8 lessons for entrepreneurs

11.27.2017 Business

Don’t sacrifice your life for workHaving launched and grown a successful photography business of his own, Michael Christman later served as vice president of sales at the national photography company Lifetouch. Today, he uses his experience to counsel entrepreneurs on performance and business management.Here are eight of Christman’s lessons for growing a business that doesn’t take over your life. Because there’s no point in finding entrepreneurial success if you have to sacrifice... Continue Reading >

Creating a “just-right” business: A three-part plan

December 2017 issue Business

What Michael Christman began in his garage in 1974 has become one of the largest school photography operations in the country, boasting a 78 percent market share in its region. That small business grew into part of the Lifetouch network to become one of its major California operations. Christman transitioned into business positions at Lifetouch, including vice president of sales, and spent decades helping elevate the company’s national presence. These days, he distills that experience into... Continue Reading >

9 tips for growing a debt-free photo business

September 2017 issue Business

“Photographers are good at dreaming, but making those dreams become a reality is the hard part,” says Lindsay Betz, studio manager for Jonathan Betz Photography in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “Watching your budget, avoiding debt, and managing money well—that’s how you make the dream a reality.”In 2006, Betz and her husband, Jonathan, the namesake photographer of the business, moved from St. Louis to Colorado Springs to pursue their dream of living near the mountains and opening a... Continue Reading >

You’re not ready

July 2017 issue Business

Sounds like the perfect timeWhen my daughter started competing in triathlons, her biggest challenge of the swimming, running, cycling race was the swimming segment. She was a terrific swimmer—strong with efficient form—in the pool. But she’d never raced in open water. Moving fast while trying to maintain a straight line undefined by swimming lanes was disorienting and scary. The biggest lesson she learned from a seasoned pro: head down, keep moving, and look up occasionally. The best... Continue Reading >

Lessons earned: Career advice from veteran photographers

June 2017 issue Business

What better way to learn than from someone who’s already walked the path? We’ve asked two members of PPA’s Board of Directors for words of wisdom: PPA President Rob Behm, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Valley Studio in Spokane Valley, Washington; and PPA Chairman Lori Craft, Cr.Photog., of Craft Photography in Marshall, Michigan.What do you wish you’d known when you started out?Lori Craft© Ron NicholsCraft: I wish I had known how important business classes would be. There is more to... Continue Reading >

Business tips: Put strategy behind your passion

4.21.2017 Business

Because it’s not enough to love what you doDo what you love and money will follow. Who hasn’t heard that heartfelt but incomplete advice? Pro photographer Suzanne Deaton, M.Photog., notes that without a strategy behind the passion, you’re just hoping to earn a living instead of planning on it.Deaton offers some advice to fellow photographers looking to follow their joy and pay the bills:© Suzanne DeatonGet educated. “Earning my master of photography from PPA was the best... Continue Reading >

10 steps to better workflow

November 2016 issue Business

You, like me, are wearing many hats: entrepreneur, artist, accountant, tech support, stylist ... . It doesn’t take long for all those varied responsibilities to consume your day. You can have some great business improvement ideas, but if you barely have time to deliver client images efficiently and are spending nights and weekends working, how will you find time to implement new marketing programs?Most photographers struggle to describe their workflow because it’s not something they’ve... Continue Reading >

Making bank on pop-up retail photography

10.14.2016 Business

© Dave StanaLooking for a way to supercharge profits from on-site printing? Consider pop-up retail. These temporary storefronts typically show up at malls and other shopping centers before holidays for themed pictures with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or for Halloween.Pop-up retail photography can be a lucrative endeavor, and it may be a lot more manageable than many photographers realize.The first step is securing a high-visibility location where you can attract the right customers.... Continue Reading >

Find out where your money goes by calculating business expenses

9.7.2016 Business

Expense tracking simplifiedYou'll never know exactly where you money goes unless you track it. Although you already collect financial data for tax purposes, tax accounting records are not in a form that can provide you with info on how to manage your photography business successfully. You need easy-to-understand numbers that will help you shape your business on an ongoing basis. For that, you need managerial accounting.Managerial accounting can be broken into four steps:1. List your sales... Continue Reading >

Ask the experts: Preparing for tax season

9.6.2016 Business

Q: What do I need to do before the end of the year to prepare for my 2016 taxes?A. Thinking about ways to minimize your taxes is not something that should happen only at year-end. There are several things to consider now that can pay off when you file next year.1. First and foremost, meet with your tax preparer before 2016 is over to make sure you're doing everything you can to minimize your taxes. You want to know know what to expect come April 17, 2017.2. Expensing/depreciating new... Continue Reading >