Are you a photographer who dreams of having a photography studio?
My goal today is to save you from jumping into a studio before you’re ready.
But I want you to have it if you want it.
So here are four tips to know if you and your business are ready for this next big step.
I love big dreams, but I also know that getting a studio is an emotional one for many photographers.
It legitimizes you and makes you look and feel so powerful and amazing.
And it separates you from competitors.
But sometimes we let the dreams that we have get in the way of good business sense.
A studio is not a marketing activity.
Yes, it creates value and it makes you seem like you’re worth more, but it doesn’t make people drive by it and decide to immediately book you.
Getting a studio is not a quick fix to any problem that you’re having.
A studio is a fixed cost.
A fixed cost means that it doesn’t go up or down based on the number of clients.
So you’re paying it whether you have a client or not.
So if you don’t have any clients, this adds pressure.
It adds pressure on your spouse, on your family, and on your health.
So, here are some ways to know if you are ready for a studio.
1. Make Sure You Know How to Consistently Bring In Right Fit Clients
Your studio will not be a magic marketing bullet.
Ask yourself, “Do I know how to turn on the faucet and get clients whenever I need them?
When I’m ready, can I go out there and market and bring in the right, fit clients?”
If not, don’t commit to a studio.
2. Serve Your Clients Where You Predictably Know Your Average Sale
Do you know every time you book a client what they’re going to order?
When I teach this to my students, first, they come in and they’re usually giving everything away for a couple hundred bucks.
So, I teach them how to be a boutique photography business, how to price, and how to sell.
They get their first Julie, which is their first thousand dollar order, but then they panic and they have a low order.
And then they mess something up and we’ve got to pump them back up and get them back out there.
Then they start doing it more consistently and their sales kind of look like a heartbeat.
We apply extra levels of coaching and accountability and we can solve their problems and then they can get consistent sales.
3. Understand Where the Profit Comes From
Before you get a studio, you need to understand where the profit comes from.
Where does a profit come from in your business?
You’ve got two different costs.
You’ve got variable costs and you’ve got fixed costs.
Your variable cost or expense is the cost of sales.
Those are the things that happen only when you have a client.
Fixed expenses are the things that you pay every month, whether you have a client or not, like a studio expense.
If you don’t know how to do projections of how many clients you can bring in at what average, you have no way of knowing for sure that you’re going to have money there to pay this bill every month.
It’s a cash flow exercise.
And this is something I teach to my students before they get a studio.
4. Know That Your Comfortable Earning 10x What You are Investing In Your Studio
Your studio expense can be 10% of your sales.
So, for example, if you project this year that you know confidently based on what you did last year, that you can generate $100,000 in revenue, your business can justify approximately $840-ish a month for your studio expenses.
That’s not just rent.
That’s everything that goes into the studio: heating, air conditioning, water bill, etc.
Don’t just guess when you’re building a studio.
I can help you with that, but I want you to have perspective and know that if you build or buy that studio before your business can justify it, you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself.
I’m not saying a studio is a bad idea or that you should kill your dream.
What I’m saying is, don’t let your dream of a photography studio kill your entire photography business.
I love to live by philosophy, “the more you learn, the more you earn”, but I want to take it a step further.
It’s also about taking action.
I don’t want you stuck in learning mode because a lot of the lessons you need to learn are happening when you’re taking action.
So you’ve got to take the right actions to move your business forward.
If you’re dreaming of a studio, you have to have confidence in your ability to attract the right, fit clients.
If you don’t, join our program and we’ll teach you how to do it.
So keep dreaming, keep taking big action, and keep investing in yourself before you invest in your studio.
I will be here with you the entire way and just know I am cheering for you.