Starting any business can be exciting and scary at the same time. The anticipation of being your own boss and having the freedom to do things your own way is so liberating. But there’s also the dark side that brings about tons of unsettling feelings of uncertainty and doubt. When I started my photography business 8 years ago, I struggled to find the answers that I needed to start off on the right foot. I scoured the internet for information from mostly unknown sources and listened to the advice from friends in the industry. After years of trial and error, I’ve come up with 3 BIG things you should know when starting a photography business.
1.) Make Your Business Legal!
With any business, you want to start off with a good foundation regardless of high big or small you may be. It’s much easier to get the legalities in place from the beginning when things are slower, rather than later when free time is harder to find. You need to decide what type of business entity you want to become and apply for it on www.irs.gov. There are many choices but I personally chose to become an LLC. You can do this quickly on the IRS website. After you choose your business type, you will want to register your business with the state and get your business license through your county. Each state is different but these are the general steps you will want to take. You can always contact a local attorney or an attorney online that can help you with these steps. I personally did this on my own because I had a background in helping small businesses get these systems in place. It’s not hard but can be overwhelming. Don’t let the fear of it deter you. Get the help you need if you’re feeling stuck because setting your business up legally is crucial to your success!
2.) Get a Business Bank Account!
Do this from the BEGINNING! Don’t co-mingle your money!! Keep your expenses separate from your personal account and consult with your accountant about how you should be paying yourself. Your business entity type will determine how you should be paid.
3.) Start Goal Setting and set BIG BIG BIG goals for yourself!
This is going to be one of the biggest keys to your success. Without goals, how can you know where you want to go? Make sure you are writing down your goals on a regular basis and DO NOT limit yourself. If you have huge goals that others may think is crazy, GREAT!!! write them down and recite them daily until you start to believe in them. You are only limited by your own thoughts and beliefs. You really can obtain anything in your business that you set out to do!
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