Business Resources: A Follow Up to 5 Reasons to Have a Business Plan

Editors note: in his post last week, photographer Drake Fleege provided some convincing reasons why we should all have a business plan and this week he provides some great resources to help you with yours.

Have you ever started on a trip only to have the wrong map, or your GPS constantly proclaims “recalculating”?   That’s about what it is like writing your first business plan, having no idea where to start.  As you attempt to put the words into a logical, meaningful document, your mind keeps reciting ‘recalculating’.

Following on the heels of “Five Reasons to have a Business Plan”, it was suggested that a second post include templates and links to business planning sites.  From that suggestion came the birth of this list.

An editorial disclaimer: This list is by no means complete of all possible sources.  Inclusion does not imply endorsement over sites that are not listed.  Where I have personally utilized the sites or information, I’ve so noted.

Read moreBusiness Resources: A Follow Up to 5 Reasons to Have a Business Plan

5 Reasons to Have a Business Plan

by Drake Fleege

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”.  These words, credited to Winston Churchill, are as valid today as when he first shared this insight.  How appropriate to consider this phrase for our own business, not only in the current economic environment but into the future – the future of our choosing.

Making the assumption we want to be operating our photography as a business, a written plan is essential.  But why should I have a written plan when I have it in my head – one might ask? Read on for the answer…

Read more5 Reasons to Have a Business Plan

Planning Your Marketing Strategy for The New Year

It is the New Year and time to plan your marketing strategy for the next 12 months. With the economy still slumping, the need to plan a sound strategy is important. Customers have slashed budgets and maybe you have to, but the photographer whose entire effort is waiting for the phone to ring will probably be waiting awhile. An occasional direct mail promotional piece still works and is effective in branding and keeping your name out there, but there are plenty of ways to aggressively market with a low cost or non-existent budget.

Develop a plan and write it down. It is too broad to simply write “make more sales.” That is obvious. Rather, how do you plan to make more sales and get more assignments? Write down your ideas and organize them into logical steps with a plan of action. What steps will you do each month, each week, and each day? These ideas require their own steps of action and the more thoroughly you list those steps the easier to follow through.  They should include where you are now, where you want to be, and the strategy you will use to get there.

Read morePlanning Your Marketing Strategy for The New Year

The Role of Negotiations

by Drake Fleege

It’s a great day – the photo buyer has made contact to license your image.  To facilitate this transaction it is necessary to ask a few questions.  The generic questions are of importance.  These include: the image selected, intended utilization, (cover, inside, image size), publication, distribution, and frequency of use.  These questions are easily handled with most photo licensing calculators.  If this is all that is needed, the image can be licensed and sale made, assuming the calculator returned a figure within the licensee’s budget.  The transaction becomes essentially a commodity purchase, regardless of the price of the license fee or the quality of the image.

Read moreThe Role of Negotiations

Rights Managed Licensing and Negotiations

by Drake Fleege

In my previous life, before fulltime photography, I was selling large two-way radio communication systems for Motorola.   In addition to marketing our solutions, solving problems,  building relationships,  and ultimately selling the systems, a key part was negotiations.   To me, this was the most fun, as it required learning the customer’s needs and offer solutions that would satisfy those requirements.

Early on I learned that money (i.e. cost) was not the largest concern, though it was the one item most often mentioned.   I also learned (through many training sessions and experience) that a successful negotiations should have many points for discussion.  It is through negotiating different items that offers and counteroffers can occur, trust can be established, and a win-win solution can be obtained.  If there is only one item on the negotiations table, such as price, the result will never be a win-win situation.  There can only be one winner and one loser.  Unfortunately that’s not negotiations but rather a zero-sum game.  All or nothing.

Read moreRights Managed Licensing and Negotiations