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Brick & Mortor?

Camera Happy
Date Posted: Jun/08/2011 2:31 PM
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I am curious: I am getting to a crossroads where I need to make some decisions re: the future expansion of my photography business. Do I...

a) Continue my "home office" and continue renting out studio space as needed when I need to shoot instudio?
b) Do I look to expand the business by purchasing or leasing studio space, hire a secretary (either onsite or remote), secure regular assistants, etc.?
c) Wait to see WTF happens with the economy in the next year or two before doing ANYTHING significant?
d) Go with one of those shared-office space arrangements where I have office space and a secretary provided with the cost of the lease (like Regus USA)?

A few things I know I NEED to do to take option "b" - I will have to develop a MUCH more extensive business plan to acquire the capital from a bank to purchase more studio equipment, additional camera equipment, photo editing software, 1 year's worth rent, etc.

I was talking with some bank folks the other day and they seem eager to lend money for business expansion, etc. But I dunno... I believe such an investment requires a FULL-TIME commitment and I am not able or willing to make that kind of commitment right now (considering the economy especially). I have a GOOD professional job and so far have been content "moonlighting" as a photog to help supplement revenue. But I have been talking to some folks who are full-time photogs and they believe I COULD do this full-time if I took a leap of faith. But the way the economy looks, I dunno...

And then on the flip side, I've spoken with 2 full-time photogs that wonder whether or not the FULL-TIME pro photog industry will even survive into the future???

What do you think? What have your experiences taught you?

Insights appreciated...

Ad astra per aspera...

"To the stars through perseverence..."


Date Posted: Jun/09/2011 8:20 AM
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I don't know how much business you have, or expect to have, so it's hard to advise...

(a) Continuing with your existing set up is a good idea, maybe hire a secretary on a part time business if the paperwork is taking up too much time...

(b) If you go for the studio space, secretary or not... Can you rent it out when you are not using it, to cover down time? Studios and secretaries that are not in use can burn money... I don't do a lot of studio type portraits, but I use my back garden as an outdoor studio... For inside work I use my local leisure centre, or the clents home if they feel more at home there... In my area we are blessed with seaside, woods and North Yorkshire Moors all within close proximity, all with unlimited potential...

(c) You could be waiting for ever, or miss the boat if it all kicks off... Keep you finger on the pulse if you choose this option...

(d) Again, what usage can you make of secretary and office space when not using it for your photographic work...

The banks like lending money because that's how they make money... DONT OVER STRETCH YOURSELF, a problem many people make... They think I'm doing OK here so I will go for it full tilt and fall flat on their butt when the work falls off, leaving them with long leases and no work...
In my area the few full time studios that are still viable rent out to semi-pro photographers and camera clubs on an hourly basis between their own shoots...


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