I get to this point every year, where the busy season is almost done or at least slows down little (in the case of this year), and I’m plain old exhausted. I’m tired of emails, tired of Facebook, tired of editing, tired of weddings, tired of people and ready for a break. It doesn’t mean I love my job any less. However, I still have to get my photography business goals going.
Despite how exhausted I am mentally from pulling through a crazy busy time since April I’m still always excited for the year to come and this is the time of year when I really start to evaluate myself on what things need to change for next year, how I can be a better photographer and better business owner and what I’m going to work on during the down time of the business. I know all photographers hate the winter months because your wallet is a little more empty and there’s all kinds of fancy new toys you want to buy, and there’s just not as much business. Winter is slower for every photographer at some point and that’s totally okay. You need to know that it just comes with the territory of living far away from the equator and operating a business that’s dependent on weather.
Your options will be either to move somewhere tropical where you can photograph people and gorgeous scenery year round, or to deal with the down time in the best way you can. Personally, I’d opt for the tropical, but it’s just such a hassle. I use the months of December-March as the time of year to make my business better and revamp it. It doesn’t matter how awesome of a photographer you are or how successful a business you have going, everyone should be re-evaluating what they can do to be more awesome than ever.
This always starts off for me by offering a photography business Revamp workshop to you guys where we can talk about things like websites, branding, raising prices, and more. However, the most important thing is to sit down and hash out your business goals for the next year.
I wanted to take some time to show you my post from last year on what my business goals were and talk about where I succeeded and where I didn’t and re-evaluate here – with you reading, what my plans are for next year! >Here< you can find last year’s goals.
1. Book 25 Weddings – done and booked 30!
2. Get better at delivering client gifts – done! My goal was to ensure I delivered my gift canvases to all my clients (which I did) and to evaluate the need for a better gifting system and plan, which I also did and plan to implement in 2014.
3. Print off business receipts once per week – major fail.
4. Read at least one business book per month – Success! I started a book club for this on Facebook and while a lot of the enthusiasm dissipated from my fellow readers I just continued to do my own thing (sorry I abandoned you). I’ll be putting out a 2014 book list to read – things that I’ll read, but I won’t be doing the book club again.
5. Book 2 birth photography sessions – fail. I ended up not being as interested as I thought and that’s okay.
6. Book 10 newborn sessions – fail (sorta) I ended up with about 5 and turned away a lot because I decided to really focus on specializing as a wedding photographer after I went to the United convention in February.
7. Book 5 family photo sessions – fail. I booked none. I turned away any and all offers on purpose.
8. Book 5 boudoir sessions – success!
9. Track Client Workflow Better – meh. Not sure if I did better or about the same here, or if I even care at this point.
10. Blog at least 4 days a week on my personal blog >here< – I started out pretty strong and I definitely blogged more regularly, but fell apart in the summer and eventually lost 2 months of blog posts no thanks to bludomain (dislike). I think I improved here, but there’s still lots of room for improvement.
What’s fun about seeing your business goals from last year is seeing where I was in my business and where I wanted to go and how quickly things changed and my focus changed. A lot of that was due to going to United, which was my first real photography conference and event I attended. I’ve never been to a real workshop either! I learned so much and that was only a mere month and a half after I had made my 2013 goals. I probably could have redone my goals after United since my focus changed so quickly. Overall I am very happy with my improvement and success on the things that really mattered and where my business took me.
With that said, here are the 2014 Goals and I hope you’ll join me in making your own goals too! Maybe we can all post some of our goals in the >Facebook group< to share and encourage each other.
1. Book 25-30 weddings again. Boo ya!
2. Implement new client gifting program like a boss.
3. Print off business receipts once per month (because this is far more realistic).
4. Read 1 business book per month again. Yay!
5. Continue to not book newborn, children, family, or birth sessions and focus on weddings and glamour.
6. Blog at least 4 days a week on my blog.
7. Be better at sticking to my work hours. I used to be good at this, in the last 6 months I’ve thrown stuff out the window and worked at times I found myself to feel most creative. I want to really force myself to follow my own work schedule, because when I do I am a happier person.
8. Turn off Facebook on the weekends. No logging in, and deleting the app on my phone. I get anywhere between 50-100 messages per week on Facebook and at least 100 notifications a day (if not more) and I want to restrict my time more because sometimes I spend hours on Facebook just answering all your awesome questions. It’s not that I don’t love you, because I do, I just want to make sure Facebook doesn’t overtake my life.
9. Drink tea in the mornings because it looks so pretty on people’s instagram photos on wood tables. I am very serious. It’s also good for you and I could use more simple things in my life.
10. Be a better dog walker. When I walk my dogs regularly in the mornings I am happier and they are happier. Why is this a business goal? Because the dogs would be less bothersome in the day if they had more walks. This could increase my productivity like nobody’s business. Now, if only they could stop looking so dang cute and snuggly…
11. Gear goals: Buy new memory cards (to replace my aging ones before they wear out), buy a 135L again (because I sold mine and didn’t realize how much I would miss it), upgrade my flashes to the Canon 600s.
12. Rock umbrella or soft box and flash set ups in ugly church getting ready rooms.
13. Develop a podcast/videocast weekly for you guys on PA to listen to in the car or watch at home.
14. Have an AH-MAZING first annual Photography Awesomesauce conference in June!
15. I want to keep protecting newbie photographers, keep promoting kindness and positivity in our photography community and keep offering affordable online learning tools for photographers.