Posts Tagged ‘business’
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
New photographers regularly ask us, “how much should I be spending on marketing?” Below are some general guidelines to follow:
Although the Small Business Administration suggests startups spend up to 20% of projected gross revenues on marketing, for new photographers, that number should be closer to 100% the first year.
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
I have a friend who sells Real Estate in Flint, Michigan. For any of you who don’t know about Flint, it is considered one of the most violent cites in America, and is currently #2 in Forbes “Most Miserable Cities” index. So you’d think her business would be terrible, right?
In fact, she’s experienced double digit growth every year since 2007.
She says the secret is simple: “do things the competition won’t do, like answering the phone.”
Monday, March 4th, 2013
One of the changes in our business has been the shorter turn-around time expected to deliver prints and products. A dozen years ago, it was not uncommon to wait weeks to get an order back from the lab. Today, many of our products are shipped in 1-3 days, and some are shipped the same day we receive the order.
One of the benefits of shorter turn-around time is that we don’t get many “Where’s my order?” phone calls anymore. JD clients have learned that orders ship quickly, and if there is ever a question about an order, we call and email them within minutes.
Our goal is to never keep you – our clients – in the dark about the status of your order. This should be your goal with your clients too.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
According to the Knot.com, the average age of a typical US bride is 29, while the groom is 31. By that age, couples are merging two households. They don’t need a registry at Macy’s for more pots and pans – they already have two of everything.
That’s why an enterprising company called Ciderr.com was formed. Instead of gift registries, photographers sign up the couples for an online registry to pay for their wedding photography!
This unique concept is the answer to the bride who says, “I love your photography, but I can’t afford you!”
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
There’s an old story about a photographer that goes like this: “If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photograph the event…what kind of film would you use?”
Sometimes pro photographers must feel like the Rodney Dangerfields of small business – they get no respect.
But like Rodney, there’s a bit of humor in the profession too.
Below are links to some pictures and videos I’ve seen on line that poke fun at professional photographers and their clients.
And before you say “How can a lab know what it’s like talking to a client who wants an all-day wedding shoot for five hundred dollars?” consider the photographers that ask us “Can you match Walmart’s print prices?”
Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh.
Monday, January 28th, 2013
I had a photographer’s client call me recently about a senior portrait image she wanted re-printed. The boy’s face was red. She had asked the photographer about it when looking at proofs online, and the photographer said, “don’t worry, the finished print will be fine.” the print was drop-shipped, and it was not fine. So the client Googled “pro lab” and found me.
“Can you help?” she asked. Her logic was that if her photographer couldn’t fix it, a pro lab could.
The photographer wasn’t my client, I didn’t print the photo and she didn’t have the image file. But that’s not the point.
If you make a living as a photographer, you instantly know half a dozen things you would have done differently that would have fixed this terrible situation before it ever happened. But if you’re just getting started, here are 4 rules in our business you should always follow:
Monday, January 7th, 2013
Did you know you can download your 2012 order history from our website? This makes it easy for you to collect and verify all your lab-related business expenses for your year-end taxes.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to www.jdlab.com
2. In the upper right corner, you’ll see “Order Tracking”. Enter your JD lab ID and password, then click the “Go” button. By default, your password will be your lab ID plus the last 4 digits of your main studio phone number. If you can’t log in, you may need a new password. Call us at 888-858-8084 and have your JD lab ID ready.
3. In the upper left corner, click JD Photo Imaging > Customer Order Status > Orders in 2012. All your orders for the year will appear on the main screen.
4. If you have more than 1 page of orders, use the MS-Excel or MS-Word icons in the upper right corner to export your orders to a spreadsheet or a Word document. Click the printer icon if you just want to print the list.
Note you can use this login as an easy way to check any of your current order’s status 24/7.
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
With only 4 weeks until the end of the year, now is the time to start thinking about what you want to get accomplished in 2013. None of these projects should take you more than an hour apiece, and they will help you get ready for the new year.
Thank the folks who helped you. Think of the top clients or vendors that were great to work with, or that made your business grow in 2012, and take a minute to send each of them a Christmas card, a call or a personal email. Personal touches mean a lot, and these are the folks you’ll want recommending your work in 2013.
Refresh your website. If the bottom of your website says 2012, now is the time to change it. Cull out the oldest images in your slideshows and cut them down to 8-10 of your best images in each category. Here are more ideas to freshen up your website.
Identify Your Top Goals for 2013. One of my old mentors used to always say, “plan your work and work your plan.” Successful business owners typically have a list of written goals with specific steps to accomplish them. To help you get started, Drew from McLellan Marketing Group has created a single page business plan that can help you focus on 6 goals – one for each aspect of your business: management, staff, internal systems, financial, new clients and marketing. The page isn’t to share with anyone else, but for you to pull out once a month and remind yourself what you should be working on to grow your business in 2013.
Monday, November 26th, 2012
UPS has created a new free service that lets you keep track of deliveries, and will let you know approximately when they will arrive. It’s called UPS MyChoice.
With UPS MyChoice you can:
- Get delivery alerts via text message or email
- Get approximate delivery time
- Authorize shipment release if you’re not home
- Hold for “will call” before delivery
Although this service is free, for a $40/year annual subscription, you can change the delivery location via the web (for example, to a neighbor’s house) and you’ll receive a guaranteed delivery time within a 2-hour window.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
by Kirk Russell, 3Lenses.com
Many non-photo businesses send Christmas, birthday, and even anniversary cards to their customers. But many photographers only sell Christmas or Holiday cards to their portrait clients, and over-look businesses in their market area for sales opportunities.
Contact local businesses now to photograph staff or facilities, and create nearly effortless card sales. Christmas cards can be a great way to introduce you to local business owners, management, and employees, who can then hire you to create photographs for their web sites, sales presentations, brochures, annual reports, and of course, family and children’s portraits.
Photographers that sell Christmas cards to clients should also send Christmas cards to clients. Cards that feature staff photos or examples of your most moving images can reinforce the relationship between studios and clients.
Don’t wait until Christmas to send your cards. Send cards now, before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving cards will stand out because they’re unique and won’t be lost in the Christmas rush. Imagine how many past clients will be spurred to make appointments for portrait gifts and their own holiday cards before Christmas.
Depending on the number of cards you need to send, have JD Photo print photo cards.
Plant these Holiday “seeds” now and they can produce momentum into the first quarter, giving you much to be thankful for.