The substance of what makes a business run and what makes it great isn’t on the surface (design, image etc etc).
The true substance is much deeper. IN the grueling, disciplined sweat. pain, blood and turmoil……PLUS, a few secret ingredients.
I’ll get to those in a second.
First, take my story as example…
I had acquired by some weird twist of fate a beautiful large home studio.
I was terribly wet behind the ears and as green as grass when it came to running a pro photography studio.
I did however have big dreams, hopes and ambitions. And, in the grand scheme of things, knew enough about taking decent photographs to get me started in my own business…barely…and…largely because I had the balls to get out there and do it.
I had several years as a darkroom techie….almost one year managing a chain like studio and….better yet….
…several years photographing schools….which did more for my self-confidence than anything else.
And I was only 25.
I had a ways to go. I knew little about management, accounting, selling and all those essentials.
I did my best. I took a night course at our local college on running a small bid’ness…
I asked my landlord, the dude who gave my this amazing opportunity, for some tips on setting up the books and all thing accounting.
The key = I asked for help. This attitude got me far in life.
I hate bookkeeping with a passion and eventually did what I feel most photographers should do…
I farmed it out.
Paid a lady $50.00 a month to come in. On busier months, she’d want more. I paid her whatever she wanted.
It meant I was getting busier.
But I was glad not to be doing the books…yeessshhhh.
In studio management, it occurred to me years later how incompetent I was in this area once I married my wife and she and I started working together.
She as manager, me as photographer and marketing director. Two essential jobs I loved!
We were now competent. A team. And the studio skyrocketed!
This whole idea came to light a few years ago when I booked Maggie Habieda as a speaker for the Inferno workshop.
Maggie, as I was dealing with her, when it came to payments and anything non essential, had me communicate with her studio manager, Ian Cuthbert.
Everything was run very professional. She delegated.
I noticed this and thought, one of the reasons she is so successful is because she brought someone like Ian into the picture to help her studio grow.
And grown it has!
She not only was the most popular and energetic speaker, she showed us how she grew her studio in a matter of a few years.
Amazing story. Great news when so many are saying the days of the full time studio are numbered.
Phhhoeeeyy! Don’t believe it for a second.
Just because there are hot dog and lemonade stands popping up all over doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for something better.
People want gourmet and fine dining.
It’s a huge market.
And that’s the market I cater to. As well as many successful photographers I know who are crushing it. Photographers like Maggie.
Remember a while back I said:
“I asked for help. This attitude got me far in life….”
Newbie or old timer, we all need to ask questions, learn, and seek out deep, meaningful answers.
And who you ask is important. You don’t want bad advice or opinions. Everyone’s got ’em.
You want real, solid information from qualified photographers like Maggie.
Wish I had a Maggie way back when. We can all access Maggie and her super powers in the photography forum HERE.
The journey to competence starts by asking the right questions and asking the right people.
Yours in photography and success,