They say it’s your birthday, well its my birthday too…”—John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Today is my birthday, a milestone of sorts. Now straddling geezerdom and the wisdom that comes with old age, I want to share some of the useful tidbits and tips that have helped my photography business over the past twenty plus years.
Apply the golden rule to employees but never loose sight of what they owe you as well. You should expect honesty as well as a fair day’s work for wages paid. In return, you owe them loyalty and flexibility to help them through the ebb and flow of their careers and family life. Cutting them slack when the need it, giving them paid time off for family emergencies will repay you many times over what it costs in the short run.
Apply the golden rule to clients too. The same goes for clients, but never forget someone who doesn’t pay their bills is not a client; they’re deadbeats. From time to time, all clients have cash flow problems and as long as they keep you in the loop and send partial payments, you should try to work with them. When their current crisis passes, they’ll remember who helped. Otherwise I think bad clients, like bad employees, should be fired.
Technology is your friend, embrace it. When you hear of any technology or anything new that could increase your operation’s productivity, decrease overhead, or allow you to expand into new markets, put it in place and start making and saving money right away.
Never, ever stop marketing. Keep your website fresh, start a blog and update it on regular basis. Send traditional mailings to clients that respond to that kind of marketing. Sponsor a golf tournament or health drive, so when people think of your product or service your name is the first to come to mind.
Be a joiner. Networking pays big dividends. Join the local Chamber of Commerce, professional group, and make community involvement part of your business and marketing plan.
Write a book. It will increase your credibility in the local business community as well as with your clients. Consider it a part of your marketing program. Read a book: Start with Celebritize Yourself by Marsha Friedman. It’s the best $ you ever spent.
Stay informed. Make time to read about what’s going on in the world around you, looking for trends that affect present and future business opportunities. Check in regularly on this Blog, especially on Business Fridays, for news that can help you accomplish your goals and objectives.
Lastly, I’d like to pass on advice that legendary photographer Don Feltner gave me years ago when I started my studio in the spare bedroom of my condominium: “Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.”