Are you about starting a freelance photography company? If YES, here is a complete sample freelance photography business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE. Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a freelance photography company. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample freelance photography marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for freelance photography companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Freelance Photography Business?
The photography trade has gone through many changes from what it was when it started. Photographs today can be taken with devices other than the basic camera. Also, the industry has many niches as many photographers look to stand out with their craft.
If you are therefore looking to start a photography business, it is important that you understand where your passion lies and then go for it. The business can be started with little capital especially if you are looking to freelance.
Just like any other business, it is important that you conduct some research when looking to start this business as this will help you know what to expect and if you should even go into the business at all. If you have the money, you might go as far as engaging the services of an experienced business consultant to help you out.
Another thing that you should have at hand is a business plan. This doesn’t mean something bulky and complicated but something that should be comprehensive enough to allow you have an idea of how the business is likely to turn out especially if you are going to be seeking for funds from external sources. If you aren’t sure of how to write a business plan, below is a sample freelance photography business plan template.
A Sample Freelance Photography Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
The photography industry even though it has been in existence since the 17th century, started growing and developing in the late 1980s due to improvement in technology. Digital photography made its foray into the industry in the late 1990s and ever since then cell phones have also evolved to include digital photography and video in their features.
The niches that exist in the photography service industry include photojournalism, portrait photography, sports photography, wedding photography, news photography, advertising photography, commercial photography, scientific photography, industrial photography, nature photography and architectural photography.
Professional photographers have the choice of either shooting with film or with film and digital even though most commercial photographers prefer digital cameras due to the convenience and speed it offers. This increased efficiency however means that photographers have to offer other services in order to be able to stand out.
The rise of the digital cameras have however allowed for the phasing out of certain jobs related to photography such as photo processing workers, film lab technicians and those that repair cameras or their accompanying equipment.
According to IBISWorld, a research and analytics company, the photography industry generates annual revenue of $10 billion and has grown at an average rate of 1.7 percent between the periods of 2012 and 2017. There are more than 195,000 photography businesses in existence employing more than 235,200 people; which means that most photography businesses are run by one or two people with only a few employing more than four people.
The industry specializes in different range of photography services and the final products are either printed out on a photo paper or electronically but in a compressed file format. There are some operators that print photographs on objects such as promotional items but sales from these niche amounts tot just 1 percent of the revenue generated by the entire industry.
The photography industry has experienced growth between the period of 2012 and 2017 due to the growing per capita disposable income as well as an increase in how advertising agencies are spending which has led to an increase in demand for services regardless of the niche of photography one is in. it is expected that the continuous improvement of economic conditions will help further boost growth for the industry from the period of 2017 to 2022.
Globally, the photographic service industry generates more than $35 billion in revenue with the American region having the largest market when compared to other regions. The number of establishments in the industry comprises of companies that are in a single location as well as those that are in multiple location.
2. Executive Summary
Quick Flash Photography is a freelance photography service here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia. Our vision is to build a photography service that will exceed the expectations of our clients in every detail, as we intend to be recognized as a foremost freelance photography service here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia and we intend to achieve this through creativity and delivering high quality works.
Even though the industry is filled with intense competition, we are well positioned to penetrate the market by not only giving our clients quality work with reasonable prices but ensuring their convenience at all times. We are willing to go the extra mile for our clients.
Even though we have been established with the sole intention of generating revenue and maximizing profit through our freelance services, we will be offering a number of services so that our clients have no need of patronizing another brand, thereby enabling us to effectively compete against our competitors. We are willing to invest in hiring the finest professionals to work with us and we also have plans in place to ensure that we acquire the best of equipment as well as software.
We know how important our customers are and so we are willing to work in ensuring that we retain a high percentage of our customers by giving our loyal customers discounts at periodic intervals and by putting in place strategies that will allow us retain a high number of these customers to our brand.
We do not intend to rest on our oars when offering services to our clients as we will continue to explore better ways to serve our clients. To this effect, we intend to remain updated as regards any trend in the industry.
