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Thread: Business Startup

  1. #1
    Member JJM's Avatar
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    Business Startup

    Ok so I am looking to start advertising my services before the end of June. Just going through all the planning stuff now.
    I am not looking to make this my full time job though but want to make sure I do everything properly

    I have ABN so that's covered.

    Business name

    I haven't registered one yet as I am having trouble deciding what path I want to take.
    Do I use my own name or initials, do I come up with a business name that does not include my real name?
    Would love to hear peoples thoughts on either option and the positives and negatives associated with each?

    Insurance
    Public liability, product liability, gear cover etc. What are the working photographers out there covering themselves for, $5mil or $10mil public liability? Is product liability a good idea? Who is everyone using? I got a quick online quote through AAMI for all of the above and $5mil liability and it was approx. $550 per year, is this average?

    Advertising
    First thing is a website, I plan on using a squarespace one as that's all I am familiar with and they seem to be pretty good.
    Aside from the free advertising on the likes of gumtree etc where else should I consider advertising?
    Business cards....does anyone really use them these days, worthwhile or not?

    Pricing
    Obviously this is a very individual thing but when you guys come up with your rates how do you factor in the cost of your gear into your hourly rate/project rate? Do you base it on a 5 year cycle or....?

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJM View Post
    Ok so I am looking to start advertising my services before the end of June. Just going through all the planning stuff now.
    I am not looking to make this my full time job though but want to make sure I do everything properly

    I have ABN so that's covered.

    Business name

    I haven't registered one yet as I am having trouble deciding what path I want to take.
    Do I use my own name or initials, do I come up with a business name that does not include my real name?
    Would love to hear peoples thoughts on either option and the positives and negatives associated with each?

    Insurance
    Public liability, product liability, gear cover etc. What are the working photographers out there covering themselves for, $5mil or $10mil public liability? Is product liability a good idea? Who is everyone using? I got a quick online quote through AAMI for all of the above and $5mil liability and it was approx. $550 per year, is this average?

    Advertising
    First thing is a website, I plan on using a squarespace one as that's all I am familiar with and they seem to be pretty good.
    Aside from the free advertising on the likes of gumtree etc where else should I consider advertising?
    Business cards....does anyone really use them these days, worthwhile or not?

    Pricing
    Obviously this is a very individual thing but when you guys come up with your rates how do you factor in the cost of your gear into your hourly rate/project rate? Do you base it on a 5 year cycle or....?
    The business name isn't always as easy as it sounds due to registering domain names. You don't want to select a business and then find out that there are no domains available to support the business name. I would recommend getting a short list of names and then checking for appropriate domains to tie in before deciding.
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 23 f/2, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    The business name isn't always as easy as it sounds due to registering domain names. You don't want to select a business and then find out that there are no domains available to support the business name. I would recommend getting a short list of names and then checking for appropriate domains to tie in before deciding.
    Yes thanks I am aware of that and have a few shortlisted that are available as business names and domains.

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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    With pricing I was told the other day... Print cost + frame cost + Travel + Time to PP + 100% mark up.
    I think 5mil PL, Gear value + 20% (Which includes computers, laptops, tablets, office equipment and associated stuff)
    And MM pretty much covers the naming thingy..
    Geoff
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJM View Post

    Advertising
    First thing is a website, I plan on using a squarespace one as that's all I am familiar with and they seem to be pretty good.
    Aside from the free advertising on the likes of gumtree etc where else should I consider advertising?
    Business cards....does anyone really use them these days, worthwhile or not?

    Pricing
    Obviously this is a very individual thing but when you guys come up with your rates how do you factor in the cost of your gear into your hourly rate/project rate? Do you base it on a 5 year cycle or....?
    Squarespace is good, functional and looks professional.

    Gumtree is free, so there is little harm in advertising there.
    Of course if you get a client from gumtree, your preconceived ideas about pricing no longer apply.
    Gumtree is free... adn it attracts the kind of people who like getting things.. for free...
    You can try to find clients thru them, but I would not hope for high paying assignments.

    The only real way to advertise is Adwords.
    Until you can get referrals, word of mouth customers, etc, adwords is the only reasonable option...
    And depending on the type of photography, you will pay up to 15$ per click, so be sure you have a budget.

    Insurance and public liability is not essential in most cases, unless you shoot for a public company or a school, or decide to sell your images at the Paddington markets..
    However, I would be scared doing a wedding without it.
    If you plan to shoot headshots or product images, then you dont really need it.
    It will set you back about $1500.

    Pricing is not possible to answer.
    In time you will charge correctly, but when you start its tough. Charge how much you think you're images are worth.
    After a while you will see if you get takers for your prices.

