The Ultimate Strategy to Make Your Wedding Photography Business Highly Profitable
One of the reasons starting your own wedding photography business is stinkin' amazing is that there is literally no limit to what your income could be. This kind of potential -- doing what you love and having no income cap -- is incredibly exciting and what dreams are made of.
However, between balancing photoshoots, emails, edits, managing clients expectations, and much (much!) more, we often tend to get caught up in the minutiae of our businesses and unconsciously cripple our profitability along the way.
The strategy I want to share with you today is simple:
Spend the majority of your time doing tasks that are highly profitable so your business will be highly profitable.
This is super important because the alternative may look something like this:
You stay in the dark and are unaware of what makes your business most profitable. You spend the majority of your time on low (or no) profit tasks, and stifle your potential profitability. (I've been there, done that, and have since transformed my business. Trust me, you NEED to do the exercise in this post if being a conscious and profitable business owner is important to you!)
So... how do you determine where it's most valuable for you to spend your time?
Don't worry, I've got your back. Uncovering where you are profitable vs. not is what this post is alllll about. I'm about to walk you through an exercise that will help you to uncover which tasks you're doing that are highly profitable, and which ones you could majorly benefit to get off your plate.
There are three steps:
- Evaluate your business by mapping out how you're currently spending your time.
- Identify how much time you're spending on profitable and/or enjoyable tasks vs. how much time you're spending on neutral, draining, or unprofitable tasks in your business.
- Make a list of the things that need to change.
Let's start with tracking how you spend your time right now in your business...
1. EVALUATE YOUR BUSINESS
You'll start by drawing 4 columns labeled "$5-15", "$50-100", "$100-500", and "$1,000+"
It should look something like this:
Place all tasks you do in your business in columns 1-3 based on how much you would pay someone else per hour to complete this task for you. Don't hesitate to organize your tasks this way even if you don't have a budget to hire these tasks out -- I'm not going to advise you to start hiring a bunch of people. This is just organizing based on profitability, so we can become hyper-aware of how we are spending our time. In the case of column 4, list the tasks which would have the potential to bring in $1,000 or more per hour when you or someone else works on this task for an hour.
You can see how I've divided up some tasks in the example below:
Note: The example you'll see throughout this post is from my business before I transformed it into the well-oiled machine that it later came to be.
2. IDENTIFY HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME
Next to each task that you recorded, write approximately how many hours you spend on each task during a week that you have a wedding photoshoot. This is indicated in blue in the example below. In my example, I tracked Saturday-Friday of my busiest season, so I could evaluate how much time I spent on an entire post-wedding workflow + upkeep of my business during a common workweek.
Total the number of hours in each column at the bottom of the chart. This is also indicated in blue in the example below.
Let's identify what don't love to spend your time on in your business. Write an “X” next to tasks that are draining for you, or that aren't your strong points.
Note: Feeling indifferent about a task is often an indicator that task is something you shouldn't be doing. It is also important to note that procrastination is your subconscious avoiding the task, so put an “X” next to all tasks that aren’t inspiring to you, or tasks you notice yourself putting off.
In the example below, this step is indicated by red X's.
Time to identify what you absolutely love to spend your time on. Write a “★” next to a task to indicate it inspires or motivates you, or showcases your truest talent.
You'll see ★'s below where I marked my favorite ways to spend my time.
Let's pause on the exercise for a moment...
I wanted to pause for a sec so we can acknowledge together that you are most profitable spending your time on the tasks that you wrote in column 3 and 4. These are also often the areas that host your expertise and inspiration. These are the tasks that are the most important to do when it comes to your long term business success.
However, tasks in columns 3 and 4 typically start to get neglected at some point if there aren’t good systems in place in your business. This happens because column 1 and 2 are typically the more urgent tasks that need to be taken care of to keep the business afloat day-to-day. Thankfully, column 1 and 2 are often fairly easily solved through systems, delegating, or outsourcing.
Now that you've filled out your biz eval chart, answer the questions below to gain even more perspective on your business. (Download and print this worksheet if you'd like a print-out of these questions)
- How many hours per week are you spending on activities that are draining or neutral to you?
- How much time per week are you spending in the $5-15 space? These items need to be delegated, outsourced, systematized or deleted if you want to up the profitability of your business drastically. More on that in a minute...
- How much time are you spending in the $100+ space? Yay for you!
- What would you expect the trajectory of your business to be if you were able to work the same (or less) hours per week, while drastically decreasing the time spent in column 1 and 2 and increasing the time spent in columns 3 and 4?
- What would you expect the trajectory of your business to be if everything stayed the same as it is now?
3. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE
By now I've given you a LOT of food for thought on how you might want to change how you're spending your time in your business.
It's time to make an action plan to get the unprofitable and/or unenjoyable tasks off your plate.
Look over every task you put in your business evaluation; challenge yourself to think creatively on how you might get these tasks off your plate. Put these items on a to-do list.
Note: Keep in mind this does NOT mean you will need to spend all of your money delegating and outsourcing (although there are a few key items I'd definitely recommend getting off your plate in this way). Most tasks can be streamlined, systematized, or even plain ol' deleted to save a TON of time without spending any money.
Leave a comment below sharing one of your ideas on how you're going to decrease your time in column 1 and 2!
And in case you haven't already...
Have a great day! :)