you did I pick on either one of you yet no e I just keep coming over here I want you focused on your your executive some it doesn't have to be perfect right where you can tweet that stuff later I just wanna make sure you're thinking the right way uh dusko photography is a senior in wedding studio based in the chicago suburbs is a high end senior you see what we're doing I don't want you to just be a senior in wedding studio right because those air at the low end of the market I want you to be a exclusive right glamour driven experience and experience driven studio that starts dictating things you see just how one word in there describes your business and gets it becomes much more powerful it's one thing to be a wedding photographer it's another to be an exclusive wedding photographer and experience driven wedding photographer do you see how that could change the direction of your company just by putting that descriptor in there digging that steel I'm writing it down good let's keep going market analysis we're going to dig in deeper into the market analysis for sure your market analysis should include information about your industry and market research well guess what I did a little bit of that work for you right up front I showed you that info graph that is your market research that is telling you a lot about your industry and it doesn't matter where you are worldwide there is an organization somewhere okay that will track that stuff for you so you can look at the knot has stats like that available you can google at stuff the wedding report has stuff like that and some of you have to pay for and I think that's a well worthwhile investment to get access to that data but so for example if you're gonna be a wedding photographer in new york city what does that market look like how many people get married here in new york city I don't know we need to know that so how do you know right you're you're in seattle right how do people get married a year in the seattle metro area you don't know that's a problem we have to know that data if we're going to put together our business plan are there ten thousand weddings a year because if you start realizing that there's ten fifteen twenty thousand weddings a year how tough is it for you to pick off twenty of it's really not that tough and so this helps you start understanding and honing your business okay what is the average spend on wedding in your market what we all know right I put some of that data to get it on average the average wedding is about seventy thousand dollars on average around the country maybe around the world on average client's air spending ten to fifteen percent on wedding photography right so for every ten thousand dollars in their budget fifteen hundred he's going to the wedding photographer right but I'm an anomaly in a sense because I'm having those fifteen thousand dollars weddings that air spending seventy percent of their budget on photography that's because we're really good at connecting with our clients so averages are one thing and trying to go beyond those averages a whole other conversation every with me so far we're going a little bit more into some market planning and getting into the market penetration but this is your market announces what does the market look like for you so ojai right what does the market look like in ohio what's the average photographer price point there um I want to say I just did a bridal show recently it was probably anywhere between three to four thousand dollars the high the high end was on four grand so the average wedding tigris three grand possibly I would say across the united states and average waiting for tigers about three thousand dollars that that's about average and so think about it our price point are based package starts above average so if you're going to build a business that's luxury experience driven and you want to charge you could only charge so much money for digital regulars it's gotta end somewhere nobody's gonna pay twenty grand for digital negatives so I've got to give them something more I've got to give them an experience I've got to give them quality products I've gotta offer them a ton of stuff to get them to spend more money the organizational structure this is important for all you husband wife teams out even if you're not a husband and wife team this is still important who does what by the way and so we need to include the organizational structure in your business plan what do you own right so we started talking earlier today you're like my husband I love him but he's on he won't let me responses is that even his job right this should be clearly clearly defined lines of who does what and so yes that should be part of your business plan now that doesn't mean every time you working with your spouse you're going to pull out the business plan and be like oh no you're in my area stay out look like a business plan right that would be disastrous to your marriage in relationship but husband wife teams let's talk a little bit about how taylor and I run our business first of all each of us has primary responsibilities so for me primary responsibility is the postproduction process for us primary responsibility shooting right so I'm more primary shooter taylor's primary responsibilities are sales that's her number one responsibility and the customer experience so she's connecting with the clients talking to the client's interacting with the clients those air her primary responsibilities secondary responsibilities for taylor of course shooting so she shoots that she's not her main role secondary responsibilities might include pricing packaging product lines those are my secondary responsibilities but then there's this concept of a no fly zone and you have to have this man so guess what taylor's no fly zone no post production right