Business Systems are talked about a lot in the CEO/online business world, but how do they apply for photographers? What even are they?
Shall we start with the proper definition?
Business systems are procedures, or a standard way of doing a task in your business. These procedures are what allow you to achieve your goals within your business.
So again, what exactly does this mean to a creative visionary like yourself?
Business systems were created to solve four major problems for entrepreneurs.
Let’s break it down:
- Productivity – When you have a well oiled business system tailored to you, it allows you to save oodles of time by not having to keep re-creating things from scratch, go back and forth with yourself on what task to start on next, or take hours to gather all the information you need every day.
- Consistency – It’s no secret that the best way to build a successful photography business is by remaining consistent in all areas of your business. Creating clear business systems assist you in serving your beautiful clients, staying relevant to ever changing marketing tactics and keeping you aligned to your WHY.
- Scaling and Growing – Through your consistency and productivity you’ll finally make time to create a new offer or even grow your business to include mentoring! None the less, I guarantee you will see growth of some kind with consistency and focus. Not to mention… if it’s time to add an assistant or teammate to your business, creating business systems is what will allow you to do so, without burning the candle at both ends.
- And in my opinion, most importantly, business systems allow you to do more on your own! When you remove the need to outsource to an assistant, you keep your overhead costs low, but just as effective, because your business systems work FOR YOU.
Types of Business Systems for Photographers:
- Goals & Growth Plans
- Education Tracking
- Social Media
- Email List/Newsletter
- Lead Nurturing
- Booked to Project Date
- Planning Stages
- Project Date
- Gallery Delivery
- Keeping in touch
I’m not going to deep dive into these bullet points, because we’re working on the bigger picture here of actually getting you started with a business system. Those specifics are a blog for another day, my friend!
When should a photographer have a business system?
Everyone and at anytime can benefit from a business system. But maybe you aren’t fully booked with a waitlist yet or don’t consider yourself to be successful enough to utilize a business system. For starters, knock that off! You ARE successful.
After your first year, or truly even six months of business, you should have a good idea of what your first and most important business system should look like: Client Experience.
Some questions to ask yourself to help create the perfect Client Experience system:
- Who is your ideal client?
- How does your ideal client find you?
- What is your signature package?
- Which steps do your clients take from inquiry to booked?
- What touch points do you have from on-boarding to project date?
- Your session/wedding day – do you have a system for packing, meeting, and finishing?
- What happens after gallery delivery?
- How do you keep in touch?
- How do they become a repeat client?
From there, write it down. It can be a list, a novel, or even a picture. But write out how your client gets from Stage 1 (discovering you) to Stage 10+ (booking you the 2nd time). At the steps that have an email – draft it out. Create a template. Then, follow those steps with each, and every client. Skip the steps that aren’t necessary that time, or add an extra step. It’s ever changing, but the point is that you have a default base to start with.
Once you’re able to nail down your Client Experience, move to Admin tasks and finish off with an airtight Marketing plan.
Savannah, I see a lot of business system templates out there. Will that work?
My immediate answer is no… But here’s why:
There are a TON of business systems specialists out there and each and every one will tell you that their set up is the BEST. But, regardless of how amazing their business systems may seem, their template is not going to be the best for YOUR business.
It can absolutely seem tempting and time saving for your busy life. But wait! Hear me out. It will cost you so much more in the long run.
A system WILL NOT WORK unless it works FOR YOU and you USE IT.
So how do you go about building systems?
The long process is doing the research. Observing how you work best. Finding the right project management tool and crafting your systems inside it. Follow myself on instagram & my blogs, find a few other systems specialists that resonate with you. Dedicate a day or two or five to setting it all up and then another to edit after you’ve lived with it for a moment.
Hire someone (like me! A systems specialist!) to assist you in customizing a tailor made business system for your beautiful photography business. One that works for your ever expansive and visionary mindset. With my proven track record and many happy past photog clients, you’re guaranteed a perfect system for your life.
If you’re ready to take that leap in investing in your business, you can learn more here.
If not, that’s okay! I will be sharing more blogs in the near future that have useful information for you. I also have bite size tips and tricks on my Instagram. Or you can dive deeper by signing up for my newsletter!
Here for you always,