    If you see that you're booked solid for months ahead, then its time to lift your prices, if you struggle to get anyone...
    well... no calculation of the value of your gear will help you there...
    “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" – Henri Cartier-Bresson
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  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CandidTown
    Squarespace is good, functional and looks professional.

    The only real way to advertise is Adwords.
    Until you can get referrals, word of mouth customers, etc, adwords is the only reasonable option...
    And depending on the type of photography, you will pay up to 15$ per click, so be sure you have a budget.

    Depends on who your target demographic is. Adwords are something I ignore completely, I go out of my way to not click on those links..ever. So if you deemed me to be part of your target demographic, then you would lose out. I know a lot of others ignore them conscientiously as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by CandidTown
    Insurance and public liability is not essential in most cases, unless you shoot for a public company or a school, or decide to sell your images at the Paddington markets..
    However, I would be scared doing a wedding without it.
    If you plan to shoot headshots or product images, then you dont really need it.
    It will set you back about $1500.

    Worst bit of advice for a business EVER.

    Your are doing a portrait shoot at your studio/garage and one of the kids trips up in your lights cable, falls down, breaks his arm, and splits his head open. Family sue you. You are at a local sunrise shoot and another photographer trips over your camera bag that is behind you, in the dark, and breaks their leg. They sue you. You are shooting a family in the park, you turn round and your camera bag, cameras, lenses etc are gone, nicked! You have a wedding to shoot in 4 days..and no gear..and no money to buy new gear. Your garage is converted and used as your studio, your house and everything in it, catches fire and is destroyed. You have solid bookings for 2 months. Not only have you lost all your gear, and your clients, but your home and everything else as well.. and you have no insurance...and a $400K mortgage that still needs to be paid..and your income source (your business) just went up in smoke.

    Anything can happen, and will. You need insurance to protect yourself and your business. Hopefully you never need to use it, but are you willing to lose your business and have a huge debt simply cause you did not have any? it is called Risk Management! So go ahead, do not have insurance, but be sure you can afford the consequences if something does happen!

    Business Cards can still be good, if just used as appointment cards. Write the date and time of the booking on the back and give to the client. I don't call mine business cards, even though they is technically what they are. I call them appointment cards.

    Your biggest advertising comes from word of mouth. Get your name out there to as many as you can and if they use you, and appreciate your skill, professionalism etc, they will tell their friends and acquaintances. Perhaps consider offering something like 'refer a friend' for a free 10x8 print from your own session? Incentives along with the above mentioned go a long way to getting more clients. Word of mouth is far and away your biggest advertising method, and it is free. But it requires you to be good at what you do. Cause bad word of mouth goes twice as far.
    Last edited by ricktas; 18-03-2015 at 6:03am.
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  7. #7
    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    $1500 for 5 Milliom Public Liability
    I pay about &700 a year for 10 million Public Liability as well as 10k equipment cover ??
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    My 2 cents:

    Business name
    Get the we website registered first.
    I think the name should be your own name or some reference to the area of the photography you work in.
    You can have a few names registered if unsure. They are very cheap.
    get .com.au name as well as .com and set an auto-redirect from .com


    Insurance
    Just get one. I'm with ***name removed according to site rules***. Didn't claim anything yet. Hope never will.

    Advertising
    Get the website going. Avoid fancy Flash galleries. keep it simple and put up your best work there.
    Keep the website fresh. Read about search engine optimization. Stay away from people offering you promoting your website on Google.
    Google paid advertising works. learn how to budget it properly or it will eat up all your money.
    Bing advertising is not so effective but very cheap.
    Facebook paid advertising doesn't work.
    Create a business page on the facebook. Stop posting rubbish on your personal facebook page and make it photography-focused with just a bit of personal touch.
    Until the time when you get most of your business via referrals, focus on getting customers via your website.


    Pricing
    Setting your price based on overhead is not quite right when you start the business. Know your market and charge as everyone else first and then adjust the price depending how things go.
    Just dont work for free. Always charge your customers. Even small fee.


    Last edited by ameerat42; 18-03-2015 at 10:52am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    I pay about &700 a year for 10 million Public Liability as well as 10k equipment cover ??
    That looks about the same rate we pay, only we have a lot more gear.
    It may also depend on where we live. I cant' remember exactly how much we were billed last year, but it would have been close to $1500, maybe a bit less, but not much.
    5Mil liability is also an option and will cost a few $ less, although, if you have to have indemnity for a shoot, the standard amount required is 10Mil.

    Like I said before, If the OP intends to shoot product photography or even somethign like headshots, insurance is "optional".
    But more importantly, I would not buy insurance until he books his first proper paying gig.
    It only takes a couple of days to organise insurance and there is no reason to pay 1000$ and never recoup that amoutn in sales.

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for your input, some great advice!

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