taylor is I love her to death but she's one of those people was guilty of like oh what does this do right and then she thinks it's like super cool and it's not cool it looks horrible s so we got to keep her away from post production my no fly zone is the sales room so even though I built our sales structure it drives taylor bonkers when I step into the sales room while she's in the sales room because I start hijacking right taylor gets the client and we all do this is artist by the way there needs to be that separation of church and state the client will be like I walk in and the client will see taylor be like I'll say what did they get and tell her bring up the image on the screen and they'll be like oh this is our favorite one this is the one we're getting big what do you think and they look at me and I was like you don't love it on taylor's like like what did you just do right like now I've just completely hijacked the sales process honor so I get in trouble literally every time I step into the sales room when it's going on so I have to either keep my mouth shut or stay out we have clear lines right in our order structure of who's doing what so it's very important to you if you're husband and wife team and it's also very important if you're growing your business and you're adding people in there to help you and we were all talking about this on the brake and I think I can help some of you people out there if you're working with your spouse look I don't want you guys to think like it's all roses all the time like you know me and taylor just running around in the field and you're I'm blowing her kisses and no did we fight like we fight we're real people you know I do stupid things she does stupid things and we fight but guess what it's never personal that's the key if you're gonna work with your spouse or friend or someone you're close with you are never going to survive if you can't differentiate between business and personal so it's not uncommon in our house in our studio for us to be like just arguing about maybe a new strategy a new product a new price and then maybe like what do you want for dinner right and we just go off and we have dinner right because why we love each other we're friends first business partner second so keep that in mind marketing strategy I'm gonna pause for a second because I am dumping a ton of information out there and I don't want to lose people uh because of that so how we doing who were doing awesome way are doing awesome people are like oh my gosh you're real people in the way fight yeah it's true mostly because taylor's wrong I said it because you're italian yeah because I'm a true statement were hot blooded on and we fight and I could say that it's good sales wrong because she's not out here with me right now I'll pay for that later she's in the lab yeah she's in the lounge but no it is your look you don't grow your business from where we did in a way to two thousand eleven at very short window for years to have that kind of success you're going to fight I mean you're and I think it's healthy by the way I think how fighting is really really healthy you've got I'm by no means a doctor either but if it's one thing I understand is that everybody's got their own opinions with you about your business your future your strategy and you know who I want to be next to somebody is passionate right if you're just indifferent and you're useless to me all right think about it I don't want people around me who are indifferent I want people around me were opinionated right and I'm going to stand up for what they believe in and those are the most successful companies when they've got that like controlled chaos so no yeah we're really all right cool we've got some questions if that's all right so going back to the executive summary a portion of the business plan c c a hill one ask is the executive summary something thatyou right after you've been in business or can it be based on projections the executive summary is something that can be written based on projections because the executive summary is dictating the direction of your company right so you have to put that together now it's okay because now your executive summary will change by the way all of this will change our business plan evolves okay every three to six months think about it that glamour line I'm telling you we're gonna introduce now I wasn't thinking about that a year ago I definitely wasn't thinking about five years ago right but our business plan is being it's a living document so you start today even though you're just starting off what's your executive summary today where do you think you want to be in six months or a year and I guarantee you when I talk to you in six months or a year it's gonna be different right but that's okay that's normal it should happen that way you know what businesses die the businesses that think they've got it all figured out and don't evolve their business plan anymore they become right static and it's you've got to get this in your mind innovate or die if you don't continue to innovate your business you will eventually die and you know what studios air struggling today the studios that have been in business ten or fifteen years those of the people I run into and they're like this will never work no no no I called the old grumpy's right now you keep being old and grumpy and then you're not gonna have a business you know why I love working with most is the flip of that the business that's been there for fifteen years and they come to me and they go do whatever we're doing and susan I got an e mail like this two days ago and I forget the gentleman's name and I apologize he sent me a facebook message he's like sal I don't know what to do I love your message he said but I was booking forty weddings a year at a six thousand dollars average