One of the first steps I took to taking my business more seriously was to create a business plan. Earl Nightingale said that “people with goals succed, because they know where they’re going,” and I couldn’t agree more. By creating goals for my business, I was able to really focus on what I wanted to get out of my business for this year. It also forced me to not only set the goals, but make a plan as to how to accomplish each and every goal.
When I was making my business plan, it was really tough for me. It was my first time even thinking about goals to accomplish within my photography, and within my business. Not only did I create goals to accomplish, but I created policies for my business that I expect myself to follow, and by doing this it will help me live a more balanced life, and not jeopardize my own personal values.
When my business plan was all said and done, and placed in my binder, I had 19 goals for my business this year. Some of them are super simple, and some of them are a little more challenging to accomplish, but I’m confident I can accomplish them all — or at least get super close! Instead of sharing all 19 with you, I’ll share my top five!
#1. Maintain a balance between work and personal life. It takes a lot of personal time and investment when you’re first starting out a business. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of making your business your entire life, and that is something I desperately want to avoid. I want to “go to work” and leave it at my designated time, and go back to it the next day. I want my business to be successful, but in order for it to be successful, I need to maintain a personal life, for my own mental and emotional health! In order to do this, I’ve created schedules for my business (including various routine tasks designated to specific days) as well as my personal life, so that I can get everything I want accomplished. A little crazy? Perhaps.
#2. Read one business book a month. It is known that the average successful business person (millionaires, I think) read 1-2 business books a month, whereas the average small business owner reads less than one a year. I don’t want to become a statistic with all of the other business that have failed on a yearly basis. I want to keep reading business books that will help me be a better business person, as well as a successful business owner who can stay true to my original beliefs.
#3. Shorten my editing turnaround. Time is money. The more time I spend on editing photos, the less I make. I need to get better at being more efficient with the computer, and Lightroom4. I know I can do this by watching some tutorials and videos to help me learn some new tricks to shorten my time. It also forces me to work harder to get it completely right in the camera during the session, so there’s less to do later!
#4. Blog on a regular basis. Having a blog is really important to me, because it helps my clients see new work (as well as some older sessions), and it also allows them to see me on a personal level. It’s different than my website, because my website is static. With a blog, I get to keep my name out there, and continue to invite people to get to know me! I hope that it will eventually help me with networking, as well as helping new photographers!
#5. To shoot at 15 weddings. I absolutely adore shooting at weddings. There is so much that is special about it, and I love being trusted to capture those moments. Notice I said “shoot” because I didn’t want to limit myself to my own weddings. I want to be able to get as much practice as I can, whether it’s at a wedding that I’m the primary shooter, or the second or third shooter. It’s all about the experience for me!
Those are my most important business goals for the year 2013. I’m so stoked to see how close I get to accomplishing them, or if I completely blow them out of the water! 🙂