Making a Business Manual

This year I’m taking my business to a whole new level! I’m going full time! However, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to make my business BETTER and how to use my time efficiently.

Something new that I am doing this year is making a business manual. I’ve read business books in the past and so many of them suggest doing this for your business, even if you are the only one running it! It’s been a slow process but I’m chipping away at it a little bit at a time, and I’m excited to be doing this for a few different reasons.

  1. It helps ME think through ALL aspects of my business. From social media, to editing, and even importing and backing up photos. It makes me think about EVERY little thing I do. Through this process I’ve been able to fine tune what I do and make it a better experience for my couples, as well as making sure everything makes sense for what I’m trying to accomplish in my business! As a business owner, you should have a firm grasp on exactly how you do everything!
  2. If my business grows to include more photographers or assistants, this will help them out! If someone else comes on as a part of my team, having something to give them about the processes I go through for everything will really help them get off to a good start! As a teacher, I have walked into jobs where there is nothing for me to pull from and it’s hard to start entirely from scratch and not really feel sure of what the heck is going on!
  3. Emergencies. If anything ever happens to me and someone has to take over editing or shooting weddings in a pinch, this will be available so they know exactly how I do things, and they’ll be able to access all my accounts so that they can see where I’ve left off with a couple!

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So, those are the reasons WHY I’m doing it! I really like to be prepared, and having a manual that outlines everything I do just makes me feel more legitimate and justified in how I do things!

I figured I would share what topics are being included in my business manual so that it might be a helpful starting place for someone else making their own manual! I will say that it is very photography specific because that’s what I do, but a manual can be made for ANY type of business!

  • logins for accounts
  • policies + ideal clients
  • monthly tasks
  • gear to pack for engagement sessions
  • gear to pack for weddings
  • preparation for sessions
  • leads to booking clients process
  • wedding workflow for clients
  • session workflow for clients
  • blog posts and their process
  • social media management
  • how to import, edit, and export images
  • my process for creating and ordering albums
  • what my contracts are
  • how to handle taxes and accounting

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It’s a long process to make this, but I know it’ll do me a lot of good in the end! 🙂 If you have made a manual for your business, do you have any tips you can share?


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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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i'm a mama of two, a razzleberry peace tea hoarder, and a photographer

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