he goes for two thousand thirteen I have two weddings on the book at two thousand dollars what do I do that's the guy I love helping because he knows he doesn't have it figured out he's drowning and he's asking for a lifeline that's the person you can help right that person is stubborn and entrenched you'll never help him one more question that's a pretty incredible question yeah he just hit me with it like a day and a half ago I'm like I need time I want to respond but when I read that I'm like wow I mean just he gets it he no he doesn't know what to do but he understands the problem and that's right that's half the battle right there can you let us know when you answer him I won't yeah I'll send you guys the response I said see what what isthe yeah okay so we have about twelve minutes to break you want take one question then keep rolling anyone question this is kind of a big bigger picture question this is from justin love me p d who would like to know how do you make boundaries without hurting feelings are making people feel less important and he's talking about it's not a spouse but a family man remember that he works with you how do you have those boundaries yeah and batteries can you what are you answer that can answer that in five seconds I will try and answer that I will tell you that boundaries are almost impossible to come up with in this business I know that taylor and I have been working on this for the last for five years we still don't have it all figured out you know but I think how you fight is is as important as you know if you're fighting or what you're doing with your business it's important to respect each other I think that's it clearly important right I would never say to my wife like hey you don't know what you're talking about you're an idiot right we can't talk that way to each other even if we feel that way about each other sometimes right because when you're friends and you work with each other twenty four hours a day you want to choke the life out of each other that happens that's normal but we're respectful to each other so I'm always respectful of her position I'm always respectful of her opinion but we can sometimes agree to disagree so I think the words you choose to interact with each other can really really determine your your your relationship with each other so we never use we never name call is that interesting what a small tidbit of information but we never named call each other no matter how heated the argument gets yeah I think that's just good practice absolutely and in business as well as in your personal life it's all about the delivery yes about the delivery I do get away with saying some things that I don't know how I get away with saying but I you know maybe it's because I'm italian they're like eyes because she's italian too she's italian too so she's yes taylor terraced quiet but she's got a big bite you know so you gotta be careful with her sometimes all right so let's go marketing strategy we're going to dig into this later okay but just at a high level this is your activities involved so what what what is marketing to find out where it gets a little confused with this these were the activities involved in transferring of goods or service from producer to consumer this includes advertising and selling guys in a simplest form the goal this statement means it's the activities used to make consumers aware of your product right and its simplest form but advertising and selling are part of your marketing strategy a lot of people get confused they think marketing and advertising are completely different no advertising is part of the marketing component it is the most expensive part of your marketing component but it is still part of it and then of course your growth your communication your sales all of that is part of your marketing strategy and we're going to drill into this and more so there's not much you're gonna be able to write here but what is your marketing plan we need to have a plan so when I look at your business plan what is your marketing plan how are you going to get to those brides are going to do bridal shows how are you gonna get to the internet remember those five list of topics I gave you earlier in the day the five places brides are looking for their vendors what is your marketing strategy to go after each of those five we're going to talk about those your product or service line here's where we describe exactly what are we what are we selling okay are you a pet photographer are you selling what kind of product line are you offering are you offering low impromptu you offering high end product guess what you can't charge a thousand offered for a wedding and offer an album that your cost might be eight hundred dollars you can't do it right so if you want to sell an album like this right which is custom leather right custom liner it's got a suede liner right you can't sell this for a thousand dollar package because this album's gonna cost you maybe seven hundred dollars but when I show my clients this they're like oh my god I've never seen anything like that so they're getting excited about this stuff but if I just show them your typical press book I can't charge what I want to charge I can't put in my mission statement that I wanna offer high end luxury wedding photography and then offer a press printed book that they can go get online you understand we've got to be focused that's why this business plan is so important so here's here's kind of my statement we offer a once in a lifetime model experience for our high school seniors this is for my senior service line complete with hair and makeup and a photography style that's screams individuality for clients clients looking for the ultimate and senior portraiture will be treated to a larger than life it will be treated to a larger than