This is going to be my busiest year so far, and I am ECSTATIC about it, and I’m super thankful. However, I feel a different kind of pressure and a state of “how am I going to keep this all going?” A LOT now. My season starts this weekend with a double header weekend. I am so excited to photograph weddings and engagements over the next few months! With that being said, I’ve thought of some tips to keep things running smoothly when you’re at your busiest!
Workflows are basically systems that you create for your business so that you don’t forget anything, and so that each client experience is the same. I have a workflow on paper that walks me through my entire relationship with a client, including due dates for myself for various aspects. I create these due dates as soon as a client books with me. Then, throughout the year, I check in each week and see if I have any due dates coming up! I also started using Trello recently which sends me e-mail notifications for tasks I’ve created for myself. I have workflows for clients, preparing for a session, and editing. Having some sort of system in place works wonders (and creating this during your slow season) for you and your business. I also use Pixifi to automate several aspects of my business (reminders, payments, contracts, finances, etc.).
#2. Creating a schedule and sticking to it.
This is ESPECIALLY important if you are still working a second job alongside your photography business. I will literally plan out time in my planner to write blog posts and edit sessions. If you don’t SCHEDULE this time, it’ll make you less efficient because you’ll be doing it here and there. Scheduling the time to do tasks will MAKE time that you need to sit down and put 100% into what you’re doing. Having dedicated time is so important for your business!
#3. Get rid of distractions.
When I’m editing or writing a blog post or responding to e-mails. I am ONLY doing those things. I put my phone on silent, I sign off of facebook and all social media, and I get to what I’m doing! With that being said, I only check my e-mail a few times a day, usually in the morning, before lunch, and in the late afternoon. I don’t check it outside of those times anymore, and it’s made a huge difference in how productive I am, because I am not logging into my e-mail every half hour!
#4. Choose a filing day.
The last day of each month is the day I sit down and print off my receipts, enter my expenses and profits, and track my mileage. Doing this MONTHLY saves you a huge headache at the end of the year when trying to get everything ready for tax time! Doing it once a month keeps me super organized and efficient with my time. This is something I learned very early on in my business and sometimes I’ll go three months without filing and I hate myself the whole time I’m catching up! Don’t do this to yourself! 🙂
#5. Take care of yourself.
Make sure you take breaks when editing so you’re not staring at a computer screen for hours. Stretch. Drink some water. Don’t forget to take some nights to yourself to read a book, take a bath, watch a movie, or even go to bed early! If you don’t take care of yourself, your business will definitely suffer.
#6. Set realistic expectations.
Sometimes we want to do it all, and we try to do as much as we can at the same time. Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten real with my expectations for myself. I schedule things that are REALISTIC for me to accomplish within certain time frames. Take the time to do things well, and don’t be so hard on yourself when you didn’t edit that wedding in three days. Be real with yourself, and once that happens, some of that pressure you’re feeling will start to lift.