Are you about starting a photography business? If YES, here is a complete sample photography studio business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a photography business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample photography marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for photography businesses. In this article, we will be providing an in-depth sample photography business plan template.
A Sample Photography Studio Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
Photography business is one of the businesses that can unarguably survive in any part of the world as long as the business is well positioned.
The photography industry can boast of creating jobs directly or indirectly for countless numbers of people all over the globe. One good thing about the photography industry is that it has various areas of specialization ranging from wedding or portrait photography to wildlife photography or travel photography, amongst many others.
Over and above, starting a photography business is what we have chosen to do because having done our due diligence and research, we have realized that it is a business that is highly profitable if well planned and managed.
Without a shadow of doubt, there is a high rate of competition in the industry, but we have been able to create a unique Business model that will help us gain market acceptance and also work our way to the top of the ladder in the city where our photography business is to be located.
Some of the things that will help us stand out in the industry include that we will ensure we deliver quality photography jobs at rock bottom prices in our city at all times.
Much more than delivering quality photography jobs to clients at rock bottom prices, we have further gone to invest in a CRM software that will help us effectively win new clients over and also help us effectively manage our existing clients.
We intend exploring referrals from loyal clients as a means of generating leads that we will eventually work hard to convert to loyal customers.
2. Executive Summary
- Current Situation
Currently, we have chosen a name for our photographing business, we have concluded the name search exercise at the corporate affairs office and it is good a thing that the name we propose to call our business is very much available and so, we have started the process of incorporating the business with the government authorities.
After we strike that of, we will apply for Tax Payer’s ID and also open a corporate/ current account with any bank of choice for business. Opening a current bank accounts is especially important so that we can start on a professional note, as well as attract corporate clients who will be able to pay a premium for the photographing services rendered.
Part of our strategies to effectively position the business; is to rent an office space in a busy business district in New York City. The space we intend renting will be big enough to accommodate our studio, reception, as well as our administrative office.
And we have also gone ahead to involve a competent realtor whom we think will be able to give us exactly what we want. Needless to say that one of our dreams is to run the best photography studio in the whole of New York district. This is especially why we are leaving no stone unturned in paying attention to details.
- COMPANY’S DESCRIPTION
We are a topnotch – all round Photography Company and have a great vision to become the one – stop shop when it comes to photography in New York City. We are currently a team of passionate photographers who have come together for the sole purpose of creating a brand that will compete with leading photography companies in New York City.
We also intend to go beyond just making memories, but also will build relationships such that will offer all round photography services.
This means that we will cover wedding photography, child photography- where we capture the milestone of every baby from infancy to late childhood, capturing of nature and landscapes, beauty coverage- pageants, modelling shows, and what have you, as well as other areas too numerous to mention.
Our photography company would also be in the business of training rookies as well as budding photographers who want to be closely watched in their photography endeavor by a mentor. There are also plans not to make our photography business limited to just capturing pictures.
We will also be involved in the sales of photographing digital cameras, lenses, camera stands, photography software, as well as other consultancy services. Furthermore, in the nearest future (our five years goal to be precise), we shall commence to sell franchises and become one of the best photography business in the world.
3. Our Products and Services
Of course, like every other photographer, we shall be into the business of covering events. However, we shall take our services a notch higher, by paying attention to details- like having pre- shoots and after- shoots. Why after shoots? Well, the after- shoots will basically involve capturing the after event moods in pictures.
There will also be the production photo albums, photo books, framed pictures, as well as soft copies of edited pictures as requested by our clients.
Much more than rendering the services, we will also like to be known as a one stop shop where competitors can come purchase equipment that will help foster their expertise. As a result, we are to be involved in the sale of digital cameras, and other photography hardware and software.
We intend to deal in brand new equipment as well as the fairly used type. This is so that we are able to give those who couldn’t possibly afford the brand new stuff the opportunity to still be in the trade by selling the fairly used types of products to them.
We believe that the photography trade wouldn’t be complete without having to offer consultancy services. This is why we will be offering photography training and consultancy services. As a result budding photographers, as well as novices can always run to us to garner more knowledge about the trade. Our consultancy services ranges from providing advisory services to setting up photography studio for our clients.
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- We have a concise vision and mission in view and that is: To become a world class photography brand and to be amongst the top 5 leaders in the photography trade in New York and The united states of America.
- To make top notch photography services available to a wide range of clients that cuts across different classes of people at affordable price.