We intend to build a solid business structure as we understand that the foundation to our success lies in how well we recruit those that are not only professionals but are also committed to our goals and objectives. We intend to craft the right policies that will lay the groundwork for our success as a company.
We will ensure that we hire professional, competent and creative individuals. We intend to ensure that the environment is conducive enough for our employees and that their skills are updated every now and then to reflect the trends in the industry.
Quick Flash Photography is owned and run by Quinton Tarantino, a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with over 15 years’ experience in commercial and freelance photography. Quinton also has a Master’s in Business from Harvard School and his business acumen and creativity will be brought to bear in this business.
3. Our Products and Services
At Quick Flash Photography, our intention is to ensure that we help our clients preserve memories by giving them shots that are creative and of high quality all the times, regardless of the setting.
We however are established to make profit and due to this, will offer other services in order to create multiple sources of income and improve our bottom line so that we can remain for as long as we want in this business. Other services that will be offered will not be outside the genre of photography.
Some of the services that we intend to offer our various clients include;
- Fashion Photography
- On-site Photography
- Glamour Shots
- Model Portfolios
- Set Dressing Services for Photo Shoots
- Photo Editing and Digital Editing Services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to build a photography service that will exceed the expectations of our clients in every detail, as we intend to be recognized as a freelance photography service here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia.
- Our mission is to ensure that we help provide preserved memory services that are creative and of high quality to our clients. We intend to build a business structure that is solid and will enable us to achieve all our intended goals and objectives.
Our Business Structure
Our desire to attain excellence in our business has led us to build a solid business structure so that we can become a force to reckon with in the industry. Because we intend to get it right from the beginning, we have laid down processes and plans that will ensure that we hire only the best to work with us.
We intend to have a mixed management team of those that understand the photography industry as well as have business acumen so as to help achieve our desired goals and intentions. Our management team are not only professionals but they have also identified with our core values and are not only willing to guide those under them but are also committed to ensuring that we do not stray from our focus.
Due to the wide range of services that we will be offering, we will be hiring more employees than the conventional freelance photography service so that we will be able to cover all the available positions and responsibilities that the more services we intend to offer will bring.
Below therefore is the business structure that we will be looking to build at Quick Flash Photography;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Logistics Manager
- Human Resources & Administrative Manager
- Marketing Executives
- Customer Service Executives
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer
- Creates the policies that will be used by the organization in achieving its goals and objectives
- Monitors and reviews policies and modifies or removes ineffective policies
- Drafts the organizational budget and ensures that all departments are aware and duly comply
- Ensures that photographers get to the required location as at when due
- In charge of controlling costs spent on projects
- Handles other logistics on behalf of the company
Human Resources and Administrative Manager
- Drafts the employment policies on behalf of the company
- Sources for new employees and conducts interview to determine who will be hired for the company
- Ensures that the administrative function of the company continues smoothly
- Organizes the financial reports and statements of the company
- Ensures that a percentage of the profit is re-invested into the business
- Prepares tax reports and ensures that they are duly submitted to the tax authorities
- Carries out marketing survey in order to determine new target markets on behalf of the organization
- Creates effective marketing strategies on behalf of the company
- Engages in marketing activities in order to boost the brand of the company
Customer Service Executives
- Attends to customers either physically or online on behalf of the company
- Ensures that an accurate database of customers are updated regularly
- Remains updated on company policies so as to disseminate accurate information to customers at all times
6. SWOT Analysis
Even though we intend to run a freelance photography business, we will ensure that we do not compromise on standard and also on the aim of making profit as a business entity and so we have engaged the services of a business consultant that is not only reputable but also has in-depth knowledge of the industry we are in to help determine how well our business will fare in this industry and environment.
The business consultant intends to use an objective analysis to determine the suitability of our business to thrive, and the major attributes that will be used in this determination includes our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Below therefore, is the SWOT analysis that was conducted by the business consultant on behalf of Quick Flash Photography.
