Being a business owner means you’re going to sacrifice a lot of your personal time, money and outside social commitments. These sacrifices come with the responsibilities of building a strong foundation for the business to stand on. Nothing is perfectly created overnight, either. There are so many daily twists and turns that happen, and it’s important to always remain on your toes and be flexible to change. I know that when I started my business, I wish I had someone tell me these 3 Tips for Small Business Owners. When I started Rhea Whitney Photography in 2011, I never imagined that I’d be full time in less than 10 years, getting to travel all around the world to serve my clients with my gift in photography.
For me, there was a steep learning curve on the business side, understanding how to create a sustainable workflow while still understanding what a “workflow” even meant. When I say I read, researched, invested and educated myself on how to create some best practices for a photography business for months on month on months and went through (and still am going through) many trial and error moments, in order to get to where I am today (and I’m still growing and learning FOR SURE!).
Today I want to share with you 3 of the most important BUSINESS HACKS that I put in place. These tips have helped my business tremendously with hopes that this also will help YOUR business as well.
1. Create a business bank account!
Before I was a photographer, I was an accountant and auditor. This experience has really paid off with the level of knowledge I have for my business finances. Having a degree in Business finance and accounting helped me to create a solid foundation. It also gave me an understanding of best business practices when it relates to finances.
With that said, having a separate bank account for your business transactions, both income and expenses, is one of the most important steps to take when you start a legitimate business. Separating your financial transactions from your personal finance transactions is key to being able to properly account for the profit and losses of your business. Also, when it comes to filing your taxes, it is so important to have a separate bank account because it helps with the monthly reconciliation of what came in and what was paid out.
2. Create contracts and paper documentation for all transactions
Paper trail is a must! In order for others to take you seriously as a business owner, you must first operate your business seriously! There are some many ways nowadays to create contracts and invoices for clients. When I first started charging for my sessions, I used to use Freshbooks and over the years have upgraded to client management system called HoneyBook that better fit my needs. HoneyBook helps to keep track of clients communication, pricing brochures, proposals, and invoices for my financial records and taxes at the end of the year. It also makes my client experience much better and has a super official branded look, which I love.
3. Create your own internet space and presence (website and blogging)
Have a special little corner on the internet that represents your business and brand. Don’t rely on social media platforms for your internet presence because you don’t own that platform. Be able to curate the experience a potential client has with your brand. Own your own domain and curate your website in the way that you imagine! To be completely honest, investing in a professional graphic designer for my rebrand back in 2015 was one of the SMARTEST things I could have done for myself and my business! It created a 10+ fold profit return and really helped me create a strong brand presence that is respected by my clients.
I hope that these 3 Tips for Small Business Owners has helped you in your thriving business. I’d love to know what you’d love to learn about regarding the business aspect of running your own successful photography business. Feel free to comment below, or connect with me on Instagram! @rheawhitney
PS – You can receive 50% off your HoneyBook subscription by signing up with my link! Check it out! It’s an amazing platform for creatives and photographers that really helps to enhance your client experience AND keep you and your business in order! The extra bonus is the amazing community that comes with HoneyBook! LOVE!
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