Our Business Structure
Our plan is to start the photography business with 4 key employees who are expected to handle more than one role per – time. They include:
- Chief Operating Officer and Lead Photographer
- Office Administrator
- Sales and Marketing Officer
- Assistant Photographer and Office Assistant
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Operating Officer and Lead Photographer:
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Responsible for leading the team to cover events
- Responsible for the day to day running of the business
- Responsible for handling high profile clients
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for recruitment
- Responsible for payment of salaries
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Responsible for the day to day administration of the office
- Responsible for handling correspondence
- Manages customers
- Manages vendors
- Handles all incoming calls and emails, et al
- Responsible for handling payment collections and lodgment of cash and checks in the banks
- Any other duty as assigned by the Chief Operating Officer
Sales and Marketing Officer:
- Responsible for marketing the company’s products and services
- Responsible for promoting the company
- Responsible for creating marketing and sales strategies, etc.
- Source for exhibitions and opportunities for the company to leverage on to promote the business
- Represents the organization in some strategic business meetings
- Responsible for hiring and training of freelance sales reps
- Any other duty as assigned by the Chief Operating Officer
Assistant Photographer and Office Assistant
- Assists the Lead photographer at all times
- Runs errands for the organization (i.e. job delivery to clients, purchase of supplies and stationeries et al)
- Responsible for transporting cameras and other equipment to and fro event locations
- Ensures that the office and environment is kept clean at all times
- Any other duty as assigned by the Chief Operating officer
6. SWOT Analysis
We are quite aware that we need to leverage on our strengths if we intend building a successful photography business in the united States of America and that is the reason why we have taken time to analyze our Strength, our Weakness, the Opportunities available to us, as well as the threats that we are likely going to face in the photography industry.
Our strength is not limited to the robust professional training, certification and experience we have acquired prior to setting up a photography business, but also our rich network, passion and ability to convert leads to loyal customers within a short time – frame.
Part of our weakness as a start – up Photography Company is that we have fewer employees and experts, and also we have limited cash to execute all we intend executing before launching the business. For example, we would have loved to build our own customized CRM Software.
The United States of America and New York City in particular is one of the cities in the world that attract tons or diverse classes of visitors, coupled with the fact that some of the finest photography schools are located in New York. It is easier for a start – up photography business to leverage on these factors to build to their businesses and that is exactly what we intend doing.
There are well established photography businesses / photographers in New York City who may not need much stress to convince new clients to patronize them. There is also the threat of the huge cost of running businesses in New York City, as it is on the high side. Hence, we need to be on the top of our game if we must grow our photography business to profitability.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
There is always a readily available market for the photography industry, and whoever is hardworking and can produce decent photography jobs will always make headway in the industry.
But in recent times, because of the advancement of technology, it is now a lot easier for non – professional photographers to take cool shots or ‘selfies’ that can be processed to classic portraits from their smartphones or other computer devices like iPADs and even digital cameras.
In view of this, it has been observed that people only engage the services of professional photographers on rare occasions.
We are quite aware of this; which is why we took our time to study the market and we have been able to identify marketing and sales strategies that will help us generate profits from the business. Part of the marketing and sales strategies that we will adopt are;
- Mouthwatering promos for the first 12 months and then subsequently when the need arises
- Participate in photography exhibitions and expos
- Neighborhood, door to door and mouth to ear adverts to introduce our business
- Engage in roadshows to introduce our business
- Leverage on social media platforms cum online marketing to source for clients
- Create a loyalty program that will help us convert leads to loyal customers
8. Our Target Market
No doubt the target market for the photography industry is pretty wide, but in order to easily stay focused and pursue our target, we have clearly defined our target market as;
- Young Executives
- Intended couples planning to get married
- Churches and other religious centers
- Wedding planners
- Corporate Executives
- Event Planners
Our Competitive Advantage
We are fully aware that there are several top notch photographers in New York City who already have their own loyal clientele base, but we are have done our due diligence and we are ready to give them a run for their money.
Despite the fact that we are new in town, we have been able to critically study the existing photography businesses around our location and we were able to identify some lapses on their part and we plan to work towards making their lapses our strong selling points.
One of the advantages we are bringing to the fore is excellent customer’s service. It is no doubt every business owner will work hard to keep their customers, but if they are not operating on the same page with their customers, they will find it difficult to meet the need of the customer.
In addition, if they can’t meet the need of the customer for a period of time, the customer will definitely source for another company that can meet their need.
In view of that, we have designed a CRM Software that will help us effectively engage our customers from time to time. We will be able to know what our clients want and we will work hard to meet their needs per time .Also the fact that we are new and are willing to deliver photography services at a price that is about the lowest in our location is also an advantage to us.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Much more than generating income from covering events like Weddings, Parties, Thanksgiving services, Naming Ceremonies, and all forms of events that will require taking pictures; we will also engage in the sale of digital photography cameras and accessories as earlier mentioned.