Because we have a lot of competition in this business, we have carefully considered our strengths as we know this is what will give us the needed leverage over our competitors.
We have a better customer experience than our competition because we know that ensuring that our customers leave us satisfied will not only increase our retention rate, it will also ensure that we attract new customers and we will have more customers referring others to our business.
Our photographers are very artistic and have the skills required in ensuring that the needs of our customers are not only met but are exceeded as well. We are also affiliated with a lot of non-profit groups here in Philadelphia.
Our weaknesses are a chance for us to be able to improve on our services to our various clients and some of the weaknesses we have are that we are yet an unknown brand as there are lots of competitors that we have to compete against in order to be known especially as we are on a tight budget and may not be able to advertise as widely as our competitors. We do not have great packaging and our website has not been optimized to rank high on search engines.
There are several niche opportunities in the photography industry that we are ready to tap into. We will be using the social media to promote our image and network with stakeholders in the industry. We also intend to ensure that our employees take advantage of every training opportunity available so as to ensure that their skills are not only in cognizance with existing standards in the industry but also that the confidence of our clients can be boosted.
There are several threats that we know we are going to encounter during the course of starting or running our freelance photography business and while we may not be able to control or influence some of these threats, we will do our best to ensure that we remain focused.
Some of the threats that we are likely to face include; changing trends in the industry, the use of smartphones and other gadgets by individuals to replace professional shots and the arrival of a competitor in the same location where we are operating our business from.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Demand for services in the photography industry is tied largely to the income of consumers as well as the marketing activity of corporate organizations. There are lots of individual photography companies in existence and they all majorly rely on effectively marketing their brands.
Even though large photography companies have an advantage when it comes to marketing and production; smaller companies also have Competitive Advantage when it comes to offering services that are specialized in nature or staying in locations that are deemed favorable.
Those that provide photographic services have to contend with consumers who with their smartphones, cameras and other digital gadgets have adopted a Do-It-Yourself mentality, with a growing number of these consumers able to not only take shots but also edit the shots as well, thereby making it easy to bypass professional photographers.
Apps that used to be available for photographers only are now available to everyone. Also, the fact that the photography industry has little to no barrier has made it easy for anyone to become a freelance photographer which has made the industry to be quite saturated.
8. Our Target Market
The freelance photography business is one that can sell its services to different target markets; however, we are going to limit our services to certain target markets especially as we have a preference when it comes to the subjects we prefer to shoot of the location we want to conduct our shoots.
However, the fact that we have an idea of our target market does not mean that we will not conduct a thorough market survey based on our location here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia.
The reason why we would be conducting a market survey is so that we not only identify our target markets but that we would also find out what exactly they are expecting from us so that we could draft effective strategies that will help us get a large share of the target market.
The result of our market survey showed that we are in business to offer our services to the following groups of people;
- Event Companies
- Fashion Labels
- Modeling Agencies
Our Competitive Advantage
Our intention at Quick Flash Photography is to ensure that our clients’ memories, events or projects not only gets preserved but under the right creativity and quality. We have the instincts in knowing what our clients want and we will strive to not only meet their expectations but exceed it as well in a way that will surpass what they have been getting from our closest competitors here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia. For us to have the required competitive advantage we seek, we have several laid down strategies in place.
One of the first competitive advantages we have is the fact that we are offering a variety of services, which means that customers can come to us and have all their needs met as opposed to our competitors who are offering less services than we are.
We believe in treating our customers’ right and so we have laid down policies and procedures on how our well trained customer service executive can handle any client scenario without ever letting our client feel dissatisfied with our services. We know that satisfied and pleased customers are always a boost to any brand.
We intend to build a solid business structure and the employees we recruit will be those that have the necessary skills to work in a highly creative environment.
We intend to create a conducive environment for all our employees so that they can explore their creative tendencies and therein boost the image of our company. We will also ensure that the welfare packages for our employees are better than what their counterparts in similar startups are receiving.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Quick Flash photography is established for the purpose of creativity and client memory preservation as well as maximization of profit here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia. In other to achieve our profit maximization goal, we intend to have various sources by which we will generate revenue.
