Kimberly Harrell Photography is “officially” turning ONE! I started photography about 7 years ago, first taking pictures of friends and family, and then branching out to friends of friends and then again to strangers, however, about a year ago I decided to quit my teaching job to do my photography FULL-TIME.
Guys, It was scary being a first time business owner! I had no idea how to run a company, so I ended up also being a FULL-TIME student learning the ins and outs of business ownership. There are a lot of hats that a small business owner must wear…Advertising Hat, Bookkeeping Hat, Creative Hat, Secretary Hat…it is a lot.
For anyone who is beginning this journey…here goes my Top 5 Tips for Business Owners.
TIP #1: Always, ALWAYS …. Under Promise and Over Deliver.
I mean, don’t we ALL like when we feel like businesses we work with go over and above for us? I always tell my clients it will take me 30 days to deliver a gallery…does it take that long…NOPE. But, how excited are they when they get their images back in a week! Also…this gives you a little grace if for some reason, life happens and maybe it will take you two or three weeks to get a gallery back. They still LOVE you because you got it ready a week early!
Tip #2: Be Likable
I mean…this may seem like common sense but try not to offend your audience. Engage with people….show them who YOU are! This one took me a minute…I had to sit and think about “me” for awhile until I realized I am just a girl who loves tacos, margaritas and travel. Hopefully, my ideal clients also love those things!
Tip #3: Get Insurance
Yes, you probably already knew I was going to tell you this, but it is true…you NEED insurance. You need liability coverage and equipment coverage. When you really start to invest in your business…you’ll start to understand why this is so important. I don’t want a single accident to ruin the empire I am building. I went through Hill and Usher and really liked them since they offered packages for photographers. YASS!
Tip #4: Invest in Client Management Software
I use 17hats and really, REALLY love them. You can set up your workflows and automated emails, contract templates, invoices, etc. It makes tracking my clients and where we are in their workflow a piece of cake….and I love cake.
I can keep track of your bookkeeping as well as send reminders to clients for invoices or contracts that are past the due date. It is really easy to use and it gives my clients the ability to easily pay for their services online!
Tip #5: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Make sure you communicate your worth to your clients. Why should they hire you over someone else? Then continue to stay in communication for an amazing client experience. Clients want you to guide them through the process so it is as easy for them as possible! That’s why they hired a professional!
I send reminders, checklists, timelines, helpful hints to my clients so that they know exactly what to expect, what to do, what to bring, therefore eliminating jitters of uncertainty! **This is probably my teacher brain since it was a must to do this with students in the classroom**
I hope you enjoyed this little blog post over business ownership! These amazing pictures were taken by my friend Jessica Clay Photography and edited by yours truly! If you haven’t checked out her page…you should. She is awesome!