life imagery that will be shared enjoyed for years to come with our lifetime warranty and archival products that's what I offer for that's my serve that's part of my service line this starts dictating right and it starts feeding off what's your mission statement now this starts drilling into my service line my product line because now I can offer okay independent style it screams individuality and put them on a white background and put them on the same background for five years right if you look at senior photography we see the same backdrop right year after year after year well that doesn't scream individuality so you can start seeing how these statements will drive your business to the next level and this these statements are gonna be different for each one of our businesses but again we're back to this becomes a blueprint for your business financials this is where everybody struggles by the way what do your forecast so once you've taken a good look at the market and developed your goals and objectives we've got to start thinking about financials so the question is all of you right now how much money do you want to make twenty thirteen how much money do you want to make from weddings yes are you noticing the trend here when we come back from break so I'm not tomorrow um so for me I'm starting again in a new market you don't care how much money do you want to make it twenty thirteen it's not making you know what you're making right now excuses no one would have any weddings I want to shoot you don't think about so give me a number how much money you want make talk sixty thousand sixty thousand dollars first year okay how are we gonna do how are we gonna do that how many weddings what's your average wedding right now um middle is thirty two hundred so let's just say three thousand dollars right so you would have to photograph twenty weddings at three thousand dollars to gross sixty thousand dollars you see how this works that's big party or financial forecast there's no right or wrong answer here by the way guys so least I wasn't putting pressure on you to like make you look bad I just want to nail you want a number so if you want to make one hundred thousand dollars two hundred thousand dollars three hundred thousand dollars it's all possible by the way believe it why because we're we're doing a half a million dollars on weddings so any number you pick is possible and it sounds great on paper but now lisa the challenge becomes if you say you want to shoot twenty weddings at three thousand dollars a wedding next question is how you gonna get there how you gonna get those twenty weddings that becomes part of our marketing plan you with me but if you don't write this down because we're all guilty of this by the way right we're just like you know I just want to make more money we can't run a business that way we can't just make more money we got to get very specific because we're putting a plan together so you've got to want to make more more than just more money I want you to be very specific everybody here what is your target how much money do you want to make you guys are here in that when you're entering the contest and you want to I want to know your financial because if you come back to me and you say oh in two thousand twelve I made five thousand dollars but sal in twenty thirteen I want to make a million dollars first of all I'm gonna laugh at you because that's not gonna happen that's not reality so we need realistic numbers that we can execute on your number I think he's a realistic number in fact I think it's a low number I think you could do better than that and so we're going to try and change this on you because why this is a living document and it will evolve over time all right because I already know we're having trouble with your husband on pricing right well the funny thing is I when I listened to your high school senior class I already had it down that I wanted to do one hundred thousand and see years or weddings all high school seniors and weddings together want yeah wow okay so one hundred seniors hundred seniors what average um about eight hundred thirty three dollars average on sales okay but you're at eighty three thousand dollars right there and then twenty weddings at what price point two thousand dollars you're well over your hundred grand right I hope I can hear you and I think to grand but to grant is a low number we already know the average wedding is at least three thousand dollars so you're telling me just in your financial projections your goal in your mission statement and we didn't formulate your mission stay I'm your mission statement is to be a below average photographer I don't know you don't want to do it I don't want you to do it right so we're gonna work on this financial plan because that doesn't make any sense to me so I'd rather see you up that number two or three thousand dollars average and think about this all of you all of you who are resisting by the way a three thousand dollar average from your wedding you understand you have three sales points you have the sales point in the initial booking okay so let's say can you book a wedding a two thousand dollar contract average meaning they're just paying you for the wedding and we're gonna cover wedding packages I say yes that's below average can you get five hundred dollars from an engagement session oh yes you can can you get five hundred dollars post wedding yes you can that's three thousand dollars right there so imagine now if we flipped out a little bit can you get a three thousand dollars average contract yes you can get five hundred dollars from the engagement five hundred dollars post wedding I'm gonna show you how if you could do that now you're number just jumped to four grand per wedding so understand that your wedding consists of multiple sales