Starting a photography business is a big step and needs careful planning. Finding the right niche and genre is the first step.
There are certain general steps when starting a photography business, but every niche has its special requirements.
Read our article to learn how to start a real estate photography business.
8. Have a Business Plan
Having a business plan is the key to success. Create a vision and determine your short- and long term goals.
Decide on the real estate photography niche you want to enter.
Do you want to specialise in high-end properties? Those may pay better. But the expectations are also higher. Or do you want to dive photography? Maybe you want to focus on Airbnb photography.
You can cover several niches. But it is better to be an expert in one field. It will be easier to stand out from your competition.
Do thorough market research before starting your business. Check if the local market is saturated and get to know your competitors.
Decide on your target audience. Are you going to photograph for owners or agents.
Choose a name for your real estate photography business. It should reflect your business but also catch people’s attention. And it should be easy to remember.
7. Estimate Your Costs and Incomes
Plan your costs and sources of income. You will have a higher starting cost and then ongoing costs as well.
You need to invest in equipment, editing software, a website domain and insurance. During your business operation, you will have to spend on the website maintenance, taxes and marketing materials too.
Decide on your rates. Researching your competitors’ prices helps you understand where the price level stands.
Ask your target audience about how much they are willing to pay for the services. This will help you find the price range you can consider.
Even if you dislike numbers, you need to estimate how much you will spend and how much you plan to earn. Otherwise, you won’t make any profit.
Decide on the services and extras you offer. Do you want to offer virtual tours or aerial photography? Do you offer an express service and be ready in 24 hours? You can ask for a higher price for the extra services.
You can also consider if you want to teach real estate photography workshops. Many professional photographers offer courses and they rely on them as extra income.
6. Get the Paperwork Done
Once your business plan is ready you need to form a legal entity. The best business structure depends on your location and your preferences.
You also need to register for taxes and you might need permits and licenses. This again varies with state and country. I recommend checking the local regulations.
It’s a smart idea to get a business bank account and get a business credit card. It can come handy to see your business’ credit if you think about investors in the future.
The only way to see your expenses and incomes is to set up business accounting. This also makes tax filing easier.
Get a contract ready for your services. It should include your and your client’s rights and expectations. Make sure to involve a part on intellectual property ownership too.
I recommend getting the contract ready with a lawyer. Even if it means investment, this is not the part where you want to spare money.
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