How to write a business plan :: Portland, Maine Photographer

how to write a business plan, photography business plan

I used to think that business plans were only necessary if you planned on taking out a business loan. I have no desire to ever take out a business loan so I figured I wouldn’t need to do this. Then, I found out from Photography Awesomesauce that business plans are just good to have in general, especially if you’re just starting out. Last week I wrote about tips for starting your business, and said I would share how to write a business plan. So, here goes. I did a really intensive one my first year, and for my second year this year I just modified it a little bit from what I did last year.

#1. Describe your business.

The first thing I do in my business plan is describe what kind of business you are. This was good for me, because it was like, “yeah, how do I describe my business?”  If you know what type of business you are, it’ll be easier to explain it to others who ask 🙂 Some things that I talked about was being located in Portland, Maine and specializing in weddings. Don’t be afraid to be specific!

#2. Objectives and goals.

I wrote out my goals for the 2014 business year. However, I didn’t just list my goals. I wrote down action steps for each goal for HOW I am going to accomplish these goals. It’s super easy for us to just say we’re going to do something, but it is an entirely new level when we say how we plan to do these. By doing this, it is more likely that you will actually achieve these goals because now you are thinking about how to get it done!

#3. Strengths and weaknesses.

In this section I listed out what I consider to be my strengths and what are my weaknesses! It was really interesting to see how my business plan for 2013 listed weaknesses that I turned into my strengths over the year, like blogging! Now, I have a new set of weaknesses that I hope I will be able to turn into strengths this year 🙂

#4. Linda Barry Photography Policies.

Here, I listed my policies. Things that I will do, things that I won’t do, what I expect before a session, and so on. This serves as a reminder for myself of the boundaries I have put on my business and how I will interact with individuals throughout the year.

#5. Ideal client.

This is the last section in my 2014 business plan. I described what my ideal client is for my business. By understanding who your ideal client is, you can better market yourself for those individuals. Also, you can learn to say “no” to those clients who are not the ideal clients and who are not good fits for your business.

If you are just starting out, it is also a good idea to take a look at the competition in your area to see what they are charging and such. It’s good to know what’s out there!

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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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