opportunities so too grand for your entire event way law right good yeah I'm sure your husband's good now to marketing plan this seems to be the most nebulous thing at times and photographer standing really misunderstand the full extent of marketing so just like your business plan without a marketing plan you're walking around in the dark right you're telling me you want twenty weddings you're telling me you want eighty seniors right hundred seniors how are you getting them if you don't have a marketing plan together you are literally going I want eighty seniors I think they're here somewhere here there were no you're not they're right you're walking around in the dark it seems you're looking at me and you're going to wise he being so ridiculous because that's what you're doing when you were in your business without a marketing plan that is exactly what you're doing you have got to put this plan together it doesn't have to be complicated it could be four bullets how are you going to go after wedding's bridal shows internet search engines bridal websites bridal magazines there go four bullets right now we'll talk more about all this but it needs to be he articulated so that we're marching to the beat so this is the wikipedia definition the right of marketing marketing is the activity set of institutions and processes for creating communicating delivering exchanging offerings you have value for customers clients partners in society of large huh it doesn't even make sense that is the definition of marketing in english right this basically means those set of activities right connecting buyers and sellers and that's in in a nutshell what marketing is we've gotta educate consumers one that we exist and what products and services were offering if they don't know about us they can't come to us and so you can operate your business without a marketing plan

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

The Business Blueprint.pdf
The Business Blueprint.doc
cL Sal Cincotta Wedding Bootcamp Keynote.pdf
creativeLIVE Sal Cincotta Bonus
SCP Wedding Contract.pdf
SCP Copyright Release.doc
SCP Copyright Release.pdf
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.doc
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Rosa

This class is Gold!!! This class is a must, I have purchased around 20 CreativeLive classes, I'm building my own curriculum, but I did purchase this class because of Sal Cincotta's name, little I knew how good it is, it's a mind blowing and it contains so much key information to be a successful photographer. I was still a little "afraid" to start my business, but after this class, I feel confident because it was like put the puzzle together. Yes, Sal really insist in his blue print, how he calls, to implement in your business and you will be successful, and I do believe that. However, I can't do that at moment, because I'll need more money then I have, but I do believe I can implement the idea and slowly works towards implement all his system. Yes, in this class you'll have all, from engagement section, to bride reception, to SEO, everything you need. Sal is a Genius, an amazing mind, I truly admire him as a person, artist/photographer, amazing Educator, but man, as a business man, he is just a mind blowing, I mean, look at him, he had practically built an Empire in only 10 years and that's enough for me to listen to this guy. With all he has, he could just quit photography for good, he totally don't need, but he is still behind the camera, and that shows how much he really love photography. Totally recommend this class, it will change your life, and I mean it. I just wish CreativeLive would do some update, even if is just in pdf, because a lot of recommendation he does in the course does not apply anymore, website does not exist, the iPhone app does not exist, etc... just an update it would be truly appreciated. And that goes for all classes, you guys could just contact the educators and ask them for an update in those areas, that's all.

KR Productions

In 2016, I decided to try and start photographing weddings. I've been a wedding videographer for 16 years now, and have consistently been asked to do this, but never have. Last year, the number of requests was unusually high, and so I decided to explore what all is involved in doing wedding photography. I actually bought Sal's 30 day photo business class here first. Watched it over and over. There were principles in that class I was able to apply to video. Great! I then decided to buy this class to get the actual "day of" mechanics down. I've watched this over and over as well and started wading slowly into the wedding photo waters. I have the benefit that my second shooter, is actually a photographer and has been shooting all his life. So, having him to back me up with his already trained and creative eye is a huge benefit on the day. (We do the one camera has a wide angle, one camera has a telephoto technique like Sal discusses, and it works amazing) So far in 2016, I've shot one wedding for $350, the next one for $1,000, and now I'm up to $2,000 on my third for just basic stuff. Incredible. Working on moving into IPS, but right now I'm focused on making sure we're capturing the right shots and doing great impressive edits for marketing , and that's already paying off. I had 4 requests yesterday! Thanks to Sal and CL for helping jump start me on this amazing journey!

Paul Marcus

Once again.....Sal proves he's the man! Wow. What a great wealth of knowledge. I wish I had seen this a few years ago when it was fresh. It makes me cringe at all the money I have left on the table. Thanks to Sal and Taylor for being so open and sharing their business model with us. I hope to have great report to share with you in 2019 as I put a lot of this class to work in my business.

Student Work