Friday, February 04, 2011

Every Business Needs a Business Plan : Alicia Caine's Happy Place

When I started my business last year, I was one of those "business plan, schmisness plan" kind of people.  Why do I need a business plan?  All I'm doing is taking pictures, and I love taking pictures!!  And I can get paid to do something I love??  Wahoo!  

Flash forward 6 months. I was up to my eyeballs in editing photos, while learning that taking pictures was actually about 10% of owning a photography business.  Marketing, taxes, building a website, branding, blogging, education, insurance, gear upgrading, budgeting, product packaging, pricing--KABOOM!!!!  (That was the sound of my brain exploding, in case you were wondering :]) The more I learned about owning business, the more stressed I got, and I was finding myself staying up until midnight (oftentimes later) almost every night, 7 days a week.  Throw in the fact that my son is still under 1 and doesn't understand the meaning of sleeping in, I was one tired, stressed girl! Researching, editing, mommying, and wifeing was quickly burning me out.  The off-season couldn't have come at a better time, and I took off the entire month of January from anything business related.  I really needed a break if I was going to continue loving the small part of my business that I actually enjoyed.

Enter, Happy Place by Alicia Caine.

I am not a business person.  In fact, I'm about the farthest away from being a business person that you can get. The only thing I knew about a business plan was that I didn't want to write one. *insert whining voice here* It was just one more thing to add to my mile-long to do list, and honestly, I didn't see the benefit of having one.

When I got down the root of the matter, I felt that if I actually wrote down what I wanted to happen, and it didn't go the way I planned, that would mean that I had failed.  What I didn't know was that one of the ways to meet my goals was to 1. actually have some (duh me), and 2. WRITE THEM DOWN.  Happy Place was so helpful in making a plan with goals that actually fit my life.  While going through it, I also had the realization that it's just plan, not set in stone.  If I don't reach my goal, that's okay, I have a reference point for the next year.  I'll be able to see what worked and what didn't and change things around.

Seriously, if you're a photographer and you're out there flying by the seat of your pants, crossing your fingers in the hopes that you'll magically do well this year (interesting visual, huh?), I really REALLY recommend checking out Happy Place! Alicia has such a unique way of making something that can be really daunting, amazingly simple.  She walks you through every single step, and while it takes some thought and work (as anything worth doing does), it's totally worth it!

The #1 reason for my needing a business plan?


Because I don't want to be away from my little babe any more than I have to. :)


Happy Friday!!!!!
**Don't forget: Only one more week to get your submission in for the Free Wedding Photography Contest!!!!**

1 comment:

Sofia Britts said...

I guess that any form of hobby, when done for a living, becomes a serious business. Be it in crafting, photography, or web design, as soon as we decide to make a career out of what we love, everything about making a business succeed kicks in. From getting a loan to financing the capital, all the way up to marketing our stuff, we really start somewhere.