In 2011, I was super excited to own my own photography business. Then I read these statistics in Dane Sander’s book “Fast Track Photographer” while I was researching what steps I needed to take.
- In the 1st year, 60% of photographers give up their business.
- Of that remaining 40%, another 25% will fail within the 2nd year.
- The ones that make it are the remaining 15% who endure through the 3rd year.
So let’s break down Dane’s figures:
In 2018, let’s say 100 photographers in your area start a photography business. Next year, only 40 of those will remain. In 2020, 30 will be left. And in 2021, those lucky enough to survive the trials and tribulation of those three years, 25 will remain. Of those 25, some may be doing well, but most will more than likely be living paycheck-to-paycheck. After five years, the stats get even lower.
As soon as I realized that, I started freaking out. I was about to forego having a regular paycheck, benefits, and someone else to handle all my tax payments, so I could be my own boss. To say I was a bit hesitant to dive into unemployment and into one-man show would be a tremendous understatement.
Once I was talked off the ledge by my wife, I decided to give myself a few years to “practice” running a business before I decided to be responsible for my own paychecks. And despite giving myself some time to figure out the “why” of my business mission statement, realize how I was going to set myself apart from the hundreds of other photographers who are in my area, know what I was doing in QuickBooks, understand taxes, determining my business financial figures, and everything else that goes along with running a business, I still felt unprepared.
I wished there was someone who would simply give me insight to the knowledge I lacked and the tools to help build a solid foundation for my business. Someone to simply say, “Hey, you didn’t even think about these steps that are critical to your success!”
As luck would have it, my foundation was pretty solid. Those few years practicing running my business as I was still holding down my regular job as a newspaper photojournalist was a good proving ground.
But there were stumbles along the way. Issues that popped up I didn’t read about ahead of time. Not knowing how my business status would affect my taxes was a big one that shocked me when I saw my tax bill.
A while back, I began mentoring a few photographers who were just starting out and weren’t sure where to start or what direction they were headed. As more photographers came to me, I realized that there may be a lot more who were seeking the same information.
That’s when I decided to begin the Jerome Pollos Photography mentoring program. I wanted to be that person who I wished I could’ve found when I was starting out.
Before you read any further, yes there is a cost for the mentoring program. It’s $79 a month with a one-year commitment. You have the opportunity to save $158 by prepaying for the full year of access.
My mentoring isn’t going to guarantee you book a gajillion portrait sessions or weddings your first year. I’m not even going to hint you’ll make a certain amount of money. Anyone who is offering to provide you with business education and tell you that you’ll reach a certain financial goal is irresponsible. What I will tell you is with the knowledge I’ve gained over the past seven years running my business will help you ensure your business is built on a solid foundation, you have a firm handle on what to expect, and you have a well thought out three-year plan to help guide you.
A few of the 50-plus topics I go over with hopeful photography business owners are:
- Editing Workflow
- Equipment Investment
- Financial Planning
- Company Designations
- Client Management
- Job Workflows
- Long-Term Business Planning
The mentoring program lasts 12 months. Every week you’ll receive an insightful lesson on a new topic. We’ll start off with the basics and finish with the long-term planning that should set your business in the right direction. Every month we’ll talk on the phone or meet in person. This one-on-one approach is key to helping you comprehend the topics and how they apply to your particular business scenario, go over any questions you may have, and talk about your next steps to implement the lessons learned.
Starting a business is a huge undertaking. It’s essential to your success to know the foundation you need in place to not be one of those 75 out of 100 photographers who will ultimately shut their business after one to three years of struggling.
Contact me now to talk with me and we’ll discuss if this is the right opportunity for you.