Having a benchmark in your photography business is like having the answers to the test

Having a benchmark in your photography business is like having the answers to the test

We had the best call in our coaching community today and I wanted to share it. If you haven’t checked out a benchmark study for your photography business, you are missing a great opportunity. The Professional Photographers of America has a division called Studio Management Services. They have spent the last few years researching the cost of doing business for digital photographers in both a home-based and retail environment for photographers. They collected financial information from photographers around the country and put them into a database. They run a report that tells how your numbers perform vs. the average studio and the best performing studio (if you are a member, check them out).


While I am a big fan of understanding financial data and I realize that everyone else isn’t, it is worth your time to educate yourself on what your numbers mean. Today, in our coaching call, we went through one of our member’s projected income and expenses for 2011 and compared it with the benchmark study. Truly, this is like being given the answers to the test before you take it. Now, your job is to figure out how to get the answers. Here are a few tips from our call today.

– Marketing costs for a healthy business should be 8-10%.

– Many photographers feel like they need a large, fancy studio before they can charge what they are worth, yet, newer businesses can’t justify that expense yet. The benchmark study shows that overhead is about 10% or even a little lower for the most profitable studios. So, if you are grossing $200,000, you have $20,000 to contribute to rent, utilities, etc. If you jump in on this before you are ready, you will be adding a lot of pressure on yourself and stress on your life.

– If you don’t like the net profit number at the bottom of your projections, play with your numbers at the top until you like the outcome. THEN, figure out how to get there.

– You don’t need to reinvent the wheel! The answers are out there if you invest in finding them.


We only have 2 spots left in The Joy of Marketing Coaching Community. You have hands-on access to our team to help you fast track your small business growth. If you have interest, email us at renee@thejoyofmarketing and we will setup a consultation to see if you are a good fit.


Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

Hey, there!