One of the most common questions I get as an educator is this: “When am I ready to actually launch my photography business?”
And when I say launch, I don’t mean creating a business Facebook page or photography Instagram. I’m talking registering officially as a Sole Proprietor or LLC (a VERY important step if you want to stay friends with the IRS…).
So many times we are our own worst critic, and we can get into our heads and talk ourselves down.
Maybe you’ve had these thoughts…
Trust me, I had ALL of these thoughts when I first started my business. You’re normal. Doubts creep in.
But let’s put those doubts to rest, shall we?
Here are the 5 signs that you’re READY to officially launch your photography business!
If you can say, “Yep, that’s me!” to AT LEAST TWO of these five signs, then you can rest assured that YOU ARE READY to take that leap.
First thing’s first, if you’re going to make your business official then you have to love it. Why would you want to pursue something you didn’t genuinely enjoy?!
A good thing to do is to think about your “Why.” Why do you love photography? My “why” is simple. I love photography because I get to serve families and capture memories for them to treasure forever.
I won’t lie to you…there are days that running a photography business takes its toll. But on those days, my “why” keeps me going and reminds me that the tough days are ABSOLUTELY worth it!!
I believe that all photographers, pros or not, should always be learning and growing. But if you’re going to be running a legit business, you really need to have a grasp of your equipment and editing software. You should know how to confidently shoot with your DSLR camera in Manual Mode (need help? Click HERE!), and should be able to use Lightroom or Photoshop (I prefer Lightroom) to deliver final edited images.
Choosing a style and shooting that way consistently comes with practice and can be worked on after you set your business up, but learning how to use your camera and perform basic retouching should be learned before launching.
This one is actually how I got started with my business! One day I posted photos I had taken of my sister for fun, and before I knew it I had friends asking me to take their family photos!
If people are asking you to take their photos and are planning on paying you, it’s DEFINITELY time to get that business official.
Whether you think you’re good enough or not, TRUST what people are telling you! If people (other than your mom) say they’d pay for your work, then what are you waiting for?? Go for it!
This one’s a biggy. If you are already getting paid to take photos for other people, you should have registered your business…like…yesterday!
Not only does it keep you in good standing with the IRS, but it helps to legitimize you for your clients.
Think about it. If you had the choice to work with a business who dealt everything under the table vs. one who is registered as they should be, who would you go to?
Then let me ask this question…which of those business owners could justify charging more? (Obviously the registered one!)
The goal with a business is to make money, and if you’re registered and official, you naturally have grounds to charge more!! (YAY!)
So if ANYONE has already paid you for your services (yes…even your friends), it’s time to get moving on getting that business official!
**I should also mention here…if you already have a Facebook page or Instagram for your photography, you fall under this category and should be registered already.
I want you to pause right now and ask yourself this question: What do I want to be known for?
If being a real photographer is on that list, then this one’s for you.
One of the toughest transitions I had to walk through when I started my business years ago was getting my friends to stop thinking of me as “Rebecca, the mom with the nice camera” and to start seeing me as “Rebecca, the photographer.”
I WANTED my friends to think of me when they needed family photos done.
I WANTED my family to be proud of my work and tell their friends about my photography.
I WANTED to finally take a hobby seriously and not just get bored with it like everything else I’ve ever tried.
I WANTED to become Rebecca, the photographer.
If that’s you too, then don’t let anything stop you! Taking that step to get your business official may seem scary, but it will be a game-changer. People will see it as a statement that this is for real. No one accidentally starts an official business. It is an intentional step, and will help others see you as legit…and it’ll help YOU see you as legit.
So? How’d it go? 2 or higher?
If so, CONGRATULATIONS!! You’re ready to launch your business officially and register as that Sole Proprietor or LLC!
I have a passion for walking with photographers like you through this journey, so it would be my honor to hold your hand and guide you through your next steps!
I just released a brand new mini-course that goes over EVERYTHING you need to know about starting up your business officially, getting your business finances in order (to help make tax season a breeze), and everything in between. You can check it out HERE!
I didn’t have anyone there to guide me, and I spent HOURS googling and praying that I wasn’t doing things wrong and wasting my money on unnecessary steps. I don’t want that for you. So head on over to my Getting Started Mini-Course and let’s get started! I can’t wait!
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