I always love January. When I depended solely on bartending to maintain my income, not so much. In the restaurant business in WNC January signifies the beginning of the end. Cold, slow winters where you simply hoped you would see more than 5 covers a night. That has all changed now. Of course, I also have a restaurant here in Asheville so we are making the necessary adjustments to our marketing and attack plans for shifts but in my photography business, well that is another story.
January brings new hope, new inspiration (often from unexpected resources), it also brings time where I can reflect on the previous year and devise new plans to create opportunity for the coming year. For me, it is important to continue to grow not only as an artist, but also as an entrepreneur. While a few days ago, I spent almost ten hours reading the manual for my new Canon and test shooting (my poor dogs, they just don’t understand why this clickity black box attached to my face keeps talking to them) all the while realizing that the entire exercise was merely to brush up on my own technical chops and get to know my new camera. (by the way, I still haven’t decided on a name for her yet, but if you have suggestions I’m all ears. Right now it is between Esmerelda, June, Edith…well those are my top three anyway).
The new year also forces me to return to my December list of “What worked? What didn’t?”. My marketing plans each year is chock full of new tactics to reach new clients; wedding, beauty and family clients. While, a lot of that work is via referral from previous clients (for the record, thank you! I wouldn’t be IN business without your referrals and it is because of this I have implemented a referral program I am sure you will love!) there is also quite a bit of legwork involved in reaching and attracting new clientele. In December, I sit down and review those different programs to determine whether or not those programs were logistically appropriate. Did they attract an ideal client? Not so ideal? Howso? What was my ROI? Heck, what was the investment? Time? Money? Both? And the list goes on. What can I do in the current year to maximize on those ideas? What new concepts should I implement into the programs that worked to freshen them up for 2014? Can any of the “not-so-great-but-not-so-bad” ideas be adjusted to be more appropriate? What are my personal goals for the new year? To make money? Sure. Is that the main goal? Nah. The main focus of my professional goals are to not simply “Do what I love and make money” but to do this to allow me time to reach dreams in my personal life. 1. Be a successful and profitable business 2. Have time to travel and visit with family and friends 3. Take a real vacation with only my husband (Our 5 year anniversary is in March so, a honeymoon would be nice LOL) 4. Shoot more personal projects (I like to call it creative breathing) 5. Develop a savings account and reach a true savings goal 6. Not work a hundred hours a week (between two businesses) and still have those businesses thrive and the list goes on. How can 828 allow me to reach those goals? By allowing me the opportunity to develop not only as a professional but also as a human. Being overworked is never good for your business or creative self. In fact, it is stifling. That is where those creative projects come to life. New ideas to keep me inspired in the coming year. I love it. I breathe it. I can’t wait. Let’s start today.
Happy New Year Interwebs! I know, the 12th of January is a little late to the party but I’ve got all kinds of new funness in store. First up, Valentine’s. Head over to the 828 facebook page to grab up an offer for $150 off any Beauty portrait package for 2014 when your session is on the books before Feb. 14, 2014. That’s right. Chocolates got nothin on a beauty/boudoir shoot! Promise!
By the way, did you notice Studio 828 Photography has a whole new look? We launched the new website on Jan 2 and it is like a breath of fresh air! Check it out. It won’t bite. The before and after transformations are by far and away the most popular page but hey, if you want to see more of something or in case I’ve forgotten to include something, feel free to shoot me a line. I’m quite open to feedback. In fact, I welcome it!
828 Goals for the new year:
- Move into and open a full fledged studio space by October – we’re bringing on another photographer into the Studio 828 family and moving forward to have a singular space not only to shoot for you, but meet with you as well. If you’re a photographer and would like to be considered for the partnership, please do get in touch. Cat@Studio-828.com
- As it stands now, 828 rents a studio space by appointment only and then hosts viewings at our office location in downtown Asheville. New goal, have those places be one in the same
- While the business plan for 828 is a living breathing document, I would like for it to stay in the forefront of my mind throughout the year. Last year’s business plan 🙂 “may” have fallen by the wayside in October…I’d like to keep her nurtured and loved throughout the course of 2014
- Weddings – Only agree to shoot ten weddings, no more. “Why?” you ask. Well, while I love, love, love shooting weddings there is quite a bit that goes in to them. Between my two businesses I’ve found that shooting more than ten weddings tends to stretch my ability to reach the level of service Studio 828 provides. The LAST thing I want to do is fall short for my client family. I won’t have it.
- That being said, this could change with the new added photography partnership, the photographer that joins the 828 family very well could be a stellar wedding photog who wants nothing more than to book 30 weddings a year, in which case we’d make an amazing team!
Welcome 2014! Let’s DO this! Keep your eyes peeled for new promotions in the coming months! I would love to shoot for you!
PS – I will have a few shoots available in Sarasota Jan 28-30. If you’ve been considering a session with 828 on my next visit, now is the time to get in touch and get those appointments on the books! Beauty or boudoir photography, a family portrait session, email Cat@Studio-828.com today.