The various sources of income that we intend to generate at Quick Flash Photography will come from services such as;
- Fashion Photography
- On-site Photography
- Glamour Shots
- Model Portfolios
- Set Dressing Services for Photo Shoots
- Photo Editing and Digital Editing Services
10. Sales Forecast
Even though many people are making use of smartphones and gadgets to take shots nowadays, there are still a lot of people who still need professional shots for varying reasons and it is these people that we will be looking to cater to.
Philadelphia is a bustling city that has lots of high profile visits as well as concerts, modeling gigs and other events where professional photographers are required and so we are strategically located and will be able to take advantage of this market to generate the revenue that will be needed to grow our business. We are also confident of recouping our initial investment during the first year of running the business.
We have critically evaluated the photography industry and the various services that we intend to offer and are optimistic about our chances of making it in the industry. We have however engaged the services of a business consultant here in Philadelphia who not only understands the environment we are in but also has a thorough knowledge of the photography industry.
The business consultant will be making use of data and information gathered from similar start-ups such as ours here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia. Below are the findings of our business consultant for Quick Flash Photography based on certain assumptions and findings;
- First Fiscal Year: $180,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $350,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $600,000
N.B: It should be taken into account that the above sales projections were done based on certain assumptions that were in existence as at the time of the projection. Also several factors were taken into cognizance such as the use of substitute devices by individuals, arrival of a major competitor and changing trends in the industry.
Therefore, it should be noted that should any changes occur to the listed factors, it would have an impact on the sales projections which might cause it to decrease or increase.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
The importance of marketing for any business new or old cannot be overemphasized because it is with marketing that the business not only generates the needed revenue to ensure that the business has a healthy bottom line but the business is also able to generate the necessary awareness. Even though marketing is very important, it is not usually an easy task to achieve because it entails having a marketing plan and then crafting strategies that will ensure that the plan is achieved.
Effective marketing strategies ensure that a business is able to penetrate the market and get a certain percentage of the target market to itself while also being able to fairly compete against existing competitors. Before any marketing strategies can be crafted and deemed effective, it is necessary to conduct a thorough market survey that will allow you have detailed information about the market you intend to offer your services to.
A market survey allows you to know who your target market is and what you should expect from them as well as what they are expecting from you. Also, through a market survey, you will be able to determine who your competitors are and what their strengths and weaknesses are; thereby affording you the opportunity of using this knowledge to the advantage of your business.
Because we intend to run a compact business, we will get a marketing team to conduct this survey and craft marketing strategies in line with our marketing plan so that we can achieve our overall goals and objectives.
Below are the following marketing strategies that we intend to deploy in order to be able offer our services;
- Engage in sending bulk emails to a set of target individuals in order to generate awareness for our services
- Ensure that we engage the services of a web developer to create a unique website for us where we can easily promote our services
- Distribute handbills and fliers in various strategic locations
- Ensure that we advertise our freelance photography service on popular forums and blogs
- Make use of our social media platforms such as Facebook Page, Instagram and Pinterest to promote our business
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Publicity helps a business thrive by ensuring that a certain amount of buzz is created about the business. Businesses both old and new engage in publicity because they are aware of the advantages that promoting their business brings both to its bottom line and against existing or new competition.
Because we are aware of how deeply intense competition in the industry is, we are aiming to engage the services of a brand consultant who understands our industry well to give us tips on how we can promote our brand strongly here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia so that we can compete fairly against our competitors. We intend to use both conventional and unconventional means when promoting our brand to our target market.
Below are some of the publicity and advertising strategies that we intend to adopt when looking to promote our photography business;
- Ensure that we distribute handbills and fliers in various strategic locations
- Engage in relevant community programs in a bid to promote our brand
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to promote our brand
- Attend events, carnivals and related photography events in order to network and promote our brand
- Participate in popular online forum discussions in order to promote our brand
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Even though we will be offering an intangible service, it is important that we set prices that are not only seen as reasonable by our clients but one that will ensure that we have a healthy bottom line. A lot of factors are used to determine what rates we should set for our services and we will use these factors when conducting a research about setting our rates.