After a period of 5 years, we would have succeeded in selling our brand to the entire populace in New York City and beyond. That should give us a platform to generate more income via providing photography related consultancy services and trainings to as many aspiring photographers that will need them.
After a period of 10 to 15 years, we will start selling franchises of our company in the United States of America. These are basically the areas where we will concentrate on to generate income for our photography business.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We will adopt the aggressive marketing approach because we believe that for us to win over clients in the already saturated market, we must be aggressive. Part of our marketing process is to get the contacts (phone numbers or email addresses) of leads, then send them introductory mails or call them to introduce our businesses to them.
After a week or thereabout, we should follow – up with another call or email and try as much as possible to book an appointment to see them.
We are quite aware that we don’t have the financial capacity to hire enough employees that can cover the entire city and beyond; which is why we will engage freelance marketers to help us market our services. They will be paid commissions based on the number of clients and the amount of the tasks done. In nut a shell, we will explore the following marketing and sales strategies to promote our business;
- Direct Marketing (Staff)
- Sales Reps
- Online Marketing
- Referral / Network Marketing
- Revenue Sharing Business Partners (Event Planners and Contractors)
10. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
From the report gathered from our feasibility studies, we have been able to identify some platforms that will help us effectively create awareness and promote our photography business. Here are the platforms we intend making use of to promote and advertise our business;
- Place adverts on national newspapers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook et al
- Attend photography exhibitions and conferences
- Engage in roadshow from time to time
- Distribute our fliers and handbills to targeted areas from time to time
- Door to door and word of mouth promotions
11. Our Pricing Strategy
In as much as we will not compromise quality in any of our jobs, we have decided to enter the market with rock bottom prices in our business location. Our prices will be the prices to beat in the industry. We will offer discounts to loyal and repeat customers.
Part of what will enable customers get discounts, is when they successfully refer clients to us and if the cost of the services they want exceeds a certain amount of money. The amount will be determined from time to time by the management as the business grows; so there should be no fixed amount for now.
Our philosophy when it comes to pricing is that; ‘We appreciate making smaller profits from many clients, than making huge profits from fewer clients.’
12. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
- The Fee for Registering a Business and Obtaining the Necessary Insurance:
- 725 USD.
- The Amount Needed to Rent a Facility and To Setup a Studio: 5,000 USD.
- The Cost of 2 or more Standard Cameras (Nikon D7100 and Nikon D610): 3,200 USD.
- The Cost of Good Camera Lenses(Nikon 35mm f/2.0, Nikon 50mm f/1.8, and Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens): 1,500 USD.
- The Cost of Computer, Software and Computer Accessories: 1,504 USD.
- The Cost of Launching a Website: 600 USD
- Additional Expenditure (Adverts and Promotions et al): 1,000 USD
Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need an average $10,000 to set up a standard photography business in New York City. Ceteris Paribus, we are likely going to break even within the first 2 years of starting the business.
Funding / Start – Up Capital Generation
As regard raising the start – up capital for the business, we have decided to explore the following means;
- Source for seed capital from angel investors (leverage on any available opportunities to pitch my business idea)
- Generate part of the start – up capital from my savings
- Apply for loan from the bank
- Invite Interested business partners
N.B-: I have been able to save about $3,000 and I intend to raise the balance by applying and obtaining a loan from the bank and also from seed capitals from angel investors. Although, I intend raising part of the start – up capital by inviting interested business partners, but that will definitely be the last option to explore because I intend owning %100 of the business at least for 5 years.
13. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The bigger picture of this photography business is to grow beyond New York City to other major cities in the United States of America.
As such, we intend spending the first 5 years of the business in building and communicating our brand. We know that once our brand has been accepted by the general public, it will be easier for us to successfully sell our franchise to interested entrepreneurs who intend leveraging on our brand to start their own business.
In addition, we will ensure that we invest in regular training and development of our work force.We will work hard to stay abreast with the latest technology in the photography industry and the changing trends as well.
- Photography Training and Certification (for COO and Lead Photographer): Completed
- Business Name Availability Check:>Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Account: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Renting of Office Facility (Studio) and Setting Up: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Sourcing for Angel Investors: In Progress
- Applications for Loan: 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 Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of 3 employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the Needed Cameras, lenses and other Accessories: Yet to Commence
- Purchase of Computer and Software: Completed
- Negotiation with Freelance Sales Reps: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business but online and in the neighborhood: In Progress