Because we are new in business, we intend to attract more customers and also increase awareness for our business by offering value added service and in some cases discounts depending on the volume of work in our first three months of starting our business. This strategy will enable us to attract more customers to our business, thereby covering up any loss that might have been felt during this period.
- Payment Options
Businesses now have to deal with customers who have different preferences when it comes to paying for services and our photography business is no different, therefore we have different payment options that will suit our various clients no matter their preference.
The different payment options that we will be offering to our clients include;
- Payment via cash
- Payment via check
- Payment via credit card
- Payment via bank transfer
It should be noted that the above payment options were carefully chosen to work smoothly for our customers and for us as well.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
Regardless of the fact that we are running a service based company, we will still require capital in which to buy equipment, promote and advertise our business and pay the salaries of employees that we will likely employ and handle any other challenges that may likely crop up at least till we start generating revenue.
Below are the listed areas where we intend to use our generated capital on;
- Fees for registering and incorporating our freelance photography business – $750
- Obtaining of business licenses and permits as well as accounting, CRM and editing software – $1,250
- Insurance coverage (General liability, equipment coverage and casualty coverage) – $2,000
- Marketing expenses for general business activities as well as promotional activities to promote grand launching of Quick Flash Photography – $5,000
- Cost of hiring a reputable business as well as branding consultants – $2,000
- Operational costs for the first 6 months (employee salaries, utility bills) – $100,000
- Vehicle purchase – $10,000
- Cost of purchasing camera and equipment – $12,000
- Cost of purchasing super computers, printers, scanner, phones – $10,000
- Cost of launching a website – $1,000
- Cost of our opening party – $1,000
- Miscellaneous – $5,000
From the above estimate, we would need the sum of $150,000 to start and successfully run our freelance photography business here in Fairmount Avenue – Philadelphia. It should be noted that the bulk of the capital will be used to pay salaries of employees as well as buy the equipment that we would need for the business. We would not be paying to lease a facility as there is a vacant space that we can use for free.
Generating Funding/Startup Capital for Quick Flash Photography Business
Quick Flash Photography is a business that is owned and run by Quinton Tarantino, a creative and talented freelance photographer. Quinton is not looking to run the business alone and will therefore be splitting funding with an external investor.
Below are the areas where Quinton intends to generate the business’ startup capital from;
- Generate part of the start-up capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loan from close friends
- Generate part of the startup capital from external investor in exchange for equity
N.B: Quinton was able to generate the sum of $60,000 from personal savings and the sum of $10,000 from close friends. The external investor agreed to put up the sum of $50,000 in exchange for 5% equity stake in the company. The arrangements have been drawn up and it is expected that the money will be credited into the account by the end of the week. The investor will have no hand in the day-to-day affairs of the business.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The aim of a business is to ensure that enough profit is generated to ensure sustainability and expansion of the business. While it might seem easy enough to continue to re-invest part of the earnings back into the business, it is not always dependent on that factor alone as other factors have to be taken into consideration such as customer service and business structure.
Before a business can have enough revenue to plough back into the business, it must first have the right amount of customers, which is why customer service relationship is very important. Customers love a brand that they feel listens to them and is prompt when attending to inquiries and bookings.
Not only will a good customer service make the customer stick to the brand but it also enables them to refer others to the brand, thereby making it a win-win situation for the business. We have recruited competent staff that align with our core objectives and know how well customers ought to be treated.
We have laid down re-investment plans to ensure that a percentage of our income is ploughed back into the business so that we can achieve our plans of growing and expanding the business especially when it comes to offering other services to our various clients.
We believe in building a solid business structure and so we will do all we can to ensure that we recruit only those that are competent and also align with our core goals and objectives to work with us. We believe that we will, with these strategies, achieve our sustainability and expansion goals.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting feasibility studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